Friday, June 27, 2008

EC ready with replaced Voter Identity Cards

The management of Electoral Commission (EC) on Friday said it had almost completed processing replaced Voter Identity Cards for resident applicants and ready for collection at its Regional, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Offices.

However, it complained about non-resident applicants which the Commission is finding it extremely difficult to process because of inadequate information about their voter particulars.

Mr Isaac Owusu, Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Commission announced this at a meeting between management of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and leadership of registered political parties in Kumasi.

He explained that non-resident applicants with inadequate voter particulars could visit their offices for correction and collection as the exercise was on-going.

The meeting is the second in series for Regional Directors, Regional News Editors and Heads of Programmes about the comprehensive, transparent and equitable coverage of political parties campaigning for smooth Election 2008.

Representatives of seven political parties and the Commission attended the meeting.

They were, NDC, CPP, PNC, GCPP, RPD, DPP and DFP.

Mr Owusu said 56 team operators had so far been trained for the impending voter registration and exhibition exercise.

Alhaji Amadu Yirisah, Ashanti Regional Director of GBC, said as a state broadcaster, GBC was expected to provide equal and fair coverage to all registered political parties as required by the 1992 Constitution.

He reminded the leadership of the political parties on the need to inform the GBC about their intended programmes at least 48 hours before the event to enable the news team prepare for them.

Representatives of the political parties, expressed their appreciation to the management and staff of GBC, for explaining the process on coverage to them.

They were optimistic that the rules and regulations would be rigidly complied with to make the electoral field level for all political parties.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nana Akufo-Addo pledges to strengthen institutions for rule of law

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag bearer of New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Monday said the next NPP Government would strengthen the security services and Judiciary to enforce the rule of law for accelerated socio-economic development.

"Our Government will resource all security services, especially the Police and the Courts so that the individual and sanctity of contracts would be respected for accelerated development for Ghana to become a middle income country by 2015," he said.

Nana Akufo-Addo made the pledge during his campaign tour of northern part of the Volta Region at Kpassa.

He noted that with the strengthening of these two sectors, armed robbery and other security related challenges would be tackled professionally to protect national sovereignty, rights and freedoms of the citizenry.

Nana Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that Ghanaians would experience better lives under the NPP Government of 2009. He said Election 2008 should not be a "do and die" affair and was optimistic that all political parties and the Electoral Commission would work to ensure free and fair elections on December 7.

Nana Akufo-Addo urged the electorate in Nkwanta North Constituency to retain Mr Joseph Kwaku Nayan, the sole NPP Member of Parliament in the Volta region in the next Parliament.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Professor Atta Mills begins door-to-door campaign in Kumasi

 - Thousands of enthusiastic supporters of the NDC in the Suame Magazine and its surrounding communities in the Kumasi metropolis on Friday offered a tumultuous welcome to their Flag bearer, Professor John Evans Atta Mills and his running mate, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, when they visited the largest auto-mechanic industrial centre in West Africa. The supporters, clad in party T-shirts and other paraphernalia, also carried NDC placards and banners adorned with posters of the Flag bearer and the running mate amidst drumming and dancing. The visit to the Suame Magazine was to herald the three-day door-to-door campaign of Professor Atta Mills to Kumasi to galvanise support for the party towards the 2008 general elections.

Professor Atta Mills, who was accompanied by some leading members of the party, including the General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, National Organiser, among others, also visited the Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the GPRTU and was expected to also visit some markets in the metropolis to interact with the market women and sell his campaign message to the people. Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that, the decision to meet specific trade associations and unions in the metropolis was part of a strategy to get first hand information from them on the problems confronting their smooth operations and discuss with them initiatives to be taken by Professor Atta Mills to solve some of the problems when voted into office. He said the door-to-door campaign had proved to be an effective means to reach out to specific groups and individuals to interact and know their problems and discuss how they could be solved.

Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo said the development of Suame Magazine into a modern industrial hub was one of the priorities of Professor Atta Mills' government adding that, there was the need to develop the entrepreneurial skills of the artisans and tap their ingenuity for national development. He said looking at the enthusiasm from which the people in the metropolis welcomed the Flag bearer and the campaign team and the firm assurances from the people, NDC was convinced that it would break the myth that Ashanti Region was an NPP stronghold in the 2008 elections. Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo said the party was deepening its campaign efforts to ensure that each group of individuals or associations received the message of the party and vote for it in the elections.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Political parties have failed - Prof. Dumor

Professor Ernest Dumor, Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), on Thursday said political parties in Ghana and in Africa as a whole have failed their countries. He said "political parties in Africa, including those in Ghana have since independence failed to develop methodologies for recruiting qualified persons to occupy public offices, train leaders for the future and for uniting their countries much more the continent as a whole. "They have also failed to develop home-grown solutions for the economic problems of their countries."

Prof. Dumor made the remark at a symposium organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science (GAA), on the theme; Ensuring Democratic Participation in Africa.

Speaking on the topic - The role of political parties, Prof Dumor noted that since independence, not a single political party in Africa and Ghana for that matter have instituted a clear set of standards for training future leaders and for recruiting qualified persons to public office.

"The style of politics in post independence Africa has left African countries more polarised than they were prior to independence. "Politics in Africa discourages sober and rational debate and has instead led to more social barriers than bridges among peoples," he said

He noted that recruitment into public office has been more on the basis of political party affiliation, ethnic origin and family ties rather than on the basis of merit.

Prof. Dumor observed that instead of focusing on a clear program of training future leaders, political parties seem to be content with having youth and school-based wings, saying that it was not enough for political parties to have branches in universities, especially where those branches did not provide any leadership training.

"Political parties particularly those in Ghana have failed to instil the fundamental national values of freedom and justice in the public as they hardly make reference to those values in their campaigns and programs," he said.

He said in addition to the failures of political parties, was the evidence of a disconnection between what political parties propose to do in their manifestos and what the fundamental needs of the people really are.

"Research conducted at the University of Ghana between 1996 and 2008 shows that there are fundamental needs of the greater majority of the people that the political parties are not talking about much more addressing," he said.

Prof. Dumor said the disconnection between the real needs of the people and what the political parties propose to do, was a clear evidence of the impression that African economies were managed by from overseas.

"Africa's economic problems must be managed from within Africa itself and not from without. We must be home grown solutions to our economic problems and the political parties have failed to provide a clear vision and plan on how to solve our problems from within," he said.

Prof. Dumor urged Ghanaians to hold political parties vying for the office of government in the 2008 elections accountable to their campaign promises and also to their required role as instruments of reform and development.

He said political parties must be held accountable to the issues of uniting the country, providing effective leadership both now and for the future and providing home grown solutions to the countries economic problems.

Touching on the up coming elections, he noted that the current political system usually excluded minority groups in the country from decision making roles.

He explained that, for instance, the First Past the post system, had the tendency of denying youth and women groups from being represented at the decision making level. Prof. Dumor therefore urged political parties to take a second look at that system and ask questions about its adequacy with the view to ensuring a more inclusive system.

He said for Ghana and Africa for that matter to take advantage of the opportunities of the 21st century and fully benefit from them, political parties in Africa must avail themselves of Mr. Kofi Anan's call for larger freedom, towards development, security and human rights for all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tsatsu's sentence cannot dampen my spirit - Atta Mills

Prof. John Evans Atta Mills has made a dedication to jailed former Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), CEO, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, and said even though he was sad, the incident cannot dampen his spirit.

Prof. Atta Mills said this when he took his turn Wednesday evening to address the public on his plans for the country on June 18, 2008 at the Alisa Hotel where the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and Joy FM are organising the event which is currently going on. Joy FM and GTV are covering it live.

He said, "I dedicate this to my good friend Tsatsu Tsikata. And if any one thought that his sentence today will dampen my spirit, they will be disappointed."

Mr. Tsikata was today sentenced by an Accra Fast Track High Court to a five-year jail term for wilfully causing financial loss to the State.

Mr. Tsikata whose counsel was not in court, personally applied for bail, but the court refused him bail and advised him to instead, file an appeal against the verdict.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nduom blames Akosa, others

The Nduom for Presidential Campaign Team, has accused some of the contenders who lost the CPP flagbearership contest to Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, of undermining his efforts as leader of the Convention Peoples' Party to win the December poll.

