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Politics of Monday, 24 August 2020


NPP’s 2020 manifesto takes Ghana back - Patrick Stephenson

Patrick Stephenson, Lead Researcher at Imani Africa Patrick Stephenson, Lead Researcher at Imani Africa

Lead Researcher at Imani Africa, Patrick Stephenson, has said the manifesto document of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) ahead of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections takes the country backward due to the absence of key ingredients such as timelines for the implementation of the proposed projects.

He said the document also fails to give costs to the proposed projects, a situation he believes will make holding the government accountable difficult if the party should win the polls.

He told Alfred Ocansey on the Fact Check session on the Sunrise morning show on 3FM Monday, August 24 that unlike the 2016 manifesto document of the then opposition NPP which he said was bold and forward-looking, the 2020 document does not provide the same feeling.

The governing New Patriotic Party(NPP) launched its manifesto on Saturday, August 22 in Cape Coast as part of preparations for the 2020 polls.

Among some of the proposed projects in the manifesto are the construction of an airport and a new harbour in Cape Coast, the cancellation of the guarantor system in the acquisition of student’s loan by tertiary students, as well as other proposals.

But reacting to the document, Mr Stephenson said he finds it strange that political parties will be making decisions that take the country back.

“The 2016 manifesto was a 68-page document, that in its insufficiency at the time, I thought it was one of the most daring attempts by any political party in opposition to tell you precisely the things they were going to do, and even in some cases give you an indication of what it will cost the economy in implicit terms to get these things done and then gives you in some cases timelines and credible indicators.

“So, for example, somebody tells you that in my time I am going to make sure that the annual growth of the economy does not fall below a certain threshold over three years or four years, then I can hold you to account to that because you have given me an indicator of how that works and they gave us absolute indicators that we are not going to have an economy that falls below 10 per cent .

“So for an indicator like that, the moment I look at the moving indicator for the performance of the economy which is annual real GDP growth over the period and it has fallen below that metric, I have a problem with you because, now, you have to explain to me as an ordinary citizen how that happened.

“That is the metric for accountability for the 68-page document. You had examples of that dotted across even though we thought it was insufficient because it didn’t have an explicit cost for all of those details, I was expecting to see significant improvement in the 2020 manifesto.

“But we have a 299-page document for 2020 and only 42 is relevant for what their plan is for the next year. The rest is just talking about the impact of COVID-19.”