Politics

Running Up To December 2020 General Elections

Background

We are 5 (five) months away from the next general elections scheduled for 7th December 2020 and, as usual, the duopoly in Ghanaian political arena enjoyed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is at a crescendo as far as new impressions to the electorate are concerned.

Together, these 2 main political parties have administered our country’s affairs for 42 (forty-two) years; NDC has ruled us for 27 years (including 11 years under PNDC, 8 years for Rawlings and 8 years for the late Prof. J E. Atta Mills and ex-President Mr. J. D Mahama. NPP has also ruled us for 15 years (including 3 years for the late Prime Minister, Prof. K. A Busia, 8 years for President J. A Kufuor and Nana Addo’s 4 years running up to December 2020).

Prior to the duopoly, Nkrumah and his CPP ruled Ghana for 9 (nine) years plus the 10 years of Military rules; NLC’s 3 years and National Redemption and Supreme Military Councils’ 7 years, and President Hila Liman and his PNP, 2 years.

This summary gives us a total of 63 years that equates to our independence from Great Britain 63 years ago (1957 to 2020). As a nation, Ghana has not made the requisite progress that would befit an independent country which was supposed to be “capable of running its own affairs” as declared by Nkrumah on Ghana’s attainment of independence on 6th March 1957.

Of the 10 ten administrations listed above, it is only our first administration led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP) that made significant progress in the land within only 9 years (1957 to1966) in governance and which – exponentially, 54 years on – could have developed Ghana to the likes of Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. Key among Nkrumah’s major developmental achievements are the Hydro-Electric project, creating the model township of Tema, the first of its kind in West Africa then, the introduction of Ghana Airways, Black Star (Shipping) Line, establishment of 2 (two) major Universities, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast and several manufacturing establishments under the Ghanaian Industrial Holding Corporation (GIHOC).

Ending the Duopoly in Ghana’s politics

A new wave of political sanitisation must be invoked to stop the continuing duopoly in our political climate by ushering in a serious and reformist political party such as the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) that ranks third in Ghana’s political arena, to contribute its reformist agenda for change so as to broaden Ghana’s horizons towards the achievement of economic growth through full employment to improve the quality of lives and well-being of the citizenry.

We of the PPP do not seek to conform ourselves to the standards of the NDC and NPP. Instead, our agenda for change shall bring with it the eradication of the endemic parochialism, ethnocentrism, and tribal sentiments in the country that by extension, has led to institutionalised corruption that has resulted at the expense of the majority. The creation of a wide gap between the rich and the poor because all our efforts have been undertaken for the purpose of enabling a few persons to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor majority. Plato has intimated that, and I quote “if you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools”

Manifesto Promises

The NDC/NPP have started spasmodic general election campaigns with snippets of new promises and assurances ahead of publishing their manifestos. In our usual excitement, we have consistently overlooked to hold our governments accountable for previous manifesto promises that won them votes to govern us in the first place. Traditionally, those manifestos get undelivered, but our society easily let bygones become bygones and start on a clean slate because the old and bigger political parties have tested the nerves of the Ghanaian voter who “gives all to God” and rather focuses on the forthcoming general election.

This time we must punish the sycophants by voting against them. Ghana has endured failed and undeliverable Manifesto assurances by both NPP and NDC for 28 (twenty-eight) years in this fourth republic and the political parties have gotten away unpunished with many unfulfilled promises. PPP believes in under-promising and over-delivering of manifesto assurances. Surely, that is the way forward for yet our under-developed country for all those years that we have gained political independence.

The time is apt to sponsor the introduction of a Legislative Instrument in Parliament to oblige incumbent governments to report to the nation on their manifesto promises as to delivery and non -delivery by the end of September in each election year, listing out the promises that have been fully delivered and those that have not been delivered and the reasons for non-delivery? That way, future manifesto promises shall be made with reasonable caution in the best interests of the nation and that would be the only way to put our shoulders on the wheels on our path to development.

Continuation of uncompleted projects by previous administrations

Prior to 2016 general elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the then NPP Presidential candidate assured the people of Ghana that his government, God-willing, from January 2017, will not abandon any project on the basis that “it was started by a political opponent.” As assuring as it was then in 2016, so shall we expect this undertaking to be honoured during NPP’s tenure of office. However, in the interest of our nation it would only be fair for us to consider sponsoring a Legislative Instrument (as indicated above) to oblige future governments to continue and finish uncompleted projects inherited from previous administrations before embarking on new projects.

