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Politics of Tuesday, 16 January 2001

Source: GNA

Independent candidates pledge to remain neutral

Two Independent Members of Parliament have pledged to be objective and vote on issues according to their conscience in the overall interest of the nation.

Speaking to the GNA on Friday, Mr Rashid Bawa (IND Akan) and Mr Boniface Abu-Bakar Saddique (IND Salaga) said their mission in parliament is to offer good representation of their people by making contributions that will improve their lives.

Mr Bawa, who was at the centre of a controversy last Tuesday when his name appeared among the Majority side on the Committee of Selection, said he would not be lured by moves from either of the two major parties (NPP and NDC) to the neglect of his electorate.

He said he has an obligation to the people who elected him to tow an independent line and concentrate on matters affecting his constituency instead of getting involved in unproductive debates.

Mr Bawa said he decided not to have links with any political party when he realised that he could not fulfil the dreams of his people who had approached him to represent them in parliament "since the opportunity was not even there for me to contest at the primaries".

He said his past relationship with the NDC does not mean that he will team up with the minority without due consideration to matters on the floor of the House and the consequences they would have on the lives of the people he represents.

Speaking in a similar vein, Mr Saddique said his premium would be on the benefits his constituency would derive from his representation and not the alliances he makes in parliament.

He said independent candidates would play a vital role in the current legislature because of the thin numerical difference that exists between the two main parties in parliament.

Mr Saddique said; "we shall be lobbied by the two sides and we shall also lobby them when the need arises, in the interest of our constituencies".

He said he would remain steadfast in his commitment to democracy and follow issues but not political parties.

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