Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dont bring back NDC - Akufo-Addo

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 11, 2008
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has urged the electorate not to make a mistake by voting back the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to office in the December poll.
He said "the NDC showed that they could not manage the country't economy that was why the electorate voted them out of office.The choice we make in this election will shape the destiny of our country for years to come. The NPP has shown that it has the capacity to lead Ghana to become a prosperous nation and we should all come together to make this happen"
Nana Akufo-Addo was addressing NPP supporters at a rally in Nima, Accra on Friday as part of his tour of the country to solicit the support of the electorate to retain the NPP in office.
He said "in some few days our democracy will be tested as we go to the poll to elect a new president.I urge you to select a leader who has the vision, courage and the will to lead Ghana to prosperity."
"Our country is on the precipice of great transformation and modernization.Only one candidate offers a clear vision and path for effective continuation of the good governance initiated under the current administration offering us the opportunity to strengthen our institutions and 'move forward' to the next level of transformation and modernization. That candidate is Nana Akufo -Addo."
Nana Akufo-Addo told the enthusiastic crowd that victory beckons the NPP and asked them to continue to intensify the campaign for that to happen.
"The political landscape is volatile and it would take the collective energy and sacrifice of all of us to win a 'one touch' victory on December 7th".
Other speakers at the rally included Sheikh I.C. Quaye, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Dr Nyaho Tamakloe, Kwabena Agyapong, Gloria Akufo and Boakye Agyarko, all leading members of the NPP

Sunday, November 09, 2008

NDC poised to form next gov't

By William Yaw Owusu

Friday November 6, 2008
Nii Nortey Dua, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Ledzokuku in the Greater Accra Region says the party is poised to form the next government to stop what he calls “the economic hardships of the people.”
“The NDC has put in place a well packaged campaign message and I know that with our people-centered policies in our manifesto, we are going to triumph in the December poll.”
In an interview with the Times in Accra, yesterday, Mr. Nortey-Dua said the three pronged approach adopted by the NDC in the campaign has put the party in a sound position to sin the polls, adding “the people are now appreciating the fact that t6he NDC can lead Ghana better.”
On his chances of winning the seat for the NDC, Mr. Nortey Dua, a journalist, said “I have toured and interacted with all manne of persons in this constituency and it is clear that they are all yearning to give me the mandate to represent them in parliament.”
“Let us not forget that in the 2004 election I won, but due to some strange reasons the verdict was stolen from me.”
He said when gets the nod he will sponsor the setting up of what he calls “Ledzokuku Mini Parliament,” where representatives from all the political parties, civil society, and all interest groups would come together to deliberate the needs of the constituency.
He said “such an intervention will inform me to attend to the development needsof the constituency better.”
He said as a former Assembly Member and Presiding Member of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly respectively, he knows the needs of the constituents better than any other candidate in the race.
Mr. Nortey-Dua, a former sports broadcaster for the Ghana Broadcastig Coorporation (GBC) promised thatr when he gets the nod, he would facilitate the efforts to solve the acute water problems that had been with the people for years.
“The NDC’s manifesto has already indentified the water crisis and we are working hard to set up another water station at Akuse to serve the water needs of residents particularly in the eastern corridor of the city of Accra.”
HE said “roads in Teshi and other areas are in deplorable conditions. The only good ones were constructed under the NDC and we will form the next government to push for true development for the country.”
Mr. Nortey-Dua also said when he gets the nod, he will set up an endorsement fund to support education as well as set up a youth counseling centre to nurture the youth for leadership positions.
He also said the NDC will come back to complete the OPEC funded hospital in Teshi which was abandoned by the NPP when it assumed office in 2001.
H e also promised to support the police to effectively clampdown on armed robbery and street crimes when elected.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

NDC launches fund to support the party's agents

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday November 1, 2008
THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday launched an appeal for funds to support its agents who will be working in the various polling stations during the December 7, poll.

Party Chairman Dr. Kwabena Adjei said at the launch in Accra that the idea of NDC Party Agents support Fund was mooted by one of their members who presented GH¢10,000 to start the fund.

Launching it Dr. Adjei said “as we get nearer to the December poll, many Ghanaian voters are getting more and more uneasy about the security of the ballot that will be cast in favour of the NDC”.

He said it was the apprehension expressed variously and repeatedly by NDC members that informed the decision of the leadership of the party to set up the fund to support the agents to ensure that the sanctity of the electoral process was preserved.

He said “in recent elections, the NDC had not been able to make the financial provision and logistical arrangements necessary to cater for the needs of our polling agents on time.”

He said “as a result our political opponents had in the past had the opportunity of tricking our polling agents into accepting and eating packaged food laced with laxative and drinking water laced with sleep – inducing medicinal agent.

Dr Adjei said the NDC is on course to recruit what he described as “agents who are literate, knowledgeable, committed and incorruptible”.

He said the party has created a platform to sensitise and train them to be efficient in order to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.”

“The grossly immoral strategy be our main political opponent had effectively compromised the loyalty and lowered vigilance of many of our agents during the polls in many constituencies and we are prepared to turn things around this time.”

Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, NDC general secretary at question time said “poisoning and drugging of agents is a real issue” but added “we do not want to mention the culprits involved”.

We do not want to litigate about what happened in the past. We want to guard against it this time around”.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

EC,EU sing MoU for Election '08

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday October 30, 2008
THE Electoral Commission (EC) and the European Union (EU) have signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure the conduct of a free, fair, transparent and credible election in December.

In the agreement the EU is expected to send an Electoral Observation Mission to monitor the forth coming election and also provide technical assistance to the EC and other domestic non-partisan observers to ensure a smooth conduct of the poll.

Signing the memorandum yesterday in Accra, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the E.C. in a brief remark underscored the need for election observers to complement the effort towards ensuring a transparent and credible electoral exercise.

He said “election observers give an objective assessment of every situation and we can rely on them to give that kind of judgement.”

He said the EU has a track record in election observation and hoped the observers coming would continue with their objectivity.

Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana who signed on behalf of the EU said about 60 observers will arrive in Ghana to monitor the situation.

“They will cover all the regions and I can assure you of their objectivity.”

He said the EU is following the situation in Ghana with keen interest adding “I know the EC has taken all the necessary steps to organise this election in a transparent manner.”

He said “we are confident that the measures taken by the EC are the right ones”.

Mr. Sebregondi called for political tolerance among the political parties and their supporters and urged the EC to always communicate its decisions to the parties to enhance the conduct of the election.

Mr Francis Hurtut, the French Ambassador who was present at the short ceremony said Ghana is a country that needs the support and encouragement from every other country especially the EU to succeed, saying “the election observation is to the honour of the country.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NDC will not disturb the stability of nation

Prof. JEA Mills is the Prsidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday October 29, 2008
THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it left behind what it calls “a stable and peaceful nation” to the New Patriotic Party in 2001 and would not do anything to disturbs the stability of the country.

“The NDC presided over one of the most seamless and smoothest transfer of power from one party to another on African continent – a phenomenon clearly unknown to countries like Nigeria and Togo that have been the main sources of inspiration to the NPP in the sub region”, Fiifi Kwetey, the NDC propaganda Secretary said at a news conference in Accra yesterday.

Reacting to an earlier news conference by the ruling NPP that the NDC intends o introduce violence and force for power-sharing in the December election, Mr Kwetey said “the NDC had always demonstrated “incredible maturity” and restrained itself winner of the 2004 election”.

“Is it not ironic that the NPP, which nearly plunged our nation in chaos through that reckless and illegal act, is rather pointing fingers at the NDC, a party that considered the supreme interest of our nation and wisely held back from unleashing its millions of supporters onto the streets of Ghana?’, he asked.

He said the NDC is the only party that “acceded to virtually every electoral demand of the opposition especially after the 1992 election” adding “under the NPP, they have treated the views of opposition parties with contempt”.

Touching on violence, Mr Kwetey said “the NPP’s attempt to label the NDC as a violent party is a typical case of the black pot calling the kettle black”, adding ‘the most violent political grouping in the history of our country was and continues to be the NPP family”.

“Which political party in the current electioneering campaign has been engulfed in violence right from presidential primary through to the parliamentary primaries and beyond? The obvious answer is the NPP”.

He alleged that it was the NPP which pushed for a position that essentially amounted to power sharing after the 1992 election and could not turn around to accuse the NDC of pushing for power-sharing.

He appealed to the security agencies to be impartial during the period of election saying “the NDC urges members of the security agencies to remember that their foremost duty is to defend the state and people of Ghana”.

Mr Kwetey said the NDC will continue to focus on critical issues that are impeding the country’s development and dorm the new government to address them.

Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, NDC Deputy General Secretary in charge of operations during questions and answers said the inability of police deal effectively with culprits of political violence makes some people feel they are above the law.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Agbogbloshie violence...NPP, NDC play blame game

The flag of Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday, 25 October 2008
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), has called on the security agencies to act “more forcefully” to prevent outbreak of violence at political events in the run-up to the December general election.