Legislation against False and undeliverable Campaign Promises

The trend whereby political parties of over-promise and under-deliver their own manifesto promises has gone on for an awful long time and running up to 2020 elections, the Progressive People’s Party is drawing attention to this debacle and calling on the people of Ghana to stand firm with us to promulgate the legislative instrument necessary to bring to an end the despicable practice whereby we support dishonest political parties that habitually cheat the nation and get away with it just because no one calls them to order. This time I am appealing to all political parties to subject themselves to “manifesto scrutiny” for our country to move ahead. Included in NPP’s 2016 manifesto promises to deliver one district, one factory and one village, one dam and guaranteeing $1miilion dollars for every district in the country among others was instrumental in getting the NPP elected to serve the nation. Even non-NPP folks voted for the NPP and that is why they won by a whopping 1 million votes. We therefore expect these 2016 manifesto promises to be delivered without excuses if our country should proceed to the “promised land” of economic emancipation.

Equal Opportunities for political parties in media platforms

As we prepare to mount the campaign trail, it is necessary for all political parties to be given equal media platforms, including pro-political party media houses, to deliver their messages to the people. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) must do away with their criteria for Presidential candidates taking part in their debates provided they have representation in parliament. In the case of my Party that is comparatively new; just 8 years old and working hard to win parliamentary seats this requirement disenfranchises us.

Service to Ghana must be paramount above all things and not satisfying IEA’s rule that is discriminatory. I am therefore calling on them (IEA) to reconsider including prospective Presidential candidates who have no representation in our parliament to take part in the debates. This stance of the Institute has the tendency of eliminating the otherwise much more credible candidates to lead our country into the future.

Time to Change direction

NDC and NPP have ruled our country for 42 (forty-two) years and we have not achieved much progress for these years by these two political parties, aside from performance evaluation and unnecessary comparisons between themselves as there is no third party to call them to order. There must be a change in direction by the electorate voting for Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP) parliamentary candidates at the next general elections to ensure that there is a mouthpiece for the majority poorer in our society. Ghana deserves better with the massive mineral resources at our disposal. A few people in high positions within our governments, past and present are enriching themselves at the expense of the poor souls who vote them into governance.

As ex-President Kufuor once said, and on quote, “consider your situation before casting your vote”. May this wise saying guide us in our journey to the next general elections on 7th December 2020 to free our nation from oppressor’s rule.

Kit Yawson

Chairman

PPP UK & Ireland

London

Email: kitconvention@gmail.com

Prioritize The Health Of Ghanaians Over Elections – Nduom

The Founder of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has urged the government to prioritise the health of citizens over the need to conduct elections amid the threat of COVID-19.

Dr. Nduom noted that the December polls are essential to Ghana’s democracy but not at the expense of human lives.

“An election is something that if necessary, we can do without but we cannot do without the human being in Ghana,” he noted in an interview on GN Radio in the UK.

“What will profit anybody to do well in an election and find out that all the people are sick or the people are not doing well and businesses are collapsing and so on and so forth.”

“So we must first take care of the health of the people,” Dr. Nduom stressed

Ghana as of July 5, 2020 had recorded 20,085 cases of COVID-19 with 122 fatalities.

In addition, 14,870 persons have been discharged after treatment.

The Greater Accra Region has the most cases with 10,979, out of which 2,501 are active.

The ongoing voter registration exercise has been a point of contention with observers warning it will contribute to a spike in cases of the virus.

Some health professionals in the country have written to the Electoral Commission asking it to pause the ongoing voter registration exercise until safer ways of conducting the exercise are identified to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

According to them, suspending the exercise will help prevent needless deaths related to the virus in the country.

“Pause the mass registration, figure out safer ways of carrying it out and prevent Ghana from suffering potentially thousands of deaths or continue with the exercise in this form and be remembered by posterity as a leader who supervised an exercise that allowed for the loss of multiple lives,” the group said in its letter to the commission.

Source: CITI NEWSROOM

General election 2019: Major urges support for ex-Tory Brexit rebels

Sir John Major has urged people to re-elect three MPs who were expelled from the Conservatives for voting against Boris Johnson over Brexit.

The ex-Tory PM is backing independent candidates David Gauke, Dominic Grieve and Anne Milton, all running against his party in the general election.

Sir John said “tribal loyalties” had been loosened by Brexit.

But Mr Johnson described the comments as “very sad” and “wrong”, calling his predecessor’s views “outdated”.

The Conservatives say they will take the UK out of the EU in January if they win a parliamentary majority.

