Ghana: Ghana media report highlights of ruling party’s manifesto

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday presented the highlights of the ruling National Democratic Party’s (NDC) manifesto for the December 2016 elections which catalogues his achievements over the past four years and his vision for the country’s future should he be given the nod for the second term.

But even before the document is launched this weekend for details to emerge, the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is claiming that the ruling party has “plagiarised” its document leading to a war of words between the two parties.

This is despite the fact that the NPP is yet to launch its manifesto. The media have meanwhile, been playing up the exchange of words by the two parties.

The state-owned Graphic newspaper has the headline, “NDC manifesto will be hinged on four thematic areas” with the story saying the NDC’s 2016 general election manifesto, which the party considers as the real vehicle for change, will be driven by four thematic areas.

Titled, "Changing lives, transforming Ghana," the manifesto's thematic areas are putting people first; strong and resilient economy for job creation; expanding social and economic infrastructure; and transparent and accountable governance.

The newspaper said central to the manifesto were job creation and economic empowerment.

“The NDC believes it has performed creditably in its first term in government, and the realisation of the vision as captured by the 2016 manifesto would launch the country to accelerated growth and further enhance the living standards of the people,” the Graphic quoted President Mahama as saying. He urged the electorate to buy into the manifesto and retain the party in power.

Various NPP officials have immediately accused the ruling NDC of “photocopying” the ideas of their flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo.

The acting General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, claims the highlights of the NDC 2016 manifesto were fraught with the ideas that Akufo-Addo has been trumpeting to implement if voted into power.

NPP’s Director of Communications Nana Akomea also said President Mahama “stole” the NPP’s ideas claiming that the NDC “steals our policies and cannot implement them. They even stole the title of our manifesto. So they have no deep attachment to the principles necessary to drive the promises they give.”

But President Mahama has hit back at his main opponents telling them that they (NP) could steal the NDC’s ideas as outlined in the manifesto.

The president told a meeting of chiefs in Accra that: “I was directly involved in writing the manifesto for the NDC and so I know everything that is in that manifesto because I participated.

“People did not just write it and bring it to me; I participated in writing that manifesto, so when somebody says we have plagiarised their manifesto I don’t think he understands plagiarism.

Plagiarism is if you steal from a known document and put in another document. But there is no document known as NPP manifesto, so how can we have plagiarised from a document that does not exist. If that document exists, produce it today.”

Meanwhile, the candidates have been picking nomination forms following the opening of nominations by the Electoral Commission (EC).

The story of the Graphic was, “The race to Flagstaff House: 15 Pick presidential forms from EC.” It reported that 15 presidential hopefuls had so far picked nomination forms to contest the election in December. They are made up of 13 political parties and two independent candidates.

The presidential and parliamentary candidates are to return the forms to the EC on 29-30 September.

The newspapers also highlighted a raging dispute between workers of the state-owned Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the government over an agreement with the US Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) for Ghana’s power sector to bring on board private participation in the management of the company Staff of the ECG, backed by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), have been protesting the MiDA agreement saying there would be job losses when the private company comes in.

Although the government has debunked these claims, ECG staff have even embarked strike actions to force a reversal of the agreement.

“Brouhaha over private participation in ECG ... No worker will lose job — MiDA CEO,” was the headline of the Graphic.

It reported that the Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, Owura Kwaku Sarfo, had given an assurance that workers of ECG would not lose their jobs under the concession agreement to bring on board private participation in the management of the company.

Additionally, he said, the agreement would not precipitate increases in electricity tariffs.

He said apart from the fact that there would be no point in retrenching staff because 15 per cent of them would retire in the next five years, the key elements of ECG’s Private Sector Participation (PSP) transactions guaranteed jobs for five years.

Touching on the PSP’s impact on tariffs, Sarfo stressed that the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) would continue to set tariffs under law.

He, however, cautioned that it did not mean that if at the time of takeover by a concessionaire the prevailing conditions necessitated tariff adjustment it would not be done.
-0- PANA MA 17Sept2016

17 september 2016 04:48:19

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