At a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Accra yesterday, Jake Okanta Obetsebi-Lamptey, campaign manager of the NPP, condemned the political violence that erupted at Agbogbloshie (Old Fadama) in Accra on Wednesday when the party’s flag-bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, campaigned in the area.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said, “There was a clash between NPP supporters who were there for a scheduled event and NDC members who had no business in the area at the time.

“What were the NDC members doing there when they did not have any scheduled programme there at the time?” he asked, adding, “It is clear that the NDC members were there with the sole aim of disrupting the NPP event.”

He said Nana Akufo-Addo had on several occasions demonstrated his commitment towards ensuring a peaceful election and his directive on Wednesday October 16, that all NPP supporters should vacate the premises of the Electoral Commission before the arrival of the NDC flag-bearer to file his nomination was a testimony of his commitment.

“That action by our candidate was a hallmark of leadership, and we expect all political leaders to act in a similar manner to minimise the political tension.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said what happened at Agbogboshie was not an isolated incident, but rather a “grand scheme hatched at the beginning of the year by the NDC leadership to disrupt this year’s election.”

He said: “They began by repeatedly invoking Kenya and Zimbabwe and stating fervently and longingly, that we are heading for a repeat of the experiences of those countries” adding “they have repeatedly accused the EC of being in cahoots with the NPP to rig the election without a shred of evidence.”

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey alleged that the NDC sent a delegation to Kenya to learn what he called “the art of how to force power-sharing after an election.”

He said that on the diplomatic front, the NDC had “recklessly spread the false news that this election is too close to call, and that if the NPP wins, there will be violence.”

Mr. Obestebi-Lamptey said it was the NPP’s position that anybody involved in political violence should be arrested and dealt with according to the laws of the land.

He said “The tendency to blame both the NPP and the NDC when one of them is clearly at fault encourages extremism on both sides,” adding, “we must call things by their proper names.”

Mr. Peter Mac Manu, NPP National Chairman, who supported Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, said it had always been the wish of the NPP to dialogue with the security agencies to formulate an action plan for peace but their opponents had not been able to join them in this quest.
“Signs of violence threaten our democracy and we must come together to flush out those who are formenting the violence” he said.

But in a sharp rebuttal, Mr. Seth Ofori, NDC’s Deputy Director of Communications, told the Times in a telephone interview that the NPP’s position on the Agbogboshie violence was completely false.

We did not organise any counter political event in the area at that particular time, but I can confirm that our supporters got attacked first.”

He said “the NPP supporters were around doing their kangaroo dance and our supporters who are traders in the area gestured yeresesamu,” and in the ensuring confusion they attacked us.

“We do not want to do anything to undermine the electoral process.
It is rather the NPP who are conducting violence and turn around to blame us he stated.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mac Manu: Don't mind NDC...why lie if they aren't so desperate?

Mr Peter Mac Manu is the Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday October 23, 2008
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of engaging in what it calls “dirty propaganda to deceive the electorate to vote for them”

“In the last week, the NDC campaign of lies has reached new height. It appears that lies are the only weapons left for them. They are throwing mud at everybody and hoping that Ghanaians will believe something,” Peter Mac Manu, NPP National Chairman said yesterday.

Speaking at a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Accra to react to what it calls “NDC campaign of lies”, Mr. Mac Manu said “Ghanaians want a campaign that will address the important issues in their lives rather than insults and lies about opponents”.

He said currently there is a document in circulation by the NDC purporting to be minutes of an NPP meeting during which the ruling party laid out the details of how they (NPP) plan to rig the December poll in collaboration with the Electoral Commission.

“This document that the NDC is circulating has never been produced by the NPP. This allegation forms part of the NDC plan to discredit the EC and the country’s democratic process”.

“The NDC is doing this ahead of the election so that when they lose and the NPP wins, they can use that as a basis to contest the result on the streets but the plan will fail”.

Mr. Mac Manu said “the NPP does not need to rig elections to win. While in opposition, despite being outspent, intimidated and having an Electoral Commission whose membership had been determined by the NDC government, we won the 2000 election”.

He also said the NDC had been circulating a tract purporting to be a list of bank accounts of prominent NPP members at Prudential Bank and dismissed it as having “no basis in fact” and as “pure fabrication”.

“I am asking the Bank of Ghana and the Prudential Bank to formally investigate and expose the NDC lies for what they are.”

Mr. Mac Manu further dismissed rumors that some NPP members are going about purchasing voter registration cards saying “ when leaders of a national party like the NDC make it a deliberate policy to spread lies about others without regard for facts, they do our country great harm”.

He said the pro- NDC media allegation that President Kufuor owes some Kuwaitis billions of dollars “is so scandalous that the normally serene and forgiving President is threatening to go to court for redress if those allegations are not with drawn within tow weeks and the NPP fully support President Kufuor on this issue”

He also said the President Kufuor’s statement at a recent rally at Madina, Accra where he sought to find out who was leading the NDC campaign was taken out of contest by the NDC saying “the President made a harmless statement but because the NDC is desperate they are imputing all sorts of meanings to it”

On Nana Akufo- Addo’s news conference on Monday to analyze the global financial crisis, Mr. Mac Manu said “the NDC’s reaction to that news conference does not serve our country well. They are just crying wolf”.

Our Presidential candidate has stood up to be counted even when it was dangerous to do so. He has never posed as a President. He came to address issues of serious concern and that for me is an exhibition of his leadership qualities”.

He said the time has come for Ex-President Rawlings to render an unqualified apology to the people of the Central Region for allegedly suggesting that the NPP won the 2004 election in the region because President Kufuor bribed the people there”.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Akufo-Addo analyses global financial crisis...promises to position Ghana to withstand the shocks

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the Presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic |Party in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday October 21, 2008
THE Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has spoken extensively on the current global economic downturn or financial crisis and promised that the next NPP government would put in place appropriate strategies to withstand the shocks.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra yesterday. Nana Akufo-Addo said “although a series of positive, thoughtful interventions by the NPP government has helped us weather the storm here in Ghana better than most other African countries, there can be no doubt that these external problems may well put some damper on our outstanding achievements.”

Flanked by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia his running mate and other leading member of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo said “the upsurge of this new and more ferocious crisis at a time when we are managing to cope with effects of the food and fuel price increases must given real cause for concern.”

He said for instance that remittances from Ghanaians living abroad especially in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and other developed economies to their families back home in Ghana are likely to be affected due to the financial crisis that has hit those countries, citing Mexico as a country that had already started experiencing drops in its remittances from the US.

The NPP candidate explained “The treats to jobs and housing in the US, UK, Germany among others arising from the crisis is bound to hit at our compatriots leading to a probable decline in their remittances.”

“Moreover, given the evidence of history that commodity prices decline in periods of economic downturn in the developed world, there must be a real danger of decline in the prices of commodities that are critical to Ghana’s survival.”

Nana Akufo-Addo said “the challenges in the developed world today present us with an opportunity to ensure that our fledging mortgage and credit regime in general takes lessons from the recklessness of the global mortgate market.

He said “we should thus be determined by build here in Ghana the kind of responsible credit culture that can also secure our necessary push for the third world to the first.”

Speaking on the performance of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), the NPP candidate said “in the national interest, the achievements of the exchange and its potential should be widely publicised for those investors abroad who may be seeking alternative destinations for their investment funds.”

He said he had already made arrangements to bring together an expert panel to maintain liaison with the GSE, financial services and other institutions representing the business community, to monitor the emerging challenges.

He said the experts would also review wide range of policies and fashions out an appropriate input in the inevitable dialogue on the world economic system in the aftermath of the crisis.

The country needs reassurance of a proactive leadership in these critical times. We cannot sit down and wait to be overwhelmed by problems. We need to be proactive in anticipating and responding, appropriately and in due time to challenges as they loom on the horizon.”

