General News of Friday, 23 November 2012
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has reminded flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama that the country’s constitution does NOT give any party the RIGHT to a second term as he (Mahama) wants the world to believe.
In his closing remarks in Wednesday’s second and final Institute of Economic Affairs Presidential Debate, President Mahama said: “The NDC government has done a lot in four years. Our constitution gives presidents two terms. Take it that I am the spare driver or caretaker. Prof. Mills, of blessed memory, started the process and I am finishing his unexpired term. I believe the NDC government deserves a second term to be able to build on the foundation that it has laid in these four years.”
But the NPP pointed to Article 66 which states clearly that a president holds office for a four year term but can serve a second term subject to re-election. According to the NPP, it was disingenuous and a gross misrepresentation on the part of the president to have stated that the constitution guarantees every president two terms.
“everyone who wants Ghana to achieve more MUST GO OUT AND VOTE. Our Constitution gives the PEOPLE the right to VOTE and choose their leaders, it does NOT give any party the RIGHT to a 2nd term as Mahama so arrogantly stated. A 2nd term for a party must be EARNED, and the Mills/Mahama record is not one worthy of continuing….We must CHANGE NOW and move Ghana forward,” the NPP said at a press conference held in Accra on Thursday.
Read below the statement issued at the press conference.
NANA AKUFO-ADDO & DR BAWUMIA: THE TEAM TO MOVE GHANA FORWARD
PRESS CONFERENCE ORGANISED BY THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, thank you for coming to this afternoon’s press conference, in such strong numbers and at such short notice.
Our mission here is quite simple. We have now completed a full month of our debate season, having had 2 Presidential debates and one Vice Presidential debate. We would also like to take this opportunity to review what we have learned over the course of the 3 debates and the choice facing Ghana.
Ghanaians have been presented with the various options and the standout choice in each of the debates was clear. In every thematic area, from the economy, to healthcare, education, good governance, corruption, women, gender and children issues Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia displayed enormous competence and were the standout choices in all 3 debates.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in the first debate in Tamale, we had a caretaker President completely outclassed and outperformed by Nana Akufo-Addo on the key election issues of education, jobs, the economy, and healthcare. The first debate was clearly a knockout victory for Nana Akufo-Addo
Then the following week, the various running mates squared off in Takoradi. One of the most shocking events so far in this election cycle, which should give pause to any Ghanaian voter, was the disoriented performance of Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, the caretaker Vice-President.
For example it was quite mind-boggling to hear him talk about public toilets in private houses, and blaming the public's frustration with skyrocketing prices of basic goods on the confusion in the minds of our bankers; listening to his opponents all evening and then responding to a question about ports by discussing courts; these should worry Ghanaians and decline to vote for the NDC.
Then we come to last night, the 2nd and final Presidential debate. We clearly saw the choice that faces Ghana on 7 December: first - the NDC, plagued by corruption and inaction on the important topics of education, healthcare, and jobs. On the other hand, Nana Akufo-Addo spoke of a bold vision of economic transformation based upon a well-educated population, which will move Ghanaians out of poverty and into prosperity.
On the issue of corruption, Nana Akufo-Addo exposed the crass corruption that the President and his government are presiding over. Nana Akufo-Addo pointed out that there were too many unanswered questions regarding many deals made by the NDC government and they have refused to do anything about them.
For example, the Woyome judgment debt alone could have built over 400 schools! The CP judgement debt could have trained 28,200 doctors trained in Cuba, as per the President’s own admission.
But surprisingly, President Mahama found an excuse for the NDC doling out of some GH¢858 million in dubious judgement debt payments. President Mahama has adopted the same position the late president adopted. President Mahama yesterday blamed the NPP for dubious the payment of all the GH¢858 million in judgement debts.
Impliedly, President Mahama even rose to the defence of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who is standing trial on charges of defrauding by false pretense and causing financial loss to the state. Indeed, Mr Woyome has himself, stated, that he had no contract to renovate sports stadia for Ghana’s hosting of the 2008 Africa Cup.
Nana Akufo-Addo will find the wrongdoers and get back the money and return it to the Ghanaian people
On the issue of protecting our natural resources, this was another huge success area for Nana Akufo-Addo. He offered the Ghanaian people the way forward in taking the oil wealth we are blessed to have and using it to transform our people and economy into a new value added, industrialised economy. As he says: God did not put us on this rich land to be poor
The claim by John Mahama that 18 new oil discoveries have been made under this NDC hides the fact that all 18 discoveries were made from production agreements signed under the NPP.
On foreign policy, Nana Akufo-Addo pointed out the disastrous policy of "Dzi wu fie asem" and an end to good neighbourliness. The President may have his phone chats with President Outtarra, but maybe he is not aware of damage international reportage such as the UN’s report is causing the country.
President Mahama and Vice President Amissah-Arthur were the main actors responsible for managing the economy. What they delivered was economic hardships to the people. They failed to manage the economy.
They have borrowed over $18 billion in just 4 years, increasing our total public debt to GH¢28.3 billion as at July 2012, and yet still there’s nothing to show for it. They failed the people of Ghana and cannot be trusted with the destiny of this country.
For the majority of Ghanaians December will be a referendum on the abysmal performance of the John Mahama-Amissah Arthur administration as Ghanaians begin to wallow in poverty, economic hardship, and unemployment.
It is for this reason that Nana Akufo-Addo is putting himself forward. That's why Nana Akufo-Addo is in this race! He has put forward bold solutions, and after last night's performance, there is no doubt that the NPP team has the passion, the drive, and the competence to deliver for the Ghanaian people.
Nana Addo is courageous, confident, competent, incorruptible and visionary. In the debates, all these attributes stood out clearly and could be seen in Nana Akufo-Addo.
As Nana said, everyone who wants Ghana to achieve more MUST GO OUT AND VOTE. Our Constitution gives the PEOPLE the right to VOTE and choose their leaders, it does NOT give any party the RIGHT to a 2nd term as Mahama so arrogantly stated. A 2nd term for a party must be EARNED, and the Mills/Mahama record is not one worthy of continuing.
So let's stand tall and not be intimidated by NDC strong-arm tactics and distortions of our Constitution. We must CHANGE NOW and move Ghana forward.