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General News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

NDC To Punish Shadow Minister

The tally of losers in last month’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential nomination race is mounting. As Professor John Evans Atta Mills savours his landslide victory and strategies on how to floor President John Agyekum Kufour come December 2004, the NDC is set to sanction a shadow minister who was too vociferous in his who support for defeated aspirant Kwesi Botchwey.

Minority spokesman on Energy, Kofi Asante, is the man whose neck is under the guillotine. His Amenfi West Constituency NDC has vowed not to allow him to contest the 2004 parliamentary elections. At an end-of –year get-together organised at Asankrangwa on December 26, last year, the executive members of the party as well as party supporters unanimously agreed that the MP must not be allowed to contest even if he filed his application.

Sources close to the executive told The Heritage that for the MP to have openly campaigned for Dr Kwesi Botchwey was “a total betrayal on his part” since his constituents had earlier agreed by consensus to rally behind Prof Evans Atta Mills and that he, being the leader of the delegates sent from the constituency, should have known better. They also accused the MP of neglecting the needs of the constituency and living a luxurious life in Accra.

The Heritage further gathered that the people are angry because their MP refused to take them to his house when they attended the delegates’ congress in Accra. When the Minority Spokesman on Energy was reached on his cell phone he did not deny the story but wondered why such a plot should be hatched up against him. He said the executive members had not informed him formally and that he was in the process of getting in touch with them.

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The MP, who did not hid his support for Dr Kwesi Botchwey, told The Heritage that he has suffered intimidation, harassment and physical abuse from political gangsters believed to be supporters of the former vice president. The NDC spokesman on Energy’s relationship with his party went sour the moment Dr Botchwey failed to win the party’s presidential slot at the delegates’ congress last month.

Sources close to the party hinted The Heritage that there are vigorous campaigns going on in the party against MPs who supported Dr Botchwey since it is believed, rather strangely that they might campaign against Prof Atta Mills. However Kofi Asante appears to be the only one targeted so far. Mr Ofosu Ampofo (NDC Fanteakwa) was another Botchwey supporter but no one seems to be after his head. When contacted Ampofo denied knowledge of such moves to punish anyone but did not discount such as a political party.

If his constituents did not rescind their vow, Mr Abraham Kofi Asante, who is in his second term in parliament would likely say goodbye to politics after his current parliamentary term expires in 2004 to concentrate on his private business, the Heritage gathered.

Source:  
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