"In recent times, members such as Lucy Ennin and E.A. Jantuah have publicly asked Dr Nduom to clear his name on the Serious Fraud Office report, but I can tell you that it is a case of selfish politicians who failed to win important positions in the party that are behind them," David Ampofo, spokesman for the campaign team, said in answer to questions raised at a news conference in Accra yesterday.

The campaign team was reacting to growing calls for Dr Nduom to go to court and purge himself of allegations levelled against him in the SFO report.

Mr Ampofo said he has information that, leading members such as Professor Agyemiin Badu Akosah, Mr Bright Akwetey, both presidential aspirants, who lost, and other former executives of the party, are behind the "shameless and dangerous game of dragging the name of Dr Nduom in the mud".

For instance, he said, when Ms Ennin held her news conference to call on the party to take up the matter, certain leading members were present, adding, "We call on the chairman of the party to enforce discipline within our organisation."

He said: "Dr Nduom does not owe anyone a duty to go to court for any reason. He has not committed any crime against the state. He who alleges must prove the allegation."

Mr Ampofo said "for whatever reason, a review of the State Enterprises Commission unfortunately turned into a review of Dr Nduom's activities and financial and investment interests in Ghana."

He said Parliament which has the powers of a High Court when presented with the report, felt satisfied with the evidence provided by Dr Nduom and subsequently cleared him to become a Minister of State.

"Dr Nduom has ample evidence of taxes paid on income earned by him over the years. We are satisfied that Dr Nduom has done what is humanely possible to take care of his obligations to the state."

A statement read earlier by Mr Felix Amoah, chairman of the Dr Nduom for President Campaign Team said: "We must make it clear that in this matter, our quarrel is not with the NDC, the NPP or the SFO. It is rather with the small number of people who are bent on destroying what many have worked hard to build - a new vibrant and credible CPP that is independent of the other political parties."

"This is not a case of seeking the truth, wanting Dr Ndwm to clear his name, or protecting the Great CPP.

'This is a case of selfish politicians who failed at congress to win important positions in the party."

The statement said Dr Nduom's detractors presented the same report to the National Executive Council at the congress and were told that they had no case, and congress went ahead to overwhelmingly endorse him as the flag bearer.

Mr Amoah said the credible message of "change you can feel in your pocket", being embarked upon by Dr Nduom is going down well with the electorate, adding that "we will not be distracted by the important task on hand."

Attempts to reach Prof. Akosa on phone proved futile, but while the Times got in touch with Mr Akwetey, he said: "I would like to read the statement in the media before I can react to it appropriately".

Source: Ghanaian Times

NDC’s Mills for the grill

Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, Professor John Evans Atta Mills will at 5pm today come face to face with the public to answer questions on his plans for a better Ghana.

The venue is the Alisa Hotel at North Ridge where the economic think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs and Joy FM has set up table for Professor Mills to speak for twenty minutes and then spend the next 90 minutes to answer questions from the electorate – economists, health workers, politicians, engineers, farmers, industrialists etc.

The forum is part of IEA's Election 2008 Presidential Debate in furtherance of its main objectives of promoting private-sector-led economic development and assist in the process of democratic consolidation in Ghana and throughout Africa.

Already the Convention People's Party's Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom has had his turn, and according to Mrs. Jean Mensah, IEA Administrator, lessons from that episode including too limited time for questioning has informed the 90-minute questioning time for Mills.

The encounter will be transmitted live on Joy 99.7 FM.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Confusion rocks Suhum NPP primary again

The Suhum constituency branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is gradually acquiring the 'bad boy' image in the Eastern Region as fresh hostilities and confrontations on Saturday abruptly ended another primary to elect the party's parliamentary candidate for the December general elections.

One of the aspirants, Bryan Acheampong, not happy with how the primary was being conducted, led a large group of supporters to the Koforidua YMCA premises where the primary was being held and openly confronted two regional executives who were overseeing the event and accused them of 'bending' the rules to favour his opponent. In the midst of the confusion, Seth Otchere, popularly known as 'Osonoba', the regional organiser and Alhaji Umar Bodinga, second regional vice chairman were heckled, forcing them to abandon the proceedings and ran for their dear lives.