Prof. Mills can lead Ghana better - Fiifi Kwetey

Prof John Evans Atta Mills is the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, the leading opposition party in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday October 21 2008
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says its Presidential Candidate Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and the party “have the pedigree to provide the critical infrastructural needs to boost the socio-economic development of the country better than the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP)”.
They also contended that the NDC is the only party that has “a proven track record to lead Ghana in the right direction”.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday to throw more light on the party’s manifesto, Fiifi Kwetey, NDC propaganda secretary said “ We would prove to Ghanaians that the fight against corruption, cocaine and its attendant crime boom can best be dealt with by the Prof. Mills-led NDC rather than a Nana Akufo- Addo-led government”.
He said “Our promises are credible because we have as candidate, a man who is a shining icon of incorruptibility, honor and sincerity”.
Mr. Kwetey said unlike the NPP, the NDC will deliver its promises saying “we have over the years shown that we do not speak much but deliver a lot”.
In the area of education, he said the NDC’s record was very impressive even though they worked with serious resources constraints.
“Conversely, in spite of the huge resources that have flown into the hands of the NPP, they have shown mediocre in their performance-they have scored several Zeros and been abysmal in their overall performance”, he elaborated.
He said the NPP has resorted to two what he calls “Plain deception and are without any shame lying that the insignificant 25 pesewas a month capitation grant has made education at the basic level free”.
“They are misleading Ghanaians that they are feeding and transporting freely large numbers of school children” he added.
“To add insult to injury, this government that has performed so abysmally is now making fun of Ghanaians by promising free education at the secondary level, when they have not even scratched the surface at the basic level”.
Touching on health, Mr. Kwetey said “Prof. Mills and the NDC successfully piloted the National Health Insurance Scheme much against the vehement opposition mounted by the NPP at the time”.
“In our 2000 manifesto, while the NPP was still staunchly opposed to the NHIS, we had clearly stated how the health insurance would be a major strategy for mobilizing additional resources and for ensuring financial asses”, he disclosed.
On energy, Mr. Kwetey said “the crises which hit the country last year helped the people to realise the incompetence and lack of fore-sight of the NPP”.
He claimed the ruling party has to wait seven years for the crises to hit the people before realizing the need to start taking steps to address the critical energy needs of the people. Adding “even as we speak, we can not say emphatically that the power crises is over”.
He said the NDC under the leadership of Prof. Mills “is ready to form the next government and stop the moving forward of economic suffering.

DFP launches manifesto, introduces running mate...promises to turn thrash to cash

Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi is the Democratic Freedom Party's presidential candidate for the December election in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Monday October 20, 2008
The Democratic Freedom Party yesterday launched its manifesto with a promise to use what it calls “zero waste” to solve the sanitation issues of the country.
“We would introduce a system called ‘thrash to cash’ and do not be surprise when your neighbour steals your rubbish under a DFP administration because it will be as good as money,” Emmanuel Amah-Antwi, DFP presidential candidate said.
They also used the occasion to formally introduce Patience Ami Ameku, a former District Chief Executive for Kadjebi (1988-1993) as the running mate of the party’s flag-bearer Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi for the December poll.
At the launch of the manifesto at the DFP headquarters at North-Kaneshie in Accra, Mr Ansah-Antwi said “this is our time to make a significant difference in the lives of our people as we cannot continue to defer the developmental challenges and needs of the people to the next generation”.
“We need to turn the page on the policies and programmes of the past and bring fresh ideas to give new direction to the country we all loved.”
He said “in the area of agriculture we have indicated clearly and practically, how we can increase production, leading to an increase in the income of farmers and ultimately leading to an improvement in their welfare and living conditions”.
Mr Ansah-Antwi said elsewhere, other countries prioritized agriculture to develop their economies saying “we can do it here, provided we adopt the right policies”.
“We believe the phenomenal increase in cocoa production has largely been due to subsidies and support, provided to that sector in a variety of ways including the application of fertilizers and other chemicals.
“The DFP will use the ‘Green Revolution’ to develop the rural areas and the cascading effect of this strategy is its developmental linkages to urban planning and development and the overall development of the country.”
He promised the DFP’s resolve to pursue information communication Technology by establishing what he called a national data-base to ensure an accelerated and integrated approach to governance.
Introducing Mrs Ameku as his running mate, the DFP Presidential Candidate said “the DFP believes that women have a role to play in the development of the country. We have to support them to get to the national front”.
“The problems of the country persist because we have excluded the women in our political discourse.”
In her acceptance speech, the DFP running mate said “the DFP is part of the crusade to place women at higher levels”.
She said the DFP has demonstrated that it knows the concerns and aspirations of the people saying “we have a genuine vision to help solve most of the problems of the country.
Dr Obed Yao Asamoah, the life Patron of the DFP said the party is in the race to change the culture of politics by deepening good governance.
He said a DFP administration would promote political tolerance and strengthen institutions to fight corsuption.
He said the party which is well organised is going to emerge victorious in the December poll saying “organisation would determine everything and not noise making as we are witnessing in nowadays”.
He urged the parliamentary aspirants of the DFP to explain the party’s manifesto to the electorate saying “Go to the grassroots and canvass them”.
Bede Ziedeng, General Secretary of the party who explained how the DFP intends to bridge the developmental gap between the northern and southern part of the country said “we will empower farmers up north in the same way that the counterparts down south have received from cocoa production.

Nduom enters the NDC World Bank

Dr Nduom is the Presidential candidate of the Convention People's Party (CPP) in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Monday October 20, 2008
THE flag-bearer of the Convention People’s Party (NPP) Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom is to embark on a campaign tour of the Volta Region to sell his message to the electorate.
“This is the fourth time since January that I am touring the region to sell the CPP’s message of “change you can feel in your pocket to the people there”, Dr said in an interview with the Times shortly after filing his nomination at the Electoral Commission in Accra on Thursday.
He said he will campaign at Keta, Anlo, Ketu North and Avenor constituencies and added “ I am determined to lead the CPP to break the hold the NDC has on the region since 1992”.
Dr Nduom said “if the Volta Region is a bank and it gives out loans to one particular group of customers and they do not return the funds or pay interest, the bank needs to find new, paying customers or risk going bankrupt”.
He said “the CPP will ask the people to make the party the new customer for the Volta Region voters Bank”.
He said he was optimistic the CPP will make inroads and win some seats in the December poll.
“We will continue to stress that job creation is the main issue facing the region and Edwumawura is in a position to help solve such issues”.
He also said the CPP is promising to establish a first class university the region and upgrade the Ho Polytechnic to become a high grade institute of technology.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nominations Begin

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday, 16 October 2008
The filing of nomination by aspiring Presidential candidates to contest the December 7 general election commences today.
Seven political parties and three independent aspirants had reportedly picked nomination forms to contest the poll by press time yesterday.
The parties are the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD), the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and the Convention People’s party (CPP).
The others are the New Vision Party (NVP), National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
The independent aspirants include Kwasi Amoafo-Yeboah, Alex Hamah and Richard Nixon Tetteh.
The NPP, NDC and the CPP have all confirmed that they will be filing their nominations by close of today.
Christian Owusu-Parry, the Public Relations Officer of the Electoral Commission (EC) told the Times that all was set for the aspirants “to come and file their nomination”.
Contrary to speculations that Mr. Dan Lartey of the GCPP may not be allowed to contest because the EC had not recognised the party’s national executives, Mr Owusu-Parry said the veteran politician had picked his form and did not have problem with him.
He explained that there is a difference between how flag-bearers and national executives are selected.
“In the case of the GCPP, we have made it clear that we do not recognise the executive.”
Mr. Lartey told the Times on telephone yesterday that he would file his nomination by Friday and make public his running mate.
“If you want to know who my running mate will be then come to the premises of the EC on Friday to know more.
“I do not make public my running mate because the media wants me to do so. The GCPP is working according

Monday, October 13, 2008

PNC bemoans lack of youth dev't

Dr Edward Mahama is the Presidential candidate of the People's National Convention in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday October 9, 2008
THE People’s National Convention (PNC) has bemoaned the rate at which some political parties and leaders are taking advantage over what it calls “the vulnerability of the youth to exploit them”.

“It is rumoured that some political parties are buying arms for their trouble from which they stand to benefit. As to how true this is, I cannot say with certainty but nonetheless, it exposes the extent to which our youth have been reduced to objects of destruction when indeed, they should be the agents of development”.

Atik Mohammed, Youth Coordinator of the PNC Campaign said this at a news conference in Accra yesterday./

The news conference was aimed at soliciting the support of the youth particularly students for the PNC campaign led by its flag-bearer Dr Edward N. Mahama.

Mr Mohammed said “there is no denying fact that, in many of the conflicts with political overtones, it is always the youth who are used to forment the troubles and consequently are those who suffer more the brunt of these conflicts”.

He said currently, students throughout the country, face various problems which sometimes offended smooth studies saying “paramount among these is the fact that increasingly, education in our tertiary institutions which ought to be a right is gravitating towards becoming a privilege”.

Mr Mohammed further said that the National Youth Employment Programme introduced by the ruling New Patriotic Party government “cannot answer in definite terms the unemployment challenge in the country”.

He said the NYEP lacks what he called “the basics of a proper job namely: security of job, structured salary scheme and the jobs do not in any way contribute to increased productivity”.

“This programme could best be described as a desperate measure to respond to the growing cry over youth unemployment in the country by the NPP”.

He further bemoaned graduate unemployment saying “students who move often than less are refereed to us the future leaders of this country, suffer some humiliating challenges in their bid to make a living”.

The PNC youth coordinator said when they form the next government, the PNC will introduce a comprehensive guideline as reflected in their manifesto to ensure the accelerated development of the youth.

