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Politics of Tuesday, 7 September 2004

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J.H Mensah Wins Sunyani East NPP Ticket

SEPT. 09 04

NPOL 06 Politics Mensah Primary (Update) Antwikrom (B/A), Sept.7 GNA - Senior Minister J.H. Mensah on Tuesday polled 72 votes to win the New Patriotic Party (NPP) ticket to contest the parliamentary seat in the Sunyani East Constituency at the Party's primary held at Antwikrom, near Sunyani.

The Presiding Member of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw- Cheremeh, his rival, received 22 votes in the election described as the "Mother of all Primaries".

The Regional Staff of the Electoral Commission led by the Brong Ahafo Regional Director, Mr Amadu Sulley supervised it. Ministers of State, Members of Parliament (MPs), District Chief Executives, National, Regional and Constituency Executives of the Party as well many supporters witnessed the voting.

The primary election in Sunyani East constituency has had a chequered history culminating in the withdrawal of three of the aspirants at a unity rally organised recently in Sunyani.

Originally there were six aspirants until Nana Obiri Boahen; Mr Kwame Twumasi, both Sunyani-based Legal Practitioners and Dr Kofi Barimah, Senior Lecturer at the Catholic University at Fiapre, near Sunyani, withdrew.

The race was then narrowed to the Senior Minister, Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh and Mr George Kofi Kumi, Ghana's Ambassador in Libya, who was absent at the election.

Bathing in victory, Mr Mensah stated that the fact that the election had taken place had deepened the internal democracy within the NPP.

He thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in him and promised to work harder towards the development of the constituency.

"Whatever troubles or problems the contestants encountered should be a thing of the past", he said in his victory speech, adding: "The NPP will do whatever it can to maintain this spirit exhibited today."

The Senior Minister appealed to the general public to exercise restraint during the electioneering campaigns as well as the elections proper in December to sustain the peace and stability in the country. Mr. Ameyaw-Cheremeh conceded defeat and promised to support Mr Mensah to win the seat for the Party.

He expressed satisfaction that he had lived up to his promise to fight to the end, saying "that is all that democracy is about". The two later embraced to signify the end of "hostilities" in the run-up to the Primary election.

Those present included Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, Minister of Railways, Ports and Harbours, Mr Haruna Esseku, NPP National Chairman, Mr Stephen Ntim, Second Vice Chairman of the Party, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and Mr R. R. Amponsah, a Minister in the Busia regime.

A convoy of tooting vehicles heralded the triumphant entry of Senior Minister Mensah into Sunyani after the delegates gave him the nod to vie for the Sunyani East Constituency Seat for the third time. 07 Sept. 04