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General News of Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Source: GNA

Elections should go beyond comparing records - NPP

Accra, May 13, GNA - The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), in a reaction to statements by the main opposition Party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said 2008 elections should go beyond comparing records to leadership and visions.

Mr. Peter Mac Manu, Chairman of the NPP, told a press conference in Accra on Tuesday that the task ahead was about convincing Ghanaians as to which of the parties seeking their mandate can be trusted to bring about the kind of economic transformation necessary to bring transformation to all.

The main opposition NDC last week at its national campaign launch made a number of allegations of the NPP.

The NDC, among others accused the NPP of mediocre political administration and poor economic performance, polarizing the nation, graft and turning the nation into a drug and criminal hub.

Mr. Mac Manu flanked by Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, Nana Ohene Ntow, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, all heavyweights of the NPP, said the answer to which presidential candidate could best lead the nation was to establish how well the parties that were fielding them were able to deliver on their previous promises when they had the opportunity to be in political office.

He said weight could only be put on the promises of the parties if they had performed well on their promises. "This year's general elections are about choices. In terms of the presidential candidates, the reality still remains that the Ghanaian electorate is limited to choosing between the NPP and the NDC," Mr Mac Manu said.

"The NDC is artfully urging Ghanaians to discard their collective memory of how the P/NDC squandered the opportunities they had in almost 20 years in office.

Mr. Mac Manu mocked the "I care for you" slogan of the NDC saying the party cared little for nursing mothers, adding that they were rather detained in hospitals because they could not afford the Cash and Carry system.

The NPP Chairman extolled some of the benefits of the National Health Insurance Scheme, which, he said, was now benefiting 10 million Ghanaians.

He said the NDC, which had in 1996 promised a feasibility studies on the Scheme refused to support it in 2003, and their Members of Parliament chose to walk out on their responsibilities as law makers in support of the Scheme "when babies, nursing mothers and the elderly were in need of a more humane health care system".

Mr. Manu said the NPP believed that a serious comparison of the two parties in terms of the parties in government the respective visions of the parties for the future of the country and the competence and experience of the presidential candidates would assist the voters in the choice they would have to make in December.

"We believe an objective analysis of national service records of all the candidates can only confirm that Nana Akufo-Addo is the best Candidate," Mr. Mac Manu said.

In an interpretation to the statement of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, NDC Flag bearer for Election 2008, that he was not born with a "silver spoon in his mouth" Mr Mac Manu said the law professor, who had said he was the son on a school teacher and a trader and had a difficult childhood, rather had a "golden spoon" put into his mouth by former President Jerry Rawlings.

"In 1996, he had acted as the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner for eight years when he was plucked from political obscurity and thrust into centre stage by President Rawlings.

"That was a very significant boost to a man who is widely acknowledged as respected academic, but whose contribution to the political development in the days of tyranny was, at best, insignificant."

Mr. Mac Manu, however, said unlike Prof. Mills, Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP flag bearer, together with his compatriots went onto the streets with courage, patriotism, and political morality as the only legitimate weapon to fight tyranny, using his legal expertise to champion the cause of justice.

The NPP debunked the allegation of the NDC that the NPP was vindictive and polarized.

Mr Mac Manu said the NPP had supported Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas and Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, both NDC stalwarts, in their quest for the international positions they held now, adding that until recently, Mr Paul Victor Obeng, one time "de facto Prime Minister of Ghana" under the regime of the Provisional National Defence Council, the predecessor of the NDC, had been the Chairman of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. NPP said it had passed laws to deal with corruption and further on what it would do if it won the next elections and challenged the NDC to give details of what it intended to do.

The NPP said the picture of Ghana as a transit country for drugs was not better than now when Prof. Mills was Vice President.