General News of Sunday, 7 March 2004
Takoradi, March 7, GNA - The New Patriotic Party (NPP) will scrutinize the application of its aspiring parliamentary candidates with the view to fielding only loyal and "marketable materials" to enable the party to achieve its set target in the upcoming elections.
Mr Dan Botwe, General Secretary of the party, said the scrutiny formed part of the strategy for a landslide victory and should not be misconstrued to mean imposition of candidates on the electorate.
Speaking at a reception organized by the party for media practitioners in the Western region in Takoradi on Saturday, Mr Botwe said the NPP had not entered into agreement with any individual or party on the fielding of candidates in any constituency. He said nominations of candidates to contest primaries in constituencies where the party has sitting Members of Parliament would open in April.
"The party deserves the right to check the background, qualifications and other records, including the true loyalty of those who wish to contest any parliamentary seat on its ticket. "We form political parties to win power, exercise it in the best interest of the nation, and to achieve these we have to strategize so as not to be overtaken by events", he added.
On the Electoral Commission's decision to include 30 new constituencies in this year's elections, Mr Botwe said the party had already prepared for the expansion. That will mean that we have to increase our target of 140 seats".
The NPP General Secretary reiterated the need for journalists to be circumspect in their reports and said they should be always on their guard so as not to be misused by any individual or groups. "All we need is truth and fairness to all in the interest of unity and development."
Mr Mac Manu, Western Regional Chairman of the NPP, said the party would continue to regard the media as partner in development and would rely on it for direction.
He said the party would not impose parliamentary candidates on the electorate but the party has priority that overrides the interests of individual members of the party.
"All must follow the rules and regulations as laid down in the party's constitution to enhance our strategy to achieve our desired goals", he said.