Osonoba was seen clutching one of his shoes running, while Bodinga who was alleged to have been pushed down, vanished into thin air after Bryan and his supporters stormed the venue of the primary and openly heckled them for going ahead with the primary contrary to the instruction from the national office that the primary be postponed.

About 10 policemen and some community policemen stationed there to ensure security were helpless as the supporters of Bryan overpowered them and entered the main yard of YMCA chanting 'war' songs and saying they no longer wanted the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP). The New Juaben Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent John Naami, however brought the situation under control.

This is the second time a scheduled primary for the constituency has ended in violence, with the two aspirants, Frederick Opare-Ansah, the incumbent and Bryan Acheampong, sharply disagreeing over the eligibility of seven of the 91 polling station chairmen who are the delegates.

In the first abortive primary, the regional executives of the party decided to restrain the seven from voting but the incumbent MP, who is in favour of the seven casting their votes, confronted the regional chairman on the matter, resulting in exchange of words and the eventual stalling of the exercise.

In Saturday's saga also, a committee consisting of the regional organiser and the second vice regional chairman, tasked to look into the matter, had also given the green light for the seven to vote in Saturday's primary but that decision did not go down well with Bryan, who Daily Guide learnt had petitioned the national executive on the matter.

The paper learnt also that the national chairman consequently ordered the postponement of the primary for the matter to be completely resolved. Before the primary the first regional vice chairman, Sub-lieutenant Christian Tetteh had relayed the order from the national executive to the two regional officers who were overseeing the primary but the two insisted that the primary must come on, resulting in the disruption.

Bryan, later at a press conference in Suhum, accused the two regional officers of taking sides and bending the rules to favour his opponent. When Hon. Opare-Ansah was contacted he declined to speak to Daily Guide, claiming the paper had taken a stand to shield his political opponent.

"If you want to know my views, then your paper must first publish what it knows about Bryan Acheampong," he stated. As a result of Saturday's incident some of the polling station chairmen disclosed to Daily Guide that they would no longer participate in any primary because they feared for their lives.

Source: Daily Guide

Friday, June 13, 2008

Akufo-Addo on National Awards, Drugs & Corruption

The 2008 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party has finally broken his silence on an issue that has caused some controversy in the nation over the past few weeks – the nomination of Prof John Evans Atta Mills to receive the highest honour of the land from President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Speaking to top African and black media personnel in London yesterday, including Cameron Duodo and Komla Dumor, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was asked if choosing to honour Prof Mills this election year was improper.

He said he had no problem with that and in fact welcomes signals from government that there is a determination to deepen Ghana's democratic culture.

He was, nevertheless, acutely aware of the propaganda value of the award's timing to an opposition party that had very little of substantial value to offer to Ghanaians.

"The opposition has stretched every sinew of propaganda to suggest that this award is an endorsement. That's just politics and I have no problem with that. There's nothing particularly clever about that," he said.

"But, I don't believe this award, if given, would distort the issues" or shift focus from the pertinent things that are occupying the minds of the electorate. "They are looking for the kind of leadership that they can trust to deliver and enhance the quality of their lives."

Nana Akufo-Addo said, Ghanaians should see the award system and the non-partisan way that President Kufuor has moved it to as another example of efforts by the NPP to enhance confidence in the democratic governance of Ghana and not worry too much over how the NDC would exploit it.

However, no award could shield the leadership of the NDC from having the substance of their record in office properly scrutinised and duly compared to that of the NPP, he stated.

He also said that no award would stop Ghanaians from demanding to know the details of programmes the competing political parties have to offer for the future.

Preferred Candidate

Taking questions here from the UK black media personnel at the Novotel Hotel, Lambeth Road, London, Nana Akufo-Addo was asked what would make him the preferred candidate.

His response was that Ghanaians were not prepared to see the gains within the last decade being rolled back after December 2008. They want a leader who has the record and programmes that could inspire confidence for the big task ahead, which included fighting poverty and expanding the fields of prosperity.

