Ghana Votes

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Let's interrogate Supreme Court judgment - Dr Ampaw

Dr Maurice Ampaw, President of the Legal Advocacy Foundation, has called on Ghanaians to carefully interrogate the issues raised by the Supreme Court Judges in the election petition judgment rather than attack and insult them.

He said the post election petition discussions should not be attacks on judges but rather to question their decision in terms of their knowledge of the law.

Dr Ampaw was speaking at a special forum organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) on the “Media’s coverage of the 2012 Election Petition adjudication: Successes, challenges and the way forward” in Accra.

Dr Ampaw, who spoke on the topic: “the legal perspectives on the media’s coverage of the 2012 Election Petition adjudication and Post-verdict media discussions”, said it was unfortunate that instead of people interrogating the issues raised by the judges in their judgments they are rather attacking and insulting them.

He said the way the verdict was delivered, however, did not meet the aspirations of most ordinary Ghanaians though there were various explanations provided from the majority and minority on the panel.

He said the comments from Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for the NDC in the election petition, against one of the judges also open the flood gates for all sorts of attacks and insults on the judges. 

Dr Ampaw further called for a serious national debate on the law governing the election petition in the country.

He said Articles 62, 63 and 64 of the 1992 constitution are serious provisions that have to be looked at adding that, these three laws actually favour any respondent in a petition as they suggest that the person declared by the EC is presumed to be validly elected.

Dr Ampaw argued that the same Article 64 which allows the President of the country to be sworn-in while the election petition is ongoing makes it incongruous.

Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director for MFWA, who gave an overview of the media monitoring exercise, said the media has a larger role of being a watchdog over the executive as well as the citizens.

He said it was unacceptable for politicians to use the airwaves to do things that do not help the people and hinder development.

“It is our democratic right for politicians to tell us their agenda or what they intend to do for the people” he added.

Professor Karikari said the media has a responsibility to be professional and ethical by doing things that would help the citizens understand issues that are occurring in the society.

He said despite some improvement in journalism practice in the country we are still not there yet when compared to the standards of the profession in Ghana with those of other Africa countries such Kenya, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa.

He said Ghanaian journalist have the responsibility to keep improving themselves in order for the citizens to benefit from public affairs discussions and be better enlightened.

Professor Karikari also noted that in spite of the difficulties that the media has they have created the atmosphere for tolerance by allowing people with different viewpoints to express themselves through debate and arguments.

He said the MFWA would continue to work with the media to improve journalistic standards in the country.

Source: GNA

Parties urged to strengthen their research departments

Dr Kwesi Jonah, a senior political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, has appealed to political parties in the country to strengthen the capacities of their research department.

This, he said, would ensure that the parties’ investigate and come out with real issues which the electorate want them (parties) to address and effect the needed changes.

Dr Jonah gave said this during a visit of the Malawian and South Sudanese delegation to understudy the 
operations of political parties in the country.

The four-day visit which was sponsored by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) was hosted and facilitated by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

He said although, it is politically wise for a party to have some ideologies and beliefs which would serve as the platform on which it would sell itself to the electorate, that might not be the focus and of necessity to the ordinary Ghanaian.

“What the ordinary people care about is not political ideologies but bread and butter, good education for their children and good jobs and other necessities of life”, he said.

He said though all parties in the country had written down manifestos, very few Ghanaians care to read them.

“They prefer to listen to media discussions about manifestos by party activists and political commentators. This means that party activists should spend more time on radio educating the electorate on their plans for the people”, he said.

He cited education, health, jobs, sanitation and agriculture as some of the most important issues to the Ghanaian voter adding that, foreign policy might probably be the most unimportant issue to Ghanaian voters.

Dr Jonah said poorly financed decentralised structures, poorly financed national development planning commission, and weak party research department were some of the challenges militating against the translation of party policy into national policy.

Mr. Jerome Scheltens, Programme Manager, NIMD, cited party continuity, legitimacy and accountability, and support base for leadership as some for benefits party tend to derive from drawing an election programme or manifesto.

He appealed to politicians to desist from promising the electorate what they know they could not deliver as such acts tend to cast a spur on the little trust they have in them.

Dr Ransford Gyampo, Research Fellow, IEA, said the objective of the visit was to share lessons on issues relating to how to improve on political activities in Malawi and South Sudan.

Mr. Levson Gania, Secretary –General, Malawian Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE), lauded NIMD for the initiative as the programme would help them improve on their campaign messages for their election campaign next year.

He said he had now gained a broad knowledge on how to package his party’s message in order to attract more people.