On the ‘Nkrumahism’, the ideologies of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s First President, the PNC youth coordinator said “Dr Mahama is the only presidential candidate who posses the qualities of the Osagyefo”.

He said “I can tell you with authority that Dr Mahama is only true Nkrumahist in this year’s Presidential contest”.

He urged the electorate support the PNC for a resounding victory in the December poll saying “from CPP under Osagyefo to PNP and PNC under Dr Hilla Limann and to Dr Mahama, at no point did we offend the peace and tranquility of this our beloved country”.

Sekou is ignorant ... you can't equate Rawlings with Dr Nkrumah - Dr Nduom

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday October 8, 2008
DR Paa Kwesi Nduom, flag-bearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has reacted angrily to claims by Sekou Nkrumah, son of Ghana’s first President that the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Ex-President J.J. Rawlings shares similar ideology.

Sekou on Sunday was quoted as saying that “the ideology of Ex-President Rawlings, founder of the National Democratic Congress is similar to that of what my father stood for: that is justice, transparency and fairness”.

He justified the 1979 coup and also said the vision of the NDC is like that of his father’s CPP adding that he was of strong conviction that in the nearby future the NDC and CPP would merge because their ideology were the same.

Reacting in a telephone interview from the Ashanti Region where he is currently on a campaign tour, Dr Nduom said “there is only one CPP and no amount of trying to dignify the unjustifiable can make CPP and NDC one”.

“This is not possible. You cannot by any stretch of imagination equate the CPP with the NDC or Dr Nkrumah with Ex-President Rawlings”.

Dr Nduom said “I find it unfortunate that Sekou will try to do what he cannot do. If he has decided to join the NDC let him just stay there and extol the virtues of the NDC”.

He continued: “Sekou must not attempt or try to bring the CPP and NDC together because it is not something within his scope of opportunity”.

The CPP flag-bearer said “I do not have any quarrel with Sekou joining the NDC. That is his democratic right but he cannot say what he does not know”.

He further said “ he should not try to confuse himself in trying to suggest that the CPP and NDC are walking along the same path”.

Asked why it was not possible for the CPP and the NDC to come together, “Dr Nduom said “those who are coup makers cannot be glorified in Ghana. It is because of the instability they brought that is why we are still suffering as a country”.

He said “the CPP is different from the NDC and our ideologies are incompatible. The CPP came to build but the NDC came to sell every things we toiled to build”.

“Sekou should leave the CPP alone but if he decides to join us like his sister Samia did, that will be his choice.”

He commended Samia Nkrumah for exhibiting political maturity saying “she has not said anything against her brother as her brother has chosen to do”.

Sekou is ignorant ... you can't equate Rawlings with Dr Nkrumah - Dr Nduom

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday October 8, 2008
DR Paa Kwesi Nduom, flag-bearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has reacted angrily to claims by Sekou Nkrumah, son of Ghana’s first President that the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Ex-President J.J. Rawlings shares similar ideology.

Sekou on Sunday was quoted as saying that “the ideology of Ex-President Rawlings, founder of the National Democratic Congress is similar to that of what my father stood for: that is justice, transparency and fairness”.

He justified the 1979 coup and also said the vision of the NDC is like that of his father’s CPP adding that he was of strong conviction that in the nearby future the NDC and CPP would merge because their ideology were the same.

Reacting in a telephone interview from the Ashanti Region where he is currently on a campaign tour, Dr Nduom said “there is only one CPP and no amount of trying to dignify the unjustifiable can make CPP and NDC one”.

“This is not possible. You cannot by any stretch of imagination equate the CPP with the NDC or Dr Nkrumah with Ex-President Rawlings”.

Dr Nduom said “I find it unfortunate that Sekou will try to do what he cannot do. If he has decided to join the NDC let him just stay there and extol the virtues of the NDC”.

He continued: “Sekou must not attempt or try to bring the CPP and NDC together because it is not something within his scope of opportunity”.

The CPP flag-bearer said “I do not have any quarrel with Sekou joining the NDC. That is his democratic right but he cannot say what he does not know”.

He further said “ he should not try to confuse himself in trying to suggest that the CPP and NDC are walking along the same path”.

Asked why it was not possible for the CPP and the NDC to come together, “Dr Nduom said “those who are coup makers cannot be glorified in Ghana. It is because of the instability they brought that is why we are still suffering as a country”.

He said “the CPP is different from the NDC and our ideologies are incompatible. The CPP came to build but the NDC came to sell every things we toiled to build”.

“Sekou should leave the CPP alone but if he decides to join us like his sister Samia did, that will be his choice.”

He commended Samia Nkrumah for exhibiting political maturity saying “she has not said anything against her brother as her brother has chosen to do”.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

NDC outdoors manifesto

By William Yaw Owusu

Monday October 6, 2008
THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday launched its manifesto for the December elections with a promise to reform key institutions for accelerated growth.

Before an enthusiastic large crowd who thronged the Round Pavillion of the Ghana International Trade Fair Site at La, Accra, the manifesto which was based on four thematic areas was launched by the NDC’s Flag-bearer, Professor John Atta Mills.

A early as 7 am thousands of supporters clad in Party colours and other paraphernalia, thronged the venue for the event amid jubilation, singing dancing and chanting of party slogans.

People also took advantage of the situation to do brisk business by selling the party’s paraphernalia outside the venue.

The event got underway at about 10”30 am with exciting poetry recitals, singing of local hymns, as well as traditional` drumming and dancing.

Leaders of the party took turns to address the enthusiastic crowd, but it was Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu who was once touted as Pro Mills’ running mate who electrified the already charged atmosphere when she took the microphone to speak on NDC’s agenda for ‘Good Governance’

Mr John Drmani Mahama, running mate to the flag-beaer, arrived at 11:03 am, then the Former President J.J. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings closely followed by the flag-bearer Professor John Evans Atta Mills at 11:14 am, all to a tumultuous welcome.

They all responded with the “Yerese-samu” sign (meaning “we are changing things”)

The manifesto titled a “A better Ghana”, four thematic areas – governance, improve the economy, invest in people, and infrastructure growth.

Launching it, Prof. Mills said the NDC’s manifesto reflects the wishes, hopes and aspirations of the people, saying “where ever we have been to, the people are yearning for real change”

He said, “Ghana is distressed. It is heading in a wrong direction. We are moving backwards, and we have no sense of direction,” he stressed.

“Currently, there is increase in social exclusion and the nation has lost its sense of morality, and cannot distinguish between right and wrong “, he said adding, “our country is on the verge of a multifaceted crisis”.

Prof Mills said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government had exhibited what he called “incompetence, parochialism and indulged in systemic corruption”.

He said “they harassed us and always wanted to paint us with criminality. Tsatsu Tsikata predicament is a testimony of the sort of harassment unleashed on us”.

Prof. Mills said “when the NDC forms the next government we will use people who are not vindictive but are God-fearing, and work with commitment to lead this country.

“We need a government that tells the truth at all times, worships humility and eschews arrogance, and the NDC has offered itself to do this for the people of Ghana”.

He said in the first 100 days in office, an NDC government led by himself “will effectively tackle profligacy and ostentation, rationalize ministries and ministerial appointments to reflect humility”.

The NDC flag-bearer also promised to review structures in institutions charged for protecting human rights and also tackle sanitation.

“We would want to be remembered as the government which was not vindictive and clamped down heavily on narcotic drugs trade. We will stand fearlessly for honesty”, he declared.

Prof. Mills commended ex-President Rawlings for his contribution towards the development of the country and the party, and praised the foot soldiers for “staying with us through thick and thin”.

Immediately Prof. Mills completed his speech and was retiring to his seat, the former President invited him back to the podium and said “that was one of the finest speeches we have heard. I acknowledge what a great man he is”.

Before Prof. Mills spoke, several other leaders had thrown light of the thematic areas in the manifesto.

John Mahama, who introduced Prof. Mills, said the NDC manifesto is “focused, achievable, realistic and people based”.

He said: “the NDC will unleash a major assault on poverty, set up a committee to monitor our campaign promises and make the committee’s reports public.”

Mr Mahama also said an NDC government would review the law that established the serious Fraud Office to make it an independent investigative body, as well as review the Assets Declaration Law.

Mrs Iddrisu, for her part, said among other things that next NDC administration would have the capacity to fight corruption and narcotics drugs trade.

Dr Kwabena Adjei, NDC Chairman, said “the NDC is going to make Ghana a safe and better place for the people”, adding “we enlist the support of the media for a legitimate change of government in the December election”.

Hannah Tetteh, Director of Communications of the NDC, said “this is a practical plan to achieve results within four years.”

Other speakers at the launch included Haruna Iddrisu, National Youth Organiser, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, running mate in the 2004 elections and Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader in Parliament.