He said Ghanaians were looking for a strong leadership that could be trusted to fight vigorously against crime, corruption, inefficiency and demand a greater quality of service from the public sector.

Ghanaians would vote for the kind of leadership that the private sector could trust to protect and promote it.

Ghanaians would vote for the kind of leadership that would protect the vulnerable, and expand access to free education and free healthcare, Nana Akufo-Addo said.

He argued that President Kufuor had built a solid foundation but it required a solid, confident, incorruptible, responsible, compassionate, trustworthy and bold leadership to translate the macro-economic gains into transforming the economy, ensuring that the laws of the land worked and that a modern society could be built where every Ghanaian felt free to participate and excel.

"It is important to make sure that Ghana is irreversibly a democracy," where the government can trust the people to freely engage in activities that enhance their lives and benefit society in general, the 2008 NPP Presidential Candidate stated.


Nana Akufo-Addo also tackled growing concerns over Ghana's reputation as a lucrative transit hub for narcotics trafficking.

"The whole of our region is under siege," he said, referring to the West African coast becoming increasingly the preferred choice for the drug smugglers.

Nana Akufo-Addo therefore called for collective regional efforts in fighting the drug menace.

He also called for more to be done in strengthening the institutions mandated to fight crime, especially the drug trade.

He, however, cautioned against seeing the rising number of arrests as indication of growth in the trade in Ghana.

"It does not mean that suddenly Ghana has become a major transit point for hard drugs. I believe a lot more is being done in apprehending the culprits today than it was the case in the past. But, like many things in Ghana, we have a long way to go in fighting off the criminals. The task ahead is to build up the capacity of the Ghanaian state to serve the nation and the people far better than we have so far done," he underlined.

Nana Akufo-Addo said rather than cutting down the size of government, he would focus on strengthening the institutions of state. He said it was difficult to apprehend and punish criminals when the Attorney General Department has only one lawyer in some regions.

He called against the kind of cynicism that presupposes that corruption, for instance, was a well-entrenched culture that could not be defeated, as suggested by one journalist.

He said it was the responsible of both the state and citizens to ensure that laws were enforced. Once crimes are detected, the laws of the land must also be allowed to work and deal with the culprits without fear or favour.

He said, under his leadership, he would fight corruption with vigour and also help the cause of strengthening the integrity of the system "by leading by example."

He said the difficulties in the economy, being instigated by rising cost of crude oil and food, was a global phenomenon.

Hopefully, Ghanaians can today look ahead with growing confidence that there is a very bright future ahead. The task is to keep the nation on track.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Voters' register not bloated - EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) on Tuesday denied allegations by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the Voters' Register was bloated in 13 constituencies in the Ashanti Region.

However, the Commission admitted that there were operational errors in the generation of the Voters' statistics supplied to the NDC that made them to declare that the Register was bloated.

"The figures which formed the basis of the allegation of a bloated Register, do not exist either on the Commission's own compact version of the Voters' Register or on the CD-ROMs given to the NDC," the EC said.

"Rather, they exist on the hard copies of the Voters' statistics that the NDC received, and are traceable to an operational error in the generation of the statistics," Electoral Commissioner Kwadwo Afari-Gyan said at a press conference in Accra.

The NDC last year applied to the EC at separate times for a copy of the Voters' Register. The EC in one instance supplied the NDC with the Register in the form of hard copies of the Voters' statistics and at another time, the compact version of the Voters' Register without pictures on a CD-ROM.

The NDC later alleged that the number of registered voters in 13 constituencies in the Ashanti Region had increased tremendously between 2004 and 2006, prompting the EC to set up a Committee to investigate the discrepancies between the figures of the NDC and that of the EC.

But Dr Afari-Gyan insisted that the discrepancy in the figures was as a result of operational error during the printing process, and that "the huge numbers the NDC complains about do not exist in our database". "What this means is that the EC's voter registration database, from which we produce the register for elections, is intact and does not contain strange figures.

"The issue is that of human error, but what is important is that such errors do not exist in our database and I assure you there would be no errors on the Register on the day of voting," he told the media. Dr Afari-Gyan expressed regrets on comments made by politicians and the media on the issue, describing them as "hurried, uninformed and premature statements and judgments".