They say this honours the result of the 2016 referendum, in which 52% of people backed Leave.

In September, 21 MPs were expelled from the parliamentary Conservative Party after they had voted against the possibility of the prime minister pursuing a no-deal exit from the EU. Later, 10 of the MPs were allowed back.

Of the remainder, Mr Gauke, Mr Grieve and Ms Milton are all running as independents in the seats they held at the 2017 general election.

In a video message, Sir John, a prominent Remain campaigner, described Brexit as “the worst foreign policy decision in my lifetime”.

He called Mr Gauke, Mr Grieve and Ms Milton “principled, decent human beings”.

He added: “None of them has left the Conservative Party; the Conservative Party has left them.

Bloomberg denies trying to buy White House election

Michael Bloomberg, one of the world’s richest men and a candidate to take on President Donald Trump next year, has denied trying to buy the White House.

Mr Bloomberg’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination have accused him of doing exactly that.

The ex-New York City mayor entered the race in late November with one of the largest political ad buys ever.

Despite his late entry to the race, he is currently polling fifth on 4% out of 15 candidates.

Asked to respond to the claim he was trying to buy the election, Mr Bloomberg told CBS of his rivals: “I’m doing exactly the same thing they’re doing, except that I am using my own money.

“They’re using somebody else’s money and those other people expect something from them.

“Nobody gives you money if they don’t expect something. And I don’t want to be bought.”

Liberal Democratic White House front-runners have been criticising Mr Bloomberg, who used to be a Republican.

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently snapped up a TV ad spot on Mr Bloomberg’s own network – Bloomberg TV – accusing him of trying to buy the election to avoid paying higher taxes.

Auschwitz visit: Angela Merkel says Germany must remember Nazi crimes

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany has an unending responsibility to remember the Nazis’ war crimes, as she made her first trip while in office to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

The responsibility was “part of our national identity”, she said.

Her visit comes amid a rise in German anti-Semitism and ahead of the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.

The Nazi regime murdered an estimated 1.1 million people, the vast majority of them Jewish, at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

What did the chancellor say?

Mrs Merkel was accompanied on her visit by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and a death camp survivor, 87-year-old Bogdan Stanislaw Bartnikowski.

She walked through the notorious “Arbeit macht frei” (work sets you free) gates at Auschwitz and then held a minute’s silence at the so-called Black Wall, where thousands of prisoners were executed

She then moved to the Birkenau site where she gave her speech.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks through the gates of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, accompanied by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
Image captionAngela Merkel is the third German chancellor to visit the site

“Remembering the crimes… is a responsibility which never ends. It belongs inseparably to our country,” Mrs Merkel said.

“To be aware of this responsibility is part of our national identity, our self-understanding as an enlightened and free society… a democracy.”

Germany continued to have “deep shame” for what happened in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“There are no words to express our sorrow,” Mrs Merkel said.

Angela Merkel in Auschwitz-Birkenau
Image captionMrs Merkel acknowledged the rise of anti-Semitism in her country

“I bow my head before the victims of the Shoah,” she told the gathered Holocaust survivors.

Mrs Merkel also acknowledged the rise of anti-Semitism in her country, saying to combat it “the history of extermination camps has to be shared”.

Mrs Merkel was also accompanied by the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, and the head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose.

Why is Merkel visiting now?

Major events are planned for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops on 27 January.

But Mrs Merkel has chosen to go to the site now, and to attend the 10th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, a group that tries to preserve the camp as a memorial and a warning for future generations.

As part of her visit, Germany’s federal states announced a €60m (£51m; $66m) gift to the foundation.

Though she has been to other camps, including Dachau and Buchenwald in Germany, this is the chancellor’s first visit to the most notorious Nazi death camp, located west of the Polish city of Krakow.

Joe Biden slams the media for saying Democrats have moved ‘extremely to the left’ since 2016 and says the party’s not with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Biden added that the media falsely reported that his party “moved extremely to the left” since 2016 when, in fact, he argued, Democrats remain largely moderate. 

“You guys got it all wrong about what happened,” Biden said. 

He went on, “It’s just bad judgment. You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary. AOC was a new party, She’s a bright, wonderful person. But where’s the party? Come on, man.”

The Democratic frontrunner also said the party doesn’t support Medicare for all, the single-payer healthcare proposal his progressive 2020 rivals are running on. Biden supports adding a public option to Obamacare — what he and other moderates call “Medicare for those who want it.”