There rest were Christine Amoako-Nuamah, a former Minister, Steve Akuffo, a former Deputy Minister, and Dr Opuni a member of the party.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Parties Oppose Nomination Fee

By William Yaw Owusu

Monday, 29 September 2008
Political parties in the country have protested against the nomination fees announced by the Electoral Commission for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in December.

The EC, in a statement issued yesterday and signed by Mr Albert Kofi Arhin, Director of Elections, fixed the nomination fee for the presidential candidates at GH¢5,000 and that for Parliamentary candidates at GH¢500. But the parties say "the figures are too high".

A joint petition from the parties titled "Increase in nomination fees" and sent to the EC, which was received by David Kanga, a Deputy Commissioner, asked the EC to consider the current inflation rate before fixing the fees.

Mr Thomas Nuako Ward-Brew, flag-bearer of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), who spoke on behalf of the other parties, said they are asking the EC to consider the current economic situation by using the 18 per cent inflation rate to fix the fees.

He said in 2004, the nomination fee for Presidential candidates was fixed at ¢20 million (GH¢2,000) while that for Parliamentary candidates was ¢500,000 (GH¢50).

This year, he added, "the EC has increased the whole thing ten fold".

He said; "The EC is not a revenue-generating body, neither is it a tax imposing agency.

"We think the current nomination fees are very astronomical".

Asked whether the EC was bound by law to inform political parties about fixing of nomination fees, Mr Ward-Brew said "we are the major stakeholders. In 2004, we, together with the EC, discussed the fees at the Inter- party Advisory Committee (IPAC) Meeting".

"This time around, the EC did not consult us and that is why we are asking them to reconsider their decision.

"We all wish to see a free, fair, transparent, credible and successful election and the EC should not make things difficult for us."

The parties which were signatory to the petition included the DPP, NDC, PNC, NPP, CPP, URP, GCPP and Egle Party.

Dr Kwabena Agyei represented the NDC, Emmanuel Wilson, the PNC, Antwi Agyei, NPP and Kwabena Domfeh, the CPP.

The rest were Kofi Wayo for the URP, Dan Lartey for the GCPP and Alhassan Benneh for the Egle Party.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CPP's new campaign strategy

By William Yaw Owusu

Wedneday September 24, 2008
THE Convention People’s Party (CPP) is to split its campaign into four groups to enable it work effectively towards ensuring a resounding victory in the December poll.

Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom flag-bearer of the CPP who disclosed this to the Times soon after outdooring Dr Abu Sakara, a scientist as his running mate on Sunday said he would lead the first group to embark on a nationwide tour.

He said the second group will be led by Dr Sakara with the CPP National Executives and his wife Yvonne, leading the two other groups in the campaign.

Dr Nduom said the enthusiastic support offered the CPP by the electorate at the outdooring of Dr Sakara was an indication that “the CPP is now a force to reckon with in Ghana’s current political dispensation.

He said “the CPP has been reborn and we are now one of the leading contenders of Election 2008.”

Dr Nduom said “everywhere we go the people are yearning for a genuine change and they know that the CPP is the only alternative in the forthcoming election”.

He said “Edwumawura and Yeresesamu” slogans are catching on with the electorate and we will surely form the next government to bring happiness to the people”.

He further said we have the track record and we are going to build upon it”.

Dr Nduom said the selection of Dr Sakara as his running mate indicated that the CPP has confidence in the development of the youth, adding “we are going into this election with a united front and we will make a very good impression

Nduom's Mate

By William Yaw Owusu

Monday September 22, 2008
For the Convention People’s Party (CPP), it was a dream crowd. Yesterday’s rally qualified to be called mammoth rally held at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra was to introduce Dr Abu Sakara, 50, an agricultural scientist, as Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom’s running mate for Election 2008. it was also to celebrate the 99th birthday of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, founder of the CPP and Ghana’s first president. The occasion also launched the party’s national campaign for the December poll.

As early as 8 am, party members and supporters from all over the country thronged the Obra Spot, venue of the event which had been decorated with CPP colours of red, white and green amid singing, dancing and chanting of the party’s slogans.

The event finally got under way at about 1:15 pm, with poetry recitals from two young boys who extolled the virtues and visions of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Party gums took turns to address the enthusiastic crowd, but it was Samia Nkrumah, daughther of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who electrified the atmosphere when she took the microphone.

The convoy of the presidential aspirant finally arrived at 2:22 pm with Dr Abu Sakara in the lead, closely followed by Dr Nduom who were all in different open-top vehicles.

As the two gestured the now popular ‘Yeresesamu’ sign of the party, literally means “we are changing things, the crowd went wild

The police had it tough controlling the crowd,

Dr Nduom lifted Dr Sakara’s right hand at exactly 3:54 and declared: “he is a running mate who is the best person there is”. He explained: “We are an agricultural country and Dr Sakara has the expertise to transform this sector.”

Dr Sakara, accepting the nomination, declared “the task ahead of us is an awesone challenge but we will do everything possible to ensure a resounding victory for the CPP in December”.

He saw his nomination as “a great honour for the youth and we should all move together to make the CPP form the next government for a prosperous nation”.

Dr Sakara warned other political parties not to underestimate the CPP, saying “we have the will to win this year’s election.

“The CPP has a plan for the task ahead. We are resilient. We are going to fight with ideas and this will bring the change that every Ghanaians is yearning for.”

Dr Sakara later released white doves into the sky to signify the CPP’s commitment to ensure a peaceful election in December.

Dr Nduom, before addressing the crowd, invited Bright Akwetey, DrW.K. Akufo nd Dr Kwaku Osafo, all defeated presidential aspirants in the party’s congress in December last year, to join him.

He told the crowd that the presence of his former contestants and the support that he enjoys from all of them were clear indications that the CPP had been reborn.

“In the past we contested an election with a divided front but things will be different in December 2008. We will go to the Flag-Staff House to work hard to ensure a prosperous Ghana”.

The flag-bearer promised that “when the CPP gets the mandate its government will, within 100 days, revive the meat factory in Zuarungu, near Bolgatanga, the Upper East Region.

He also promised a free compulsory and continuous education from the basic level to the senior high school level.

Dr Nduom further promised to sponsor a bill that will make the office of district chief executives an elective position.

He said the NDC and the NPP did what they could to develop the country but it was not enough. “It is time for the CPP to take over to bring real development,” he said.

He promised the establishment as well as the revival of industries and steps to ensure that farmers have a market for their produce. He will also add value to made-in-Ghana products.

Dr Nduom assured all civil and public servants of the CPP’s commitment to ensure that they were well motivated to help the development of the country, saying “we will make sure you get what you deserve”.

Ladi Nylander, chairman of the CPP, said the party was capable of leading Ghana into a prosperous nation, adding: “We have a proven track record and we will build on it”.

Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, General Secretary of the CPP, urged the electorate to vote wisely in the December poll saying “the CPP is here to create jobs as we did in the early days”.

Kosi Dede, the Publicity Chairman said the party was the most organised political group in the country. “We have our manifesto. The others have launched their campaign without their manifesto. How are they going to address the problems of the country?”

He asked the NDC to stop using the ‘Yeresesamu’ slogan which he said was brought by the CPP. He also asked the NPP to stop using the slogan “we are moving forward” since the CPP was the originator of that catch phrase.

Samia Nkrumah on her part said the CPP was back to make sure that the vision and teachings of her father were strengthened and the social needs of the people addressed.

Dr Vladamir Antwi Danso a leading member of the party, said “we hate the dichotomy of the NPP/NDC syndrome. CPP is the only party that was formed. All others were mushroomed”.

B.K. Senkyire, a member of the party said the NDC and the NPP had developed the country without considering the welfare of the people.

“There was a human face to the policies and programmes of Dr Nkrumah but the NDC and lately the NPP have made several unfulfilled promises.

The leadership of the party and the flag-bearer and his running mate later cut a cake to signify the 99th birthday of Dr Nkrumah.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Poll task force identified flash points

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday September 17, 2008
THE Greater Accra Regional Electoral Security Task Force says it has identified certain areas in the region where political activities in the run-up to the December general election may pose security threat.

“For security, reasons, I cannot mention the flash points but I can assure you that the security agencies are working hard to bring every situation under control and ensure that the election is held in a peaceful atmosphere,” said DCOP James Oppong-Boanuh, the Regional Police Commander and chairman of the task force at the second meeting of the task force in Accra yesterday.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the police, Military, Air Force, Navy, Prisons, Fire Service, Electoral Commission, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, Bureau of National Investigations, Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Information Services Department.

Representatives of the Immigration Service and the National Commission for Civic Education, which are also members of the task force were not present.

DCOP Oppong-Boanuh said the task force would interact regularly with the political parties in order to create a conducive atmosphere for the election.

“We are going to be transparent in our dealings with the political parties. We will be non-partisan and we urge all parties to collaborate with us to make the conduct of the election very successful.”

