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NPP Reacts to Daily Graphic Story   
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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has defended happenings during its polling station elections and said the conduct of the polls so far and the decision to include polling station executives in its electoral college deserve commendation.

It said the move to extend the authority to the grass roots was not only commendable but that it would also go a long way to deepen internal democracy in Ghana by empowering internal democracy in Ghana and also by empowering party foot soldiers to participate actively in that party’s decision-making process.

Reacting to a Daily Graphic publication of October 7, 2009, the party said the headline of that story did not reflect the content and sought to give the impression that the election of NPP polling station executives in the 21,034 polling stations across the country had been chaotic, for which Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyeremanteng could be blamed.

A press statement signed by the party’s Communication Director, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, said the discrepancy between the headline and the content of the story was obvious. According to the statement, the Daily Graphic, by its own story, provided a vivid account of how the elections had generally been peaceful and successful in most polling stations throughout the country.

It, however, noted that the story did not provide any account of even one incident of chaos in a single polling station out of the 21,034 polling stations in which the exercise had taken place, nor did it provide any evidence of how Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan could be blamed for the purported chaos that could be blamed for the purported chaos that had characterized the polling station elections.

According to the Daily Graphic, the statement noted, “the exercise faced a lot of constraints pertaining to finances and inadequate logistics in the Volta Region” and indicated, “We do not see how financial constraints and inadequate logistics can be equated to chaos.”

In the case of the Tema West Constituency, the Daily Graphic reported that “there were widespread protests and an appeal to the national and regional executives of the party to set aside all persons presented to their offices as polling station executives for Tema West.”

“Protests and appeals, we believe, are allowed as ways of seeking redress for an election in which any person considers unfair and we again fail to see how that could interpret such legitimate actions to mean chaos and also be linked to Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen,” it stated.

In the Bekwai Constituency, the statement said the Daily Graphic reported that there was widespread agitation for the supporters of the Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Joe Osei Wusu, who left the party to contest as an independent candidate to be included in the electoral college, while others believed they should be sideline, for which reason the elections in the Constituency had been suspended.

It said such a situation “cannot be said to be chaotic and cannot be blamed on nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen.” It said the Ashanti Regional Police, through its Public Affairs Unit, confirmed to the Daily Graphic that “no violence characterized the polling station elections in the region.”

The statement said the Daily Graphic reported that the polling station elections in the Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Upper East, Eastern Northern, Central and Western regions had been “smooth so far.”

“The Daily Graphic must not compromise its hard-won reputation as a credible state media for any reason. The paper should never lower its standards,” it stated.

It further said by the amended constitution of the NPP, polling station executives would form part of the Electoral College that would elect the party’s constituency executives, parliamentary and presidential candidates and so the interest that was shown by members of the party in the polling station elections was understandable.

The statement noted that about a quarter of a million people contested to be polling station executives in the 21,034 polling stations and indicated that the elections had been largely peaceful in most of the constituencies and polling stations, with some cases of disagreement.

It said a few isolated “challenges” to the process “cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, make the process a flawed one.”
Source: Daily Graphic

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