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General News of Wednesday, 26 March 2003

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NDC MP resigns

The NDC Member of Parliament for Amenfi West Constituency, Abraham Kofi Asante has resigned his office as an MP.

A letter written to the Speaker of Parliament and read by the First deputy Speaker, Freddie Blay states; “I write to indicate my resignation as Member of Parliament for Amenfi West Constituency. I have taken this decision for personal reasons. I thank you and the entire leadership, members, staff and press for the very cordial working relationship during the period we worked together.”

When reporters caught up with the leader of the minority in Parliament, Alban Bagbin on the matter, he said, “I am very surprised.” Bagbin said the MP, who he said he has a very close working relationship with has not notified him. Mr. Asante’s letter which was written on the 26th day of March 2003, was not even copied to the leadership of the minority. The laws of the House permit a member to vacate their position by way of resignation. Mr. Asante’s resignation coming just after the NDC lost the Navrongo Central by-election.

With the resignation, the Electoral Commission is expected to call for a fresh by-election and having lost about three by-elections to their main political rivals – the ruling New Patriotic Party, it is indeed a big blow to the NDC.

Bagbin however is optimistic that the NDC would do well to retain the seat, being one of its strongholds. Mr. Asante was reported to have been mishandled by alleged supporters of the flagbearer of the NDC, Professor J.E.A. Mills at the party’s December Congress last year. He was purported to be a supporter and indeed a leading member of the campaign team of Prof. Mills’s contender to the position, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey. It is not clear whether Mr. Asante will remain a member of the NDC but a reliable source informed Peace FM that he has taken up an appointment at the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja Nigeria.

Until his resignation, Mr. Asante was the minority spokesman on Energy.

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