He said, “Every aspect of our work will go out to the parties and the public at large so that they will appreciate what we are doing to maintain law, order and peace in the election.”

“We will hasten investigations into election-related incidents and will not shield any body who flouts the rules and regulations.”

He urged the people particularly the political leaders and their sympathisers not to engage in what he called “fanning the flames” in the media and appealed to them to always help the police to investigate any matter brought up.

He said the region and the country at large have enough security personnel to handle any challenges in the course of the election adding, “providing security for the election does not only involve the police but also all other security agencies.”

DCOP Oppong-Boanuh however said that private security would not be part of the security arrangement for the election.

He urged the public to go about their daily activities without fear and to report people whose activities are likely to disturb the electoral process.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bawumia: Fee-free 2nd cycle education is do-able

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday September 13' 2008
DR Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate of the New Patriotic Party has promised that free education at the senior high school will be implemented in no time when the NPP is retained in office in the December election.

“The free education initiative is so dear to the heart of Nana Akufo-Addo, our flag-bearer who has promised to implement it as quickly as possible”.

Dr Bawumia who until recently was a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana said this in an interview on Monday when he paid a familiarisation visit to the office of the New Times Corporation in Accra to acquaint himself with activities of the corporation.

Dr Bawumia said investing in education is the most prudent way of positioning the country for an accelerated growth and development saying “we should not undermine the effort to promote quality and affordable education in this country.”

He said the next NPP administration will work hard to find the needed funds to support the free education initiative and added “When the NPP came into office in 2001, it did not need oil revenue to implement the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education.”

Dr Bawumia said apart from education, the next NPP administration will pay more attention on the National Health Insurance Scheme, transportation agriculture, particularly cocoa production and more importantly further stabilization of the country’s economy.

He also said the NPP will form close partnership with the industrial sector to create more employment avenues for the people.

“The issue of unemployment should not be interest to everybody and the NPP sees it as a major challenge which needs to be tackled head on and bring happiness to our people”.

Dr Bawumia further said “the NPP campaign will continue to raise issues I have enumerated above with the hope helping to solve them when hopefully we retain power”.

“We want to stay focused on our campaign messages. I believe in the NPP’s vision that is why I am offering myself to serve my nation even better”.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bawumia advises electorate: Don't entertain vicious politicians

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who until recently was a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana has been selected as the running mate of ruling New Patriotic Party candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the December general election in Ghana.

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday September 9, 2008.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) running mate for the December election, says the time has come for the electorate to ignore what he called “politicians who are bent on hiding behind the election to distabilise the country”.

“The country is on the verge of an economic breakthrough, so we should not allow these few politicians to disrupt the peace and programmes towards the creation of a better Ghana for us all,” he advised.

Dr Bawumia, who until recently a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana said this when he paid a familiarisation visit to the offices of the New Times Corporation in Accra yesterday.

The NPP running mate, who was accompanied by John Boadu, NPP national youth organiser, and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, is currently visiting the various media houses to acquaint himself with their work.

Dr Bawumia said: “this year’s election is about the determination of our future as a people. We are going to decide whether we should move forward or go backwards.

“We should know that the country’s future is at stake in this election and the NPP is committed to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process to further consolidate our democracy.”

He said the NPP administration had been able to put in place sound economic policies and programmes which were capable of withstanding external shocks, adding “it is very clear that we have delivered a major transformation of the economy”.

He said “in the past, all the indicators pointed to a downturn. We were using about 22 per cent of our export revenue to pay interests on debts. But now, our economy is described as on the frontier of an emerging economy”.

Dr Bawumia said the government had built a solid foundation and the economy was not dependent on the International Monetary Fund.

“In the midst of the turbulence, we have been able to demonstrate economic competence and the NPP deserves to be retained in office to continue the economic progress,” he urged.

On the railway sector, Dr Bawumia described the revamping of the sector as a priority of the next NPP government, and added “if we are going to industrialise, then this sector should play a vital role”.

He said the pledge by the flag-bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo to make education at the senior high school level free of charge was real, explaining “if President Kufuor under severe constraints was able to make education at the basic level free, then why not Nana Akufo-Addo when the economy is showing signs of progress”.

He said “under Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration, the NPP will approach development with a sense of urgency and ensure equity in the distribution national resources”.

On how well he is doing on the political terrain, Dr Bawumia said: “I have been well received everywhere I go, and this tremendous support encourages me that there is hope for this country”.

He said “if people think my entry into politics is to tell lies, attack personalities and trade insults, then they will be disappointed. I have come on board to ensure a healthy political discourse and tackle the issues at hand”.

John Boadu, commenting, commended the media for helping to consolidate the country’s democracy and promised the electorate that the NPP would not let them down when elected.

Mr Kofi Asuman, Managing Director of the New Times Corporation, urged politicians to be mindful of utterances and acts that have the tendency to disrupt the peace of the country.

Mr Enimil Ashon, acting Editor of the Ghanaian Times, the flagship paper of the corporation, assured all political parties that the paper would continue to be fair and objective towards the development of the country.

Friday, September 05, 2008

NDUOM GOES FOR ROSARY...Praying for a miracle in Election '08

Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom is the Presidential hopeful of the Convention People's Party (CPP)for Ghana's Election 2008

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday September 4, 2008
DR Paa Kwesi Nduom, flag-bearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), says he has got himself a rosary that will help him work towards the miracle that people say he would need to win the December Presidential election.

“As a devout Catholic, I already have a rosary and pray over it everyday. I know that once the heavens help those who help themselves, I will continue to work very hard and the miracle will surely come on December 7.

Speaking in a telephone interview from Gomoa Mpota, where he is currently on a working visit, Dr Nduom said “at our congress on December 17, last year, where I was elected the flag-bearer, I promised to build a strong and independent CPP capable of winning an election and I am happy to say that we are getting there”.

He said “ I will make the CPP proud in December. I have been without stop to every corner of this country and the electorate are enthusiastic and excited about the CPP.

He said the CPP’s message of “ Change you can feel in your pocket” as well as the “Edwumawura” slogan is settling down well with the electorate adding “they have appreciated our effort and are now asking us not to let them down”.

Dr. Nduom said the party is now overwhelmed by the response of the electorate following the launch of its membership drive campaign and added “we are now finding it difficult keeping up this ever whelming demand administratively”.

Touching on unity in the CPP, Dr Nduom said “the electorate are now demanding an independent CPP capable of winning an election and the party executive is collaborating with me to ensure discipline for the task”.

He said if anyone wants to support any other party he or she is at liberty to do so.We do not want them to remain in the CPP and cause confusion”.

On the situation on Ellembelle Constituency, where the party executives are in a tussle with Freddie Blay the incumbent, MP over who should represent the area in the parliamentary election, Dr Nduom said “I have confidence in the new national executive and we should give them the chance to solve this problem”.

He said “the CPP must be commended for always giving everybody who flouts the party’s constitution the chance to explain himself or herself saying “I am confident the party will deal with any circumstance appropriately”.

On political intolerance and violence, the CPP flag-bearer said “the CPP will be the last party to do anything that will destroy the peace that we are currently enjoying”.

He said “the CPP is a party of peace we struggled and won independence for Ghana and suffered a lot. We will always do the right things to ensure that there is peace in the country.

“What is happening in the northern region, I am afraid, if we do not take steps to stop it, can spill over to the south as well”.

Dr Nduom said “if I were the flag-bearers of both NPP and the NDC, I would stop whatever I am doing and rush to the north to calm down the tension.”

“I am looking forward for the opportunity to go to the north to preach peace and political tolerance to the people.”

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

CPP launches manifesto for the disadled

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday September 2, 2008
THE Convention People’s Party (CPP) took its campaign for the December election to a new level when it launched a braille verson of its manifesto for the visually impaired yesterday.

A braille is a system of printing for blind people in which each letter is represented as a raised pattern which can be read by touching with the fingers.

In attendance at the launch in Accra yesterday were the leadership and members of the various associations of persons with disability as well as the leadership and some leading members of the CPP.

Launching it, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, flag-bearer of the CPP regretted that all political parties had failed to adequately address the needs of persons with disability.

He said “we are the only party to launch a real version of our manifesto in the Braille verson so that our brothers and sisters who are disadvantaged will know the plans that the CPP has for them.”

He said the party’s ten point agenda captioned “change you can fell in your pocket” has also been turned into a Braille form for them to make informed choices in the December poll.

“We want the electorate to know the difference between the CPP and all the other parties. We are all aware that it is only the CPP which is capable of offering a change that the people can believe in.”

Dr Nduom said the CPP’s manifesto which revolves around self determination, Pan Africanism and social justice has been accepted by the electorate and said “we will continue to campaign to win the election.

Yaw Ofori Debrahs president of the Ghana Association for the Blind said the CPP’s gesture is a demonstration of their commitment to people centred leadership that they are promising.”

