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General News Wed, 14 Jul 2010

Four aspirants in the NPP flagbearer primaries call for 'a clean register'

Accra, July 14, GNA - Four out of the five New Patriotic Party (NPP) Flagbearer aspirants, on Wednesday called for "a clean functional register" that would provide eligible delegates the right to vote on Saturday, August 7.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra, representatives of the aspirants contended that the proposed use of the digital voters register by the party would disenfranchise most of the delegates.

The proposed digital register, the representatives noted was "in a state of disarray with significant errors including same photos with different names, photos with women with men's names and vice versa as well as numerous gaps with no photo at all".

According to them, delegates would be in great danger of being "excluded from exercising their rights to vote if the digital register was not scrupulously validated within the 230 constituencies".

Dr Felix Fonder represented Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Ken Amankwah represented Mr Isaac Osei, Nana Prempeh represented Apostle John K. Kodua and Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah for Mr Alan K Kyerematen.

Dr Fonder, who read the speech on behalf of the representatives, therefore urged the party to use the existing constituency albums, which had been used to conduct elections recently since that could be said to be "battle ready."

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He observed that on March 31, this year, the party opened nominations for its flagbearer primaries at the tail end of a National Council Meeting.

The rules and regulations, Dr Fonder said, were released along with nomination forms, which admonished party officers and Members of Parliament not to declare open support for or campaign for any of the aspirants but they were breached.

He said the rules further stated mandatory that photo albums were to be used for the election and delegates were to show credible identification in order to confirm the photo album to enable them to vote.

Dr Fonder said they acknowledged efforts of the party to consolidate the various constituency albums into one digital register but expressed their misgivings of the digital register, which they believed did not reflect a true and inclusive representation of eligible delegates in the expanded electoral college of the party.

In that event, he said the party's Elections Committee at a meeting decided that the on-going digital register should be abandoned and an elections committee established to include representatives of aspirants so they could validate constituency albums and supervise elections within the constituencies.

In addition, they also affirmed the principle of "no picture no vote," and closure of the window for proxy votes.

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Dr Fonder regretted that after the meeting there was no communication from the Elections Committee on the progress implementation hence they wrote to the Committee again on the issues raised.

He said to their dismay, "a document purporting to be rules and guidelines for the flagbearer primaries was issued without any notice to the aspirants.

"We find it disrespectful that the decisions mutually taken are being varied without any notice whatsoever," Dr Fonder added.

Dr Fonder said: "We believe that once the right thing is done, the party would go forward to successful flagbearer primaries and more importantly, a massive national election victory to redeem this country from the doldrums".

When asked why a representative of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the fifth aspirant, was absent at the press conference, Dr Fonder said they e-mailed his representative but they did not hear from him.

Source: GNA