Ghana: Politics dominates Ghana media

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – Politics dominated the media in Ghana this week, with developments in the two major parties, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), occupying the front pages.

While the never-ending bitter power struggle in the NPP was played up, Saturday’s primaries of the ruling NDC to endorse President John Dramani Mahama and elect parliamentary candidates made the headlines.

The power struggle in the party is between the group led by its presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, and another, led by former president John Agyekum Kufuor. Two people have been murdered as the in-fighting rages.

The suspended national chairman of the opposition party, Paul Afoko, finally spoke out for the first time when he addressed a press conference on Wednesday, warning that the party was risking losing its third successive election if it did not end the flagrant disregard for the party’s constitution.

“NPP is heading towards defeat – Paul Afoko,” was the headline of the state-owned Ghanaian Times, which reported that the embattled national chairman warned that the party was sliding down a slippery slope towards destruction following his illegal suspension and those of 21 others.

“I have watched my party slide down the slippery slope towards destruction. Our party is in danger of shredding its democratic credentials. It started with intimidation, insults and abuse on air, physical attacks, intolerance of freedom of speech and dissent and of lately killings,” he said.

He blamed the unfortunate situation on the flagrant disregard for the party’s constitution by some leading members and that is unhealthy for its survival.

The Times said Akofo challenged the processes that led to his suspension and gave the strongest indication that he would seek redress in court.

“Having exhausted all avenues available to me in the party, I am left with no option than to seek interpretation of our constitution in a court of law before these series of illegalities affect our fortunes in the 2016 general elections,” he said.

Afoko added that the decision to challenge his suspension was not just for him but in the interest of the party and to protect all party members and elected officers including the presidential candidate. “If we allow the constitution to be ridiculed and bastardised the way some people seek to do, then we will have a party without a soul.”

The state-owned Graphic had the headline, “NPP risks staying in opposition – Afoko”.

The story said Afoko warned that the NPP risked staying in opposition if it failed to abide by its own constitution.

He therefore called on all well-meaning members of the party and lovers of democracy to rise up and save the party from illegal acts that were alien to its tradition.

He warned: “Unless urgent action is taken to stop the gross illegalities and constitutional breaches of the party, the future of the party remains bleak.”

He said the destiny of the party was threatened by “the flagrant disregard for the party’s constitution”, adding that “this emerging trend of blatant constitutional breaches and illegalities is alarming”.

Afoko said having exhausted all avenues available to him in the party, he was left with no other option than to proceed to the court “before these series of illegalities affect our fortunes in the 2016 elections”.

The Graphic, in a story with the headline “End all hostilities in NPP – Akufo-Addo”, quoted the presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo as urging party members to let the murder of an activist in Kumasi, central Ghana, mark an end to all hostilities in the party.

He described the death as sad and unfortunate and called on party members to remain calm and refrain from taking the law into their hands.

The activist was recently stabbed to death for allegedly threatening to beat up a constituency chairman who was reported to have made some unpleasant comments about Nana Akufo-Addo when Afoko's supporters went to the party headquarters to demand his reinstatement.

The headline of the Graphic on Friday on the primaries of the NDC read, “Big wigs face major challenge.”

The newspaper said "varied fortunes await a number of NDC big shots as the party conducts its presidential and parliamentary primaries".

It said the decision of the party to expand its electoral college in all the 275 constituencies had given some big shots, especially the incumbent MPs, a herculean task in what had become the most competitive primaries of the party in the Fourth Republic.

President Mahama, who is contesting as the sole candidate in the presidential primary, still needs more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast to scale through.

“NDC primaries: Police deploy personnel,” was the headline of the Graphic on Friday.

It reported that the Police Administration had deployed more than 21,000 personnel, both uniformed and plain-clothes, to monitor and ensure the smooth conduct of Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary primaries of the NDC.

So far, the police have identified 69 flash points or trouble spots in the country where more attention will be focused to ensure the peaceful conduct of the primaries.
-0- PANA MA/VAO 21Nov2015

21 november 2015 08:57:44

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