Samuel K. Asare, president of the Ghana Association for the Deaf said “we are always left out in the electoral process but it is time for the politicians to put us in their plans.”

A representative of the Ghana society for the Physically Disabled said, “this initiative of the CPP shows that the party is committed to making us part of the electoral process.

Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, General Secretary of the CPP who himself is disabled in his welcome address said issues of persons with disability should be non partisan.

He said the CPP represents the poor and the vulnerable and will fight for them at any time.

I’ll focus on education - Nana Akufo-Addo

By William Yaw Owusu

Monday September 1, 2008
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag-bearer of New Patriotic Party (NPP) reiterated his commitment to prioritise education when elected as the next President.
"Education is the key to the development of this country. In developed countries like North Korea and Malaysia, illiteracy has been eliminated so education must be the priority of every government," he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo was addressing a well attended rally at Bukom in the Odododiodio Constituency of the Greater Accra Region on Friday.
The NPP campaign team had joined the chiefs and people of Ga to celebrate the annual Homowo, a festival for the Ga State.
The NPP flag-bearer who spoke in both Ga and English said the the time has come for every child in the country to get the chance to receive free and quality education to help in the elimination of illiteracy in the society.
Nana Akufo-Addo said through education, industrial development and creation of jobs would be achieved, adding that ‘we have to encourage and give our attention to the younger generation to make them very responsible in the future.’
"Most of the working class in Ghana are below 35 years, so we need a policy that would ensure a youthful and skilled human resource base," he said.
He mentioned some of the achivements of the NPP since it took over from the NDC in 2001 and urged the electorate to continue to support the NPP to retain office in the December poll to continue the development of the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated the NPP’s commitment towards ensuring a free, fair credible and peaceful election and called on other political parties to also show similar commitment.
"It would not be right to shed blood in the election. Ghana is seen as the beacon of hope for Africa and we should all do our best protect the peace that we are enjoying” he added.
He dismissed allegations that the ruling NPP is planning to rig Election 2008 and said ‘we will continue to campaign vigorously to get the electorate to vote for us.’
Sheikh I. C Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister said NPP won 11 out of the 13 seats in the Region in 2004 and would definitely win all the seats in Election 2008.
Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, Mayor of Accra said Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) would soon construct a modern boxing gymnasium in the area to develop the sport.
Mr Samuel Odoi-Sykes, former National Chairman of NPP said Nana Akufo-Addo is politically experienced than all the contesting flag-bearers for Election 2008.
Other party stalwarts including Peter Mac Manu and Laud Commey, National Chairman and National Orgeiser respectively took turns to preach the NPP’s achievement.
A giant billboard of Nana Akufo-Addo was unveiled at Bukom square to promote the party's campaign in the constituency whilst a minute silence was observed in memory of the late Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, for Speaker of Parliament and a leading member of NPP.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bawumia urges Muslims to support NPP

Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia is the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana and now the Vice Presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party in Ghana

From William Yaw Owusu, Takoradi

Wednesday August 20 2008
Dr Mahaumud Bawumia, the New Patriotic Party running-mate for the December general election has urged Muslim communities to embrace the policies of the NPP, and support the party to retain office to ensure a continuous accelerated development of the country.

He also urged them to always pursue peace, and avoid being abused by ‘selfish and unscrupulous’ politicians to foment needless trouble that could mar the December general elections,and undermine the nation's peace and stability.

Dr Bawumia was addressing the Muslim community at the Central Mosque in Takoradi on Friday after being introduced to them Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, NPP flag-bearer, ahead of the official outdooring which took place yesterday during the party's mammoth rally at the Takoradi Polytechnic Park on Sunday.

The introduction of Nana Akufo-Addo's running mate was greeted with wild jubilation from the heavily attended worshippers.

Dr Bawumia, a banker and economist , explained that the nation's economy is doing well, and said it was at the threshold of a ‘breakthrough’ adding ‘we should do well to keep the NPP in office because returning the opposition NDC would reverse the forward march’.

"Let's support the NPP to retain power to continue building the economy. We want to transform the economy to ensure equal access to quality health care and education. Come along with the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo and myself for the economic transformation and total development of the nation in freedom," he stated, amidst thunderous applause from the people.”

The gathering who could not hide their joy, as they sang songs of praise to express their happiness and appreciation to Nana Akufo-Addo for the selection of "one of them" as his running mate.

Ealier in the day, Dr Bawumia joined Nana Akufo-Addo to pay a courtesy call on Osabarima Nana Kweku Binnah III, Paramount Chief of the Shama Traditional Area when they made a stop-over in the town ahead of their entry into the twin city for their party's Annual Delegates' Conference.

The Omanhene appealed to politicians to be guided by civility and decorum in their campaign activities, and avoid confrontations with their political opponents to ensure peaceful and incident-free elections in December.

They also visited the leadership and members of the Takoradi branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union of the Trades Union Congress, to interact with them and to find out the problems and challenges confronting them in their work.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

GT Shares Sale Cash Expected This Week - President

By Samuel Amoako & William Yaw Owusu, Sekondi

Monday, 18 August 2008
PRESIDENT, J.A. Kufuor said on Saturday that 900 million dollars will be transferred into the economy this week, following the approval by Parliament of the sale of 70 per cent, Ghana Telecom shares to telecommunication giants, Vodafone.

He also announced that the integrated aluminium industry revolving around VALCO which was bought back by the government for 20 million dollars, is now attracting international offers of over 200 million dollars for partnership.

President Kufuor was speaking at the opening of the 16th Annual Delegates Conference of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) here on Saturday.

He said with the Eurobond that the government raised on the London Stock Exchange having been oversubscribed by more than three million dollars, "Ghana now walks tall on the international capital market".

He said plans are far advanced to modernise the road infrastructure by dualising all major highways, including the Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Aflao and Accra Elubu, adding, "When I say this, it is not an empty boast. We have already got the money".

On the railway sector, President Kufuor said "the workers know that the problem is not from the NPP government".

The government, he said is rather helping to revamp the sector after securing 90 million dollars from a consortium of mining companies, the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority and the Timber Board to enable them to raise the needed capital for the development of the sector.

He said there are also offers from China and the United Arab Emirates to assist the sector and appealed to the workers to exercise patience.

"Surely, we are achieving the middle income status by 2015 and by 2020, the sky will be our limit".

President Kufuor assured the nation that the NPP will lead Ghana’s forward march into prosperity considering the programmes it has initiated over the years.

Under his watch, he said, Ghana’s image is soaring and the nation is on the crest of very auspicious wave.

He said the party’s flag-bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, is certain to succeed him and take the country further.

He said it is important for Ghanaians not to forget that the NPP government inherited a tottering economy which has since been stabilised and consistent, adding, "The next government under our flag-bearer will accelerate growth.

He said the NPP has Ghana’s best candidate in Nana Akufo Addo whom he described as a competent person capable of helping to solve Ghana’s problems.

President Kufuor said the NPP’s ticket of Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamadu Bawunia, former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, as the running mate, is surely going to win the election to retain the NPP in office.

He said, "It is important for all of us to support the ticket firmly and work wholeheartedly and with commitment to secure the mandate of the electorate and have the party retained in office".

President Kufuor also waded into the argument as to whether or not the parties contesting the election should compare their track records, saying, "I support the view the people should be able to assess all the parties to be able to make informed choices".

"How do you attend a critical interview without your C.V. (Curriculum Vitae)?", he asked.

The President said the NPP will tell its success story to the electorate to seek their mandate.


By Samuel Amoako & William Yaw Owusu, Sekondi

Monday, 18 August 2008

DR Mahamudu Bawumia, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana was yesterday outdoored as the running mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party at a mammoth rally at Takoradi to climax the party’s national delegates conference.Image

It was an atmosphere of joy, jubilation, and excitement as Nana Akufo-Addo raised Dr Bamumia’s left hand and said "this young man is an achiever whom the party has selected to support me to present a solid ticket for the December poll".

At this juncture the crowd which was comparable to that of the outdooring of Nana Akufo-Addo at Kasoa on July 13th, responded with shout, "Nana-Bawumia, Go,go-high".

The NPP flag-bearer said Dr Bawumia has a concrete credentials in economic management adding, "the NPP has made a wise decision by selecting a Muslim running mate from the northern part of Ghana to support a Christian flag-bearer to accelerate the country’s development.

Speaking in both English and Twi, he said: "We are going to build on the solid foundation laid by President Kufuor and we invite everybody to be part of this".

The teeming mass of party supporters and sympathisers at the congress

Nana Akufo Addo said the NPP is the only political party with a credible programme for the development of the country and the vision outlined will be achieved under his presidency.

In his acceptance speech, Dr Bawumia said the December election is about the determination of the future of Ghanaians and urged the electorate not to be deceived.