"All we ask for is that such matters be brought to our attention in good faith, with a view to preserving the integrity of the Register. The Register belongs to the people of Ghana, and all of us share a collective responsibility to ensure that the Register is in good shape.

"We assure all Ghanaians that as a Commission, we will do our work in a transparent and fair manner, without favour to any party or candidate. In return, we hope that all political parties and candidates, their activists and supporters, the media, commentators and the people at large will behave responsibly so that we have credible general election on 7th December 2008," he said.


PNC to tackle rural-urban migration - Mahama

Dr Edward Mahama, Flagbearer of the People's National Convention (PNC), on Tuesday said until government developed rural areas, rural-urban migration would continue. Briefing the press in Accra on an extract of the party's manifesto dubbed; "Growth Poles and Urban Renewal," Dr Mahama said if the PNC were given the mantle to rule, certain towns and villages across the country with certain potentials would be selected and developed as the country's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, did.

"We have earmarked what and how each regional capital should to be rejuvenated so as to raise the standard of living of people living in the rural areas," he added.

The PNC flag bearer said towns such as Nyinahin, Ejura-Attebubu corridor, Yeji and Buipe, Aflao, Bawku had various natural resources and these could be developed to attract and minimize the growing population in the cities.

Dr. Mahama said these selected towns would be provided with modern amenities such as schools, affordable housing, health facilities, electricity and potable water which would attract people of all walks of life to live there. With regard to urban renewal, he said an aspect of PNC manifesto would address the sanitation problems in Accra and Kumasi. He therefore called on all Ghanaians to vote massively for the PNC to enable it to transform rural areas. 10 June 08

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dan Lartey affirmed GCPP flag bearer but..

About seventy people on Saturday met at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi to affirm Mr. Dan Lartey as the flag bearer of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) in an election that the Electoral Commission (EC) has described as illegal.

According to the EC, the congress, which was marked with strange and interesting developments, was unlawful because prior to the congress, the party had organised only one regional congress instead of 10 regional congresses, as required by law.

The Director of Elections at the EC, Mr Albert Arhin, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic on Sunday, said the party had been informed previously that unless the EC had supervised the regional congresses, it would not oversee its national delegates' congress.

He said the EC had advised the hierarchy of the GCPP to organise regional congresses in the remaining nine regions and ensure that they were supervised by the EC before the commission could supervise the national delegates' congress to make it acceptable.

About 80 people, including journalists and observers, attended the congress that elected the octogenarian politician for the third time running as its presidential candidate.

Mr Lartey and the chairman of the party, Mr John Thompson, had earlier given conflicting figures about the number of delegates expected at the congress.

While Mr Lartey mentioned 1,300, the national chairman said they were expecting up to 500 delegates.

And when the numbers they were expecting were not forthcoming, they explained that, the delegates were "held up in traffic".

The entire event, which also included the election of national executive members took about an hour to complete.

Quite surprisingly, the elections were carried out without the involvement of the Electoral Commission (EC).

No other political party was at the congress to give any solidarity message.
Ten national executive members of the party, five of whom were absent at the congress, were also acclaimed.

They were Mr John Thompson as National Chairman; Miss Georgina Rita Bimpong as Women's Organiser; Mr. Adams Ali, General Secretary; Mr Kwasi Ameyaw, Treasurer; and Mr Amadu Haruna, Deputy Organiser.

Those who were absent but acclaimed as national officers were Mrs Adelina Dennis, First Vice National Chairperson; Mr Adu Tetteh as Second National Vice Chairman; Mr Caleb B. K Dorfenyoh as National Organiser; Mr Justice Worae, Youth Organiser; and Mr Ohene Ofori, Educational Secretary.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Lartey said when given the nod as President of Ghana, he would increase wages and salaries of workers by 400 per cent.

He said workers had not been given salaries to meet the rising cost of living, and promised that his government would ensure improved conditions of service for workers at all times.

He said his main focus as President would be on domestication and that he would concentrate on improving local industries.

