General News Thu, 26 Jan 2012

Fallout Of NDC Primaries

Defeated Ndc Mp To Resign

…To Pave Way For By-Election

…To Contest As An Independent

A defeated Member of Parliament for Builisa North Constituency of the National Democratic Congress, Hon. Timothy Awontiirim, has indicated that he would soon resign to pave the way for a by-election so he could contest the 2012 general elections as an independent candidate.

He claims that he was defeated through fraudulent means at the just-ended NDC primaries.

Hon. Awontiirim lost the last Saturday primaries to an Accra-based private legal practitioner, Mr. James Agalga, but he described his defeat as a “daylight political robbery at the influence of some high ranking members of the party.”

The aggrieved Member of Parliament told the Enquirer a day after his defeat that, the whole government machine was fully behind his contender and actively campaigned and supported him with both human and material resources.

He reiterated in a telephone interview with the Enquirer that, he is contemplating resigning now to pave the way for by-election so he could have time to campaign as an independent candidate for the 2012 general elections.

“Let me tell you that, even though they succeeded in pushing their agenda at the primaries, they could not do that at the general elections, I am going to contest the general elections as an independent candidate and let’s see who will win this seat,” Hon. Awontiirim indicated.

Don’t forget the Bulisa North seat is the only safe seat for the NDC in the western zone for the party in the Upper East Region, he explained, adding “We have just eleven or so months away to the general elections, I am taking decision either to resign now for by-election or whatever my people say,” he said.

According to the defeated parliamentarian, he is qualified under the Electoral Commission Laws and also qualified under the 1992 constitution of Ghana to contest any election.

He said his decision to contest the election as independent candidate was borne out of the people whom he represent mistrust for the government machine and the constituency leaders inability to run the primaries fairly to the benefit of the electorate.

He further cited bias support for his competitor by some of the constituency and the regional executives as another reason for his move to resign and contest as an independent candidate.

“My friend, if you have some of the government appointee like the Youth Employment coordinator, NADMO coordinator and some leaders in the constituency supporting one candidate, what do you think I should do, I have to leave the party for them,” Awontiirim stated.

Hon. Awontiirim further told the Enquirer that the elected candidate is coming from the community in which the NPP candidate comes from, and that the other surrounding communities where he comes from have taken the lead and are calling on him to contest the election in 2012.

He said the electorate have given him their support and he has no time to waste in doing that and was ready to go independent to contest the 2012 general election as an independent candidate.

Asked whether he would not split the vote between him and the elected NDC candidate, Hon. Awontiirim said, “That is what the NDC leadership in the constituency wants, and whatever happens, either I win or lose or they lose to the NPP, but I must stand by the will of my people,” he stated.

He further told the paper that he has been a party cadre and organizing secretary before and he has the support of the masses, who, he says, felt cheated.

He said he would only rescind his decision upon the advice of the electorate but not anybody from the NDC leadership, adding that would happen only when his supporters at the grassroots urge him to do so for the benefit of the constituency.

Hon. Awontiirim also alleged serious vote buying and corrupt practices in the Builsa North Constituency primaries, saying “monies, roofing sheets, rice, oil, cloth and many others were distributed.”

"You won’t believe what happened in Builsa North constituency, it was a field day for some of the delegates and party influencers, almost all those who agreed with them got a booty to take home and that is democracy in Ghana for you, the whole government apparatchiks were there,” he stated.

Lawyer Agalga won the primaries by polling 123 votes as against Mr. Awontiirim of 74 votes.

Source: The Enquirer