General News of Friday, 11 December 2015
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is accusing the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) of vote buying in the Amenfi West constituency of the Western Region, ahead of Tuesday’s by-election.
The seat became vacant following the death of the NDC’s Member of Parliament, John Gyetua in October this year.
The two main parties have descended on the constituency to rally support for their parliamentary candidates ahead of voting on Tuesday December 15.
Speaking to Citi News, the Western Regional Secretary of the NPP, Charles Bissue, said regardless of the vote-buying by the NDC, they are confident of winning the by-election.
“In the last election, we were approximately about 10,000 votes behind so we are going in as underdogs. In terms of preparation we are really prepared and we’ve been around all the communities. Secondly we’ve got high-profile people who have also done some house-to-house campaign. And now what the NDC is trying to do is that, it appears your MP must die or resign for you to get development. It happened in Talensi and it’s happening here. A road which leads to Asankragua from Manso-Amenfi is coal-tarred already, has been asphalted within 48-hours.” He alleged.
He further alleged that “What is happening is that, for the past one-week, there has been power cut (dumsor) in this area and it happens only in the night; and in the night you see Kia Trucks being driven with loads of sacks and other things. Confidol for cocoa spraying, fertilizers, and machetes are being distributed. But the people are taking the items and they say they are not going to vote.
But the NDC has dismissed the allegations of vote-buying. According to the party’s Western Regional Secretary, Joseph Nelson, the NPP is engaging in vile propaganda that should be disregarded.
“I will state categorically and on authority that nothing of the sort has happened here. Nobody has done any of the things the NPP is accusing us of. If you come to the constituency itself, the people here must be given some respect because for the whole time they have been voting for the NDC, it’s not because somebody bought their minds. It’s about what the NDC has done for them over the years. It’s not as if the NDC has just arrived and it’s seeking to let the Amenfi West know what it can do. The question is; why have they been voting for us all these years without this so-called new development that the NPP is claiming? he quizzed.
The NDC’s candidate for Tuesday’s poll is 41-year old Eric Afful, who works with a local cocoa buying company in the constituency. The NPP is represented by Paul Derkyi, a 43-year old lawyer.
The others are Mr. Abraham Kwadwo Buadee, a 41-year-old accountant for the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP), and Mr. Elvis Adjei, a 30-year-old Loan administrator for the United Front Party (UFP).
The Amenfi West seat has traditionally been an NDC seat. The party has occupied it since 2,000 with four different candidates.
With the exception of the years 2000 and 2004, when the NPP came close to winning, the NDC in 2008 and 2012 stretched the vote margins considerably.