Mr Lartey said now that he was aware of the support of his party followers and he had accept.ed to lead them to the general election, the campaign of the GCPP was in "full gear."

He charged the few delegates around to go back and preach the message of "domestication".

He said he was happy the GCPP had been able to organise its national congress at long last.

Explaining why many of the delegates and some of the national officers were not present at the congress, Mr Lartey said, "1 have information that they are still on their way here only that some of them are stuck in traffic at Nsawam on their way to Kumasi from Accra."

"You see the road network in the country is very bad so my people have been stuck in a traffic jam at Nsawam spending almost four hours over there."

Earlier, Mr John Thompson, the National Chairman, said they were waiting for more of the delegates to join them and added that 100 delegates could form a quorum for the congress to go ahead.

But, the congress went ahead with less than 80 people, journalists and observers inclusive.

Mr. Thompson, in his address, charged the few delegates who were present to go back and work hard to ensure victory for the party in the December elections.

Source: Daily Graphic

Monday, June 9, 2008

John Evans Atta Mills added you as a friend on Facebook

John Evans Atta Mills added you as a friend on Facebook

When I got this message in my inbox, it was a great reminder about changing role of Information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Ghanaian political space especially in year 2008 elections.

Atta Mills campaign is also making use of which delivers you with an ad from Atta Mills another time you search google with relevant key words or viewing a page with those key words.

Is the impact, potentials and challenges of the use of ICTs in 08 GH elections a topic worth following?

The USA example,
The powerful use of the Internet especially online social networking which invariably lead to recruiting new voters and raising of record campaign funds is one the key tool Obama had in his basket of tools to become the presumptive presidential candidate of the democratic party

the numbers comparing Obama and Clinton on facebook
- 929,840 supporters
- 158,788 supporters
(Note the distinction between supporters and friends, you set facebook to distinguish your friends and supporters, which our local politicians have not figure out, I could be your supporter but not necessary your friend)

One school of thought argues against the motion that ICT is going to play an important role in Ghana 08 elections because of the low level of Internet penetration among other ICTs tools but one can point to the fast growing mobile phones users in Ghana, for example, the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akuffo Addo,,took a brilliant move when he opted for the use of SMS in campaign fund raising which can reach people in many villages instead of the Internet.
By sending a text message to a premium short code you instantly make a donation of one dollar to the NPP campaign.
It will be interesting to find out how this ICT enabled fund raising is going. Secondly, if the full one dollar goes to the campaign or he is sharing the donation with the service providers which is the case in most premium short code business arrangement.

Of course Nana Akuffo Addo is a friend on Facebook , one of his 1,658 growing friends on face book

Though ICT is not going to cause a major revolution during Ghana's 08 elections, it is going to play a crucial role and any politician who can harness it effectively is going to be rewarded by some previous votes!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are running the biggest elections 08 user content generation project and also monitoring the use of ICTs in elections 08, if you want to get involved send a mail to
See our blog at
A project of

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Akufo-Addo Invites International Observers To Polls

The 2008 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo has called on the International Observer Community to come in their numbers to observe the December elections in Ghana.

Nana Akufo-Addo made the call when he addressed the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington last Wednesday as part of his tour of North America.

The 2008 NPP Presidential Candidate said that even though Ghana's democracy has come of age, it is still important for the International Observer Community to observe this year's election so as to help avoid disagreements.

"Many Ghanaians are of the view that we have become mature enough to conduct our own elections without the endorsement of foreign observers", he underlined, adding, "I am however of the opinion that the verdict of International Observers would more likely be acceptable to the people as opposed to that of Local Observers who no matter the neutrality they display would still be tagged as belonging to one party or the other", he reasoned.

Nana Akufo-Addo praised the NDI for its role in the promotion and sustenance of multi-party democracy in Ghana, in particular, and Africa, generally.

He urged the NDI to continue to show greater interest and commitment to Ghana's democracy.

Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana is very much on course to creating a free modern society where hard work, excellence, liberty and duty are freely exercised by the citizens.

He said Ghana's has a great future ahead of her and that his task, if elected into office, would be to instil in the people a greater sense of self-belief, can-do spirit and attitude which are required to transform the economy, modernise the Ghanaian society and create prosperity for the greatest number of Ghanaians.