Source: GNA

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fred Oware eyes NPP Chairmanship position

The 1st Vice National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Fred Oware, has decided to contest the National Chairmanship position of the party.
The election, scheduled for March 1, 2014, is being keenly contested by a number of personalities, including the incumbent,  Jake Obetsebi Lamptey; Mr Paul Afoko, a leading party functionary who is reported to be making major inroads among both the grass roots and bigwigs within the party corridors; former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Ayikoi Otoo, who is also reported to be working hard to clinch the Chairmanship after the expiration of the term of the current executives; and Mr Steve Ntim, another strong contender for the position.

According to Mr Oware, his key objective is to bring to the leadership of the party unique abilities to pull everyone to the centre.

That, he explained, would mean strengthening, energising and resourcing the entire party structure, particularly at the constituency and polling station levels, to function effectively.

In the past four years, the 1st Vice National Chairman said he had actively raised resources and logistics for the party, having travelled to every corner of the country pursuing the party’s interest.


“The experience and contacts made in the electoral industry is too valuable to allow them to go to waste,” he stated.

On what he was bringing to bear on the fortunes of the party, Mr Oware declared: “I bring to NPP a pair of safe, mature and experienced hands that everyone can trust. I am open and shall give access and hearing to the grass roots but would continue to be firm in the interest of the party. I am from and for the private sector; our development partners. I am the purposeful manager who understands that together we all must manage the grass roots to win general elections.”

He, therefore, urged the party’s delegates to be mindful that “our business is to win general elections and that bring real development to our people and this requires trusted leadership.”

Accordingly, he invited the delegates and party members at all levels to buy into his vision of truly uniting the party for Victory 2016 by endorsing him as party chairman.

Ideals of party

Inspired by the ideals of the party and its leadership, Mr Oware became a member of the party two decades ago.

Over the years, Mr Oware argues that the party’s maxim of “Development in Freedom,” based on the principles of rule of law, personal freedoms, free market operation and strong family values, has proven that it is best for any country to inspire its people to work and improve upon themselves.

Currently, he said, firm leadership, strategic planning, timely implementation of plans, use of intelligence and party cohesion and unity were matters requiring experienced and fair-minded people to attend to.

Source: Daily  Graphic

Monday, October 28, 2013

I need God's guidance to return to politics - Akufo-Addo

The presidential candidate of the NPP for the 2012 elections, Nana Akufo-Addo, says he is still looking up to God for spiritual guidance and directions regarding his political future.
His comments follow speculations that the two-time defeated presidential candidate had abandoned any thoughts of a third bid for the presidency.

Nana Akufo-Addo announced at a news conference minutes after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition he and two others brought challenging the outcome of the 2012 presidential elections that he was going to take a break from politics.

Since, nothing has been heard about his ambitions but newspaper publications last week suggested that he had bowed out of politics for good.

But addressing supporters of the NPP in London over the weekend, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his decision to announce his political future when he returns from the UK where he is taking a rest.

He told the supporters that God's guidance will determine whatever decision he comes, stressing the need for the rank and file of the NPP to stay united and contribute ideas towards the party's progress.

Meanwhile former Executive Director of the pro-NPP think-tank Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko says Nana Akufo-Addo is the best bet to win the 2016 election for the opposition party.

In an article published Monday, Mr. Otchere Darko said publications suggesting that the former flagbearer will not run again are false and must be disregarded.

“Indeed, I believe that after all that he has heard and seen, after all the calculations and analysis of the current social and economic situation in Ghana, the state of the NPP and its prospects and challenges of electoral victory in three years time, Nana Akufo-Addo is more likely to offer himself to lead the opposition party for the 2016 presidential election than not. This is my expectation. Nothing more, nothing less”.

Source: myjoyonline

Ayikoi Otoo guns for NPP National Chairmanship

Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Ayikoi Otoo is working hard to clinch the next National Chairman position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after the expiration of the current executives.

According to Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, who is chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the party, he has marketed himself enough to be given the nod as the next national chairman.
Mr. Ayikoi Otoo is the latest to have publicly declared interest in becoming a national executive member of the NPP.

Speaking to Joy News, he pointed out that apart from serving the party at various levels, he also has the clout to lead the party to victory in 2016.

"I believe that I am quite popular amongst our party and cutting across from some of the cases that I have done and some of the things I have done for the party as Chairman of the Constitutional Committee and member of the National Vetting Committee as well as the Disciplinary Committee", Mr. Ayikoi Otoo asserted.

To him, his  participation in party activities and high level committees he had chaired within the party coupled with his legal showmanship he exhibited during the famous "Sir John-Supreme court encounter" during the election petition hearing, has turned him into a household name.

"It is a matter of how people are getting to know you more as to what you stand for and what you can bring to assist the party capture power in 2016", Mr. Ayikoi Otoo affirmed.

Source: myjoyonline