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Chereponi Not A “Litmus Test” Of Mills’ Performance
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The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) may not have won the Chereponi parliamentary seat had the party fielded a different candidate, pollster Ben Ephson has opined.

The NDC candidate – 36-year-old teacher Samuel Abdulai Jabanyite – polled 8,239 votes against the 7,416 secured by his closest contender from the New Patriotic Party, Abukari Gariba. The election which was punctuated with isolated skirmishes followed the death of NPP MP for the constituency, Doris Seidu. She garnered 52.33 per cent of votes cast in the December election whilst her closest challenger, Seidu Issah Abah, had 43.56 percent.

Mr Ephson, who is also the editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, said Mr Jabanyite’s candidacy on the ticket of the National Reform Party (NRP) in the 2000 parliamentary election helped him secure the seat. He however warned that the election must not be used as a “litmus test” of President Mills’ performance on the job. There have been suggestions that the Mills administration has not been impressive enough over the last nine months and that in the event of a by-election, the government would receive an embarrassing beating.

But NDC’s Deputy General Secretary Baba Jamal who is also the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, disagrees with the pollster’s suggestions. He told Joy News that the party won because it ensured the discrepancies which characterised previous by-elections were appropriately addressed. “I think that Chereponi has proved us right that any seat that the NPP won by 3000 [votes] or less, that seat does not belong to them. “Looking at the figures and the way they came [in the last parliamentary election]… we set ourselves going to correct those things that went wrong.” “We have proven that the NPP is not a force in Chereponi,” he said.

Meanwhile a leading member of the NPP, Kwabena Agyapong, says the loss of the NPP in the parliamentary contest can hardly be “a big worry to us as a political party.” He said the NPP is unfazed in the face of a strongly held perception in the constituency that voting for the candidate of the ruling party will bring development to the area.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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