"The world has seen the Asian tigers" he said. "It is high time the world also saw some African lions".

Raising his voice to better transmit the conviction and passion with which he attaches to the topic, Nana Akufo-Addo added confidently, "And, Ghana is set to be the first of such African lions".

The 2008 Presidential Candidate of the NPP said if Ghana is to become such a "lion" then it needed to maintain the peace and stability that it is enjoying today.

He therefore urged his fellow contestants in the December elections to accept the verdict of the people in good faith.

"It is important that we trust the integrity and wisdom of the Electoral Commission", he said.

"Attacking and seeking to destroy their integrity will not augur well for the conduct of the elections and the sustenance of peace afterwards", he cautioned.

The President of the NDI, Kenneth Wollack, praised Ghana for its democratic practice and urged Nana Akufo-Addo and all other leaders of the various political parties to guard Ghana's achievements jealously since Ghana has always served as the beacon of hope and enlightenment for the rest of the continent.

He said the NDI has a responsibility to encourage and nurture multi-party democracy, not just in Africa, but in the world at large. He therefore assured that the NDI was not about to abandon Ghana nor any country for that matter which is committed to democratic growth and accountability.

The NDI is a non-profit organisation working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide by promoting citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Nana Akufo-Addo was accompanied by the General Secretary of the NPP, Ohene Ntow, NPP Campaign Director Dr. K.K Apraku, Campaign Spokesperson Yaw Osafo Maafo, special aide to the Presidential Candidate, Alan Kyerematen, and Nana Akufo-Addo's Spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Don't do anything to threaten peace -Mahama told electorate

Mr. Dramani Mahama , Running Mate to the Flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress(NDC), Professor Evans Atta Mills on Thursday said the NDC would win the election 2008 and asked the people of Upper East Region not to do anything that would threaten the peace in the area.

He said; "Our Political Opponents are not our enemies. We are all brothers and sisters and those who are not on your side persuade them to join you for the good cause".

Mr. Mahama was speaking at Fumbisi in the Builsa District in the Upper East Region, Yagba, Kuri, Kubori in "oversea" areas in the West Mamprusi where he met the chiefs and people at separate meetings as part of his tour of the northern parts of the country to continue to introduce himself as a running mate to Professor Mills. He expressed surprise about the stoppage of development projects initiated by the NDC in the area after it had left office. He said some of the electric poles erected in the area have not been connected to the national grid.

Mr. Mahama said the NDC was trying to open up the area through network of roads by building a bridge over rivers linking the area known as "Oversees" area to Walewale to Daboya and from the Northern Region to Upper East whilst another one was to be built at the White Volta for the area.

"On my visit, I am surprised to find that these projects had not been tackled by the NPP Government for the past eight years", he indicated. He said it was in this area that oncho and guinea worm diseases were eradicated through frequent spraying.

" I heard these diseases are back in the area and pathetically, the "oversea" area is one of the most fertile land that could be found in Ghana and if properly utilized through irrigation and proper husbandry, it could feed the whole country with rice, beans and millet". Mr. Mahama said if the NDC came to power it would re-introduce Farmers Service Company(FASCOM) to give extension services to farmers, give them subsides, fertilizers and revamp the cotton industry and others to give employment to the youth to retain them instead of drifting to the southern sectors in search of menial jobs.

The NDC, he noted, would establish a Sheanut Development Body like the Ghana Cocoa Board to undertake buying and selling of sheanut and sheabutter to give women who were engaged in that trade a regular and better income.

He warned the people not to sell their voter Identity Cards to anyone in the exchange of any form of loan.

Those who were with Mr. John Mahama were Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Mr. Hudu Yahaya and Mr. Iddrisu Haruna, General Secretary, Vice Chairman and the National Youth Organizer respectively of the NDC. Mr. Mahama would hold a rally with party supporters and a cross section of people in Sandema in the Upper East Region and visit the Paramount Chiefs of Paga, Navrongo, Yagba and Nayagnia, all in the Upper East Region to run up his visit to the area. 06 June 08