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General News of Monday, 15 December 2008

Source: GNA

Losing presidential candidates request positive campaign

Accra, Dec. 15, GNA - Five presidential candidates, who contested the December 7 election, have asked the two parties in the runoff, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to exercise a high degree of positive campaign to avoid conflict and violence.

The five presidential candidates made the request in a statement signed by Paa Kwesi Nduom, Convention People's Party (CPP); Mr Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP); Mr Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah, Independent; Mr Kwabena Adjei, Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD) and Mr Thomas Nuako Ward-Brew, Democratic People's Party (DPP). The statement drew the attention of the nation on the need to reform the laws governing elections particularly the ones that pertain to campaign financing.

"It is important to seriously consider the matter of support from the state to the candidates and political parties and that of increasing transparency in the reporting of sources of funding for campaigns in Ghana."

They also called for the need for Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to provide equal access to all certified candidates to sell their messages to the public without paying a fee during the critical period of campaigns and even to bring equity to the portion that is paid for. The statement said the very fact that not one presidential candidate obtained a 50 per cent plus one of the valid votes cast to win on the first ballot proved the need to strengthen the ability of everyone, who wanted to participate in the democratic process to do so. "Our participation in the December 7 elections provided a reasonable variety of alternatives to the voting public," they said, adding that, their participation in the elections had strengthened democracy and promoted the principles of freedom of association and of speech.

The five candidates recommended to the eventual winner and the next president to consider bringing greater inclusiveness to the society and do everything possible to unite the people and give opportunity to all Ghanaians in terms of jobs, contracts and other opportunities to serve the people.

They also recommended to the eventual winner to take every step possible to honour all the past leaders to affirm the high value the people should place on public service.