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General News of Sunday, 21 April 2013

Source: GhanaWeb

In the news this week...

From petitioners locking horns with respondents in the election petition case at the Supreme Court to some civil society groups taking the time to scrutinise the president’s 100 days in office to government struggling to justify the visit of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the week's news is here for you to enjoy at a glance.

Gov’t backs Ahmadinejad's visit

Foreign Affairs Minister Hannah Tetteh during the week expressed reservations at concerns raised by some civil society groups and the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, saying government is not perturbed by assertions that the country risks hurting the sensibilities of its Western partners due to the visit.

Speaking to XYZ News the minister stated that Iran has had some diplomatic relations with Ghana and would therefore not object to a visit by its president.

“President Ahmadinejad is the President of an independent state. He is visiting us in his capacity as the chairman of the Non-aligned Movement," she said.

“We have diplomatic relations with Iran and to that extent if in these circumstances and in his capacity he is visiting Ghana, it is not something that we object to."

The Iranian president arrived in Ghana on Tuesday, April 23.

Mahama’s 100 days dissected

IMANI Ghana’s Franklin Cudjoe thinks John Mahama in his first 100 days has shown clear commitment and provided resources in building the gas infrastructure to an increase of 33%.

According to IMANI, the president has also “elevated the ministry of women affairs to focus on general issues of social protection and that is very good”.

But IMANI believes the answers to the basic economic question of solving resource allocation is clearly not an agenda that seems to meet the urgency of the difficulties the country is currently facing.

According to IMANI, seeing that the presidency has not changed in the last 10 months, the efforts attempted at solving the larger problems in the country makes a comfortable 47% rating.

Centre for Advanced Strategic Analysis (CASA), a strategic planning and security organisation, was brief in their assessment.

They believe the first 100 days have been characterised by labour strikes, power crisis, water challenges etc. and these have overshadowed President Mahama’s performance or the perception as to how well he is doing or has done.

CASA also encouraged the current administration “to work towards uniting a divided country and set clear, measurable, objective targets which can be verifiable over time”.

Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, Vitus Azeem, also demanded of President John Mahama to prove his commitment to fighting corruption, by backing his words with “action”.

Mr. Azeem noted that little had been heard or seen from President Mahama regarding his determination to combating corruption, over the last 100 days that he had been in office as President of the Republic of Ghana.

“The president must be prompt and order investigations into allegations of corruption and he must make the reports public; this helps in the fight against corruption,” Mr. Azeem stressed.

Election petition broadcast live

The dust finally settled when the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woode instructed a live telecast of the landmark electoral petition case at the Supreme Court.

The national broadcaster, GTV and Radio Ghana were commissioned to survey a set up on Tuesday April 16, 2013.

The move however was welcomed by a section of the public as it offered them the chance to follow proceedings closely in the media.

Lithur, Bawumia clash in court

Counsel for President John Dramani Mahama, Tony Lithur, on Thursday engaged in many face-offs with the star witness in the petition against the 2012 presidential election, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia during a hearing at the Supreme Court.

It all started when Mr Lithur put it to Dr Bawumia during cross-examination that the witness had submitted to the court as exhibits some pink sheets which were duplicated in different categories of alleged electoral malpractices.

Mr Lithur, in the cross-examination, said, “l put it to you that you have used the duplicated pink sheets for the purpose of deceiving the court,” to which Dr Bawumia responded: “l suggest to you that it is not true,” amidst spontaneous laughter from members of the bench, the bar and the gallery.

Dr Bawumia explained that although duplicated pink sheets had found their way to the court, not a single one was relied upon and that those materials on the CD ROM were the ones used in the analysis.

In concluding his evidence-in-chief on the second day of the hearing of the petition, the star witness said the petitioners were seeking the annulment of 4,381,415 votes which were included in the results of the December 2012 presidential election by the Electoral Commission (EC).

He said those votes were tainted with widespread constitutional and statutory violations, irregularities and malpractices.

Dr Bawumia, however, admitted under cross-examination before the Supreme Court that he submitted to the court as exhibits some pink sheets which were duplicated in different categories of alleged electoral malpractices.

Black Starlets' day of shame

The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria thrashed the Black Starlets of Ghana 6-1 last week in the African Junior Championship ongoing in Morocco.

Nigeria’s Isaac Success run riot in Marrakech by scoring four goals in their opening Group B game whiles Bernard Bulbwa and Kennedy Ihenacho completed the annihilation. Yaw Yeboah’s consolation for Ghana was sandwiched between Success’ third and fourth strikes.

The Megap Soccer Academy player opened the Golden Eaglets’ account in the 10th minute before Bulbwa doubled it from a counter-attack on the half hour mark. Success bagged his second with five minutes to the interval.

After the break, Success earned his hat-trick in the 63rd minute to make it 4-0 for the Nigerians. Yeboah pulled one back for the Ghanaians but that was not enough to threaten the Nigerians who added two more goals in the 68th minute and 95th minute courtesy Success and Ihenacho respectively.

The Black Starlets are out of the tournament after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Cote d’Ivoire in the final Group B game on Saturday.