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General News of Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Source: Class FM

5000 names deleted from register in Effutu - Afenyo-Markin

The Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of removing over 5,000 names of voters from the electoral roll in strongholds in his constituency under the guise of ridding the roll of persons who wrote their names using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card as proof of citizenship.

It will be recalled that the Supreme Court ordered the EC to expunge from the register some 56,000 names of people who registered using NHIS cards and give them another chance to register since such document was no definite proof of nationality.

But Mr. Afenyo-Markin, speaking to Class News’ parliamentary correspondent, Ekow Annan, said the deletion had targeted supporters of the NPP.

He has, therefore, petitioned the EC to extend the date for the registration to avoid disenfranchising his party members.

“…Now, the political side of this matter is that my friends on the other side, my main opponents, are not so interested in what is happening in Effutu with respect to this re-registration. Why? Because practically, as politicians, we all know our strengths and weaknesses. These affected areas are areas that I win my most votes.

For instance, Kojo Badu North, I win over 70 per cent of the votes in that whole stretch. There is only one polling station which is out, that is New Winneba, where I lose or my party does not do well. If they get 200, we get 100, and at that place, not a single name was deleted,” he stated.

“Yet, I, then as a candidate, registered people for NHIS cards and I know that they used it to register because I was previously a presiding member and an assemblyman and the terrain is well known by me. So it’s a bit curious. But once again, we know when to pick certain fights.

I don’t want to go there for the time being. If you come to Sankor Don Bosco, where in Winneba it is known as the World Bank of the NPP, my party wins 80 per cent minimum in all elections since 1992 and that is where you have over 954 people deleted,” Mr Afenyo-Markin alleged.

He said Effutu was a swing constituency, which in effect makes every vote important in deciding which candidate or party emerged winner in that constituency.

“Winneba is not a place that any politician wins with an overwhelming margin, so every single vote matters. If you look at the records, in 2000, for instance, the parliamentary candidate of the NDC sailed through with less than 200 votes, whereas the presidential candidate of the NPP won by over 2000.

If you come to the 2012 elections, whereas I won by over 2000 votes, my flagbearer lost by 135 votes. So you take every vote seriously, you work hard, and you maximise where your strength is.

So, apart from the constitutional argument, apart from the legal argument, the rather compelling political argument is that I as a candidate of the party have an interest and my interest is that the majority of the people who support my course, who believe the ideology of my party, have been deleted and it’s my job as a candidate to also see to it that they get the opportunity…” he explained.

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