He said President Kufuor has been able to stabilise the economy and "I will assist Nana Akufo Addo to continue with the good work of President Kufuor."

He said despite the continuous crude oil price hikes, the government has been able to withstand the pressure with sound economic policies, adding, "we have displayed economic competence".

Earlier when President Kufuor addressed the crowd he said, "I am happy and feel fulfilled that I have been able to achieve something for Ghana and Nana Akufo Addo and Dr Bawumia will continue from where I left off."

He said the NPP has an unfinished agenda and urged the electorate to vote for the NPP to enable it to complete the agenda.

He said, "the party has a destiny to fulfil by leading Ghanaians out of enslavement to true freedom and justice."

Touching on the Western Region, the President said the government has secured a $65 million to construct a warehouse with 100,000 tonnes capacity at Kejebil near Apowa in the Ahanta West District.

Other people who addressed the crowd included party stalwarts, Vice President Aliu Mahama, Interior Minister Kwame Addo Kufuor, Party Chairman Peter Mac Manu, General Secretary Nana Ohene Ntow, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Kennedy Agyepong, Joe Baidoe-Ansah, Kojo Balado ‘Manu, Mrs Gifty Kusi, Laud Commey, and Mrs Gladys Asmah.

As early as 10 a.m. people, clad in NPP colours thronged the Takoradi Polytechnic Park where the rally was to start at 3 p.m.

By 2 p.m. the place was filled to capacity with some enthusiastic supporters standing by the roadside to await the arrival of President Kufuor, Nana Akufo Addo, Alhaji Aliu Mahama , Dr Bawumia and other leading party functionaries.

At exactly 4.31 p.m. Nana Akufo Addo entered the rally grounds in an open-topped vehicle acknowledging cheers from the crowd. He was closely followed by President Kufuor who sat in his car waving to the crowd.

Ace actress, Grace Omaboe, popularly called ‘Maame Dokono’ electrified the already charged atmosphere when she compared President Kufuor to the biblical Moses and Nana Akufo Addo to Joshua who have come to liberate Ghanaians just as Moses and Joshua did to the Israelites.

Musical legends, Nana Kwame Ampadu and C.K. Mann sent the crowd in a frenzy with some of their old hits while hip-life artists such as Wutah, Praye, K.K.Fosu and Castro, also showed the stuff they are made of.

GCPP Not Satisfied With Outcome Of Voters Reg. Exercise

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday, 14 August 2008

The Great Consolidated Popular Party says it is not satisfied with the outcome of the just ended voters registration exercise.

"If you take a critical look at the conduct of the Electoral Commission in this exercise you could see that it was incompetent and inconsistent," Glover Owusu, Publicity Secretary of the GCPP told the Times in an interview yesterday.

He said "from day one, it was very clear that a lot of eligible voters were going to be disenfranchised and the EC did not take any steps to rectify these problems".

He said as a result of the mishap, the EC should have extended the exercise to more than a week and not the two days that it could grant.

"The GCPP visited a lot of registration centres and witnessed long queues but it was very clear that a lot of the people are not going to get registered."

He said "complaints by registration officers about shortages of registration materials and the frustrations encountered by the people to be registered summed up how the EC messed up the whole exercise."

Mr Owusu further accused both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress of compounding the EC’s problem in the exercise by causing confusion saying "the EC should have checked them".

"We are all preaching peace but looking at the two parties’ behaviour in the just ended exercise one does not need to tell the authorities to beef up our security for the main exercise in December."

He said many supporters who left the GCPP to join both the NDC and NPP are coming back to their fold saying "our flag-bearers’ popularity is soaring and we will make an impressive showing in December".

Asked whether the GCPP would be able to contest the December poll, following the EC’s declaration that it did not recognise the party’s national executives, Mr Owusu said "we are going to contest the election, our flag-bearer is filing his nomination in November."

He also accused the EC of an alleged sabotage of the efforts of Mr Dan Lartey the GCPP flag-bearer saying "in any event that we organise we send invitations to the EC and they do not honour the invitations".

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan is the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday, 07 August 2008
ALL ineligible people who have registered in the ongoing limited voters registration exercise will be prosecuted, says the Electoral Commission (EC).

"All those who abused the electoral process must be punished and the EC will not hesitate in calling for their prosecution after this exercise," Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the commission, said in Accra yesterday.

He was delivering the keynote address at an Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) forum under the theme: "Towards a peaceful and credible Election 2008".

The forum, the first in a series to be organised by IDEG, attracted participants from the various political parties, civil society organisations and youth groups, among others.

Dr Afari-Gyan said: "Those parents who are lying about the ages of their children and the politicians who are pushing minors to register should know that the commission will do a careful assessment of the exercise and call for immediate sanctions to be applied against all culprits."

He asked the public and all stakeholders, especially political parties, to help the EC to track down those involved in undermining the electoral process.

Under PNDC Law 284, a person found guilty of an election offence may be fined or imprisoned, or both. For some offences, a person may, in addition, be disqualified from voting in subsequent elections or from holding public office.

He said: "At every given moment there is an allegation of deliberate wrong-doing on the part of the EC whenever there is shortage of registration materials, but the fact is that those materials are meant for genuine and eligible voters."

Dr Afari-Gyan said the long queues being witnessed at the various registration centres are as a result of the lack of understanding that sections of the public have of the electoral system.

Long queues being witnessed at the various registration centres are as a result of the lack of understanding that sections of the public have of the electoral system.
"The majority of people who queue at the centres are those who have already registered but are there to replace their cards," he said.

He said for instance that in situations where an electoral officer was able to separate people who were at the centre to replace their cards from first time voters, it was clear that the queue for first time voters was very short.

"If we are encountering problems in the exercise we should all accept responsibility and not shift the blame to the doorstep of the EC because the EC alone cannot ensure a credible, free and fair election."

As to whether the exercise should be extended, Dr Afari-Gyan said the "political parties cannot go to the media to make that request. They should come to us so that together however, we can decide the next line of action.

"Currently, the EC does not have any problem with funds to support its operational budget. It is the developmental budget which we sometimes struggle to get from the government", he said.

Reacting to a concern as to whether the limited registration centres were not affecting the exercise, the EC chairman said, "we carefully assessed the 2,500 workstations before embarking on the registration and we made available about 1.2 million registration cards to be distributed in all the centres and if there are genuine voters we will see to them at the appropriate time."

He said to prevent the current situation of people queuing to register, the EC will work out plans in the near future to make it possible for people to register on a continuing basis saying, "we have to build our capacity to be able to do this."

He also touched on issue ranging from the roles of the commission, judiciary, political parties, media and the electorate are expected to play to ensure free , fair and credible elections.

Justice S.O. Lamptey, a retired Supreme Court judge, who chaired the function, said the time had come for all stakeholders including the political parties and the EC, to work together to ensure the enforcement Article 42 of the Constitution which deals with the representation of the people.

"At any given time the blame is put squarely on the EC even though the commission did not ask ineligible voters to participate on an electoral exercise."

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of IDEG, in introductory remarks, urged political parties and actors to guard against utterances that have the tendency to undermine the peace and stability of the country.

Let's ensure a peaceful poll - Adjei-Barwuah

By William Yaw Owusu

Dr Baafour Adjei-Barwuah, former Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan has asked political parties and political actors to guard against acts and utterances that have the tendency to bring chaos in the country during the December poll.

“Ghana has become some kind of a test case or benchmark for measuring the level of democracy practice in Africa. If we falter or fail to hold on to this landable achievement everybody would probably be forgetting about Africa,” he cautioned.

Dr Adjei-Barwuah was speaking to the Times in an interview in Accra on Thursday.

He said “the level of respect and expectation that the international community has for Ghana demands that we conduct this election devoid of acrimony so that we will not waste this opportunity” to further consolidate our democracy”.

He said this year’s general election would focus on which party has been able to move Ghana to an appreciable level of economic growth and development adding “the track record of all the parties would be carefully assessed by the electorate.

Dr Adjei-Barwuah who was one of the 17 presidential aspirants at the December 22, congress of the New Patriotic Party won by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the ruling NPP is confident of resounding victory saying ‘we want the results to be uncontestable”.

He said “the NPP is not going to be coast on the governments performance. We will rather intensify our campaign to get the people’s mandate with the hope of improving upon it.

Dr Adjei-Barwuah said “a good proportion of the electorate would accept t hat Nana Akufo-Addo among all the presidential candidates has what it takes to do things differently”.

He said the electorate now have confidence in the NPP led government due to the implementation of good programmes and projects.

“The opposition parties will accept that the NPP is not as abusive as they want the world to believe and I am sure t hat the discerning elect orate have now drawn between the lines”.

He said the NPP would seek the peoples mandate to consolidate the gains made under President Kufuor’s administration, saying “the December poll will determine whether we want to move forward or backwards as a nation.”