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General News of Tuesday, 14 November 2000

Source: GNA

Rawlings calls for constitutional amendments

President Jerry John Rawlings on Saturday urged that certain portions of the constitution must be amended to meet the changing conditions of society.

Addressing the Western Regional rally of the NDC at Tarkwa, Rawlings said the constitution is not a Bible but man-made and since society is dynamic, it should be amended when necessary to ensure that proper justice prevails in the country.

Rawlings expressed concern about a court ruling on some 35 armed robbers and said such decisions would not have been tolerated in the PNDC era, adding that those who commit terrible crimes should be made to pay for them.

He said the Media Commission has not been performing creditably because of its silence over the misuse of radio stations and newspapers. Referring to a recent decision by the Brong Ahafo Security Council to close down a Berekum FM radio station, President Rawlings said that decision was in the right direction because the opposition was using it to destabilise the peace and security of the area.

He said the NDC does not want to be part of corruption in the country, adding that, because of this, government had decentralised power to enable the district and the people to stand up against corruption. The president said those who want positive change should maintain the political institutions in the country.

Rawlings said every registered voter should cast his vote, and urged them to prevent intimidation at polling stations and vote for capable and honest people but not on tribal grounds.

He said Professor John Atta Mills is an asset to the country and should be voted to power to carry on with development projects in the country. Addressing the rally, Mills said the election is crucial in the political history of the country because the outcome would determine whether the country would progress or retrogress.

He said the NDC has a large following because the party has always honoured its promises to the electorate and stands for development. Mills, flagbearer of the NDC, said the party is confident it will win the elections because it has almost justified the confidence Ghanaians have reposed in it.

He said the NDC is responsible for all Ghanaians and does not discriminate in the allocation of development projects because it believes in equitable distribution of wealth and resources. Prof Mills said the NDC believes in the value of women and there would be more women parliamentarians in the next government. Madam Faustina Nelson, a Vice-chairman of the party, advised Ghanaians to exercise patience and wait for the results to be declared instead of taking to the streets.

Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, Minister, Regional Economic Integration and Co-operation, and Alhaji Inussa Isaka, NPP defector, also addressed the rally.