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General News of Thursday, 8 October 2009

Source: GNA

Partisanship, hindering national development - Dr. Appiah

Konongo (Ash), Oct. 8, GNA - Dr. Francis Appiah, Executive Secretary to the National African Peer Review Mechanism-Governing Council (NAPRM-GC), has expressed worry that the politicisation of national issues was affecting the country's development. He called for efforts to stop the practice whereby people supported national policies based on which political party was in government, saying "it is a drawback to the nation's quest for accelerated development."

Dr. Appiah was speaking at the opening of a validation workshop on the Asante Akim North Municipal APRM Monitoring and Evaluation report, at Konongo in the Ashanti Region on Tuesday. The workshop, which also discussed the Municipal Oversight Committee's report on its activities, was attended by participants drawn from a cross-section of the public, including civil society groups, traditional rulers, religious leaders, teachers, students and assembly members.

Dr. Appiah said that it was time Ghanaians emulated citizens of the Western countries, who irrespective of their political affiliations, supported incumbent governments after elections. He said that this would help strengthen Ghana's fledging democracy and boost its international image.

Mr. George Kyei-Barfour, the MOC Chairman, who presented the report, said the Committee had since its inauguration in 2007, embarked on the sampling of public views on democracy and good governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development, APRM's four thematic areas that formed the basis of the report.

Mr. Kyei-Barfour also said the MOC during the 2008 General Election, organised four public debates for parliamentary candidates, offering them the platform to share their visions with the electorate. Mr. Thomas Osei-Bonsu, the Municipal Chief Executive, commended the MOC for its contribution towards the strengthening of democracy in the area and called on members to discharge their duties impartially devoid of partisan politics.

He pledged the Assembly's support for the MOC and urged the NAPRM-GC to ensure effective implementation of the findings for the benefit of the people.