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General News of Friday, 22 January 1999

Source: --

Reformists to form political party- Mije Barnor

Accra (Greater Accra), 22 Jan. '99 --

Members of the Reform Movement (RM), will form a political party "that will enter the electoral fray in 2000", Mr Mije Barnor, a spokesman