|Audio Attachment:Listen to Former Press Secretary to Ex-Prez Kufuor, Kwabena Agyapong on his call for the abolishing of by-elections and NDC Dep. National Organiser, Yaw Boateng-Gyan's response.|
A former Press Secretary to Ex-President J. A Kufuor, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, is calling for the abolishment of by-elections in the country, to avoid the unnecessary violence and mayhem that ensue during such periods.
Instead, Mr. Agyapong is suggesting that the party that loses a Member of Parliament (MP) be asked to automatically replace the deceased MP. Mr. Agyapong put forward this proposal in light of the weekend’s bloody clash in Chereponi, where a by-election is scheduled to take place tomorrow.
Supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) reported clashed at Chereponi yesterday resulting in severe injuries to a number of people. The confusion broke out at a junction near the town's central square.
While the NDC was holding a rally at a suburb of Chereponi, the NPP was performing the funeral of its late MP Doris Asibi Seidu who died last July.
They threw stones at each other and for about half an hour, the whole township became chaotic as supporters of the two parties poured into the streets with all forms of dangerous weapons. Security personnel had to fire warning shots to disperse the crowd. Both parties are blaming each other for the tension and pandemonium.
The Chereponi district, with a voter population of about 24,000 and 55 polling stations, comprises three ethnic groups, Konkomba, Nanumba and Chokosi. The seat, which became vacant on the death of the NPP Member of Parliament, Doris Asibi Seidu, is being contested by candidates from the NDC, NPP, PNC, New Vision Party and the Democratic People's Party.
Speaking on PEACEFM’s flagship programme, “Kokrokoo”, Mr. Agyapong, who was one of the seventeen (17) NPP presidential aspirants, believed amending the law (on by-election) to suit present conditions is in order considering the financial and human resource expended on such occasions.
“A second look should be taken at the issue of by-elections. I think it’s not that important…the resources spent in deploying security personnel to maintain law and order during the period of a by-election, coupled with the loss of life and property, as well as the needless tension associated with by-elections can be done without,” he submitted.
However, speaking on the same platform, the Deputy National Organizer of the NDC and a Presidential Staffer, Opanyin Yaw Boateng-Gyan, punched holes in Mr. Agyapong’s submission, when he argued that similar calls for abolishing by-elections had been fruitless, because “it will be taking away the right of individuals to chose who they prefer to represent them in Parliament.”
He stressed the need for politicians to desist from pointing accusing fingers at one other, in the event of violence in an area.
“It’s a dicey situation that needs broad consultation with other stakeholders, because I recall that a related proposal has been made before, but…what if the person chosen by the party is not preferred candidate of the constituents…the blame game must stop, and we (NPP & NDC) must find a common platform to drum home the message for peace to our supporters…the trust and confidence reposed in us by the citizenry has waned and we need to have it restored… if care is not taken, whenever one identifies himself or herself as a politician, people will describe him or her as the most useless person in Ghana,” he concluded.
Source: Alex Ofei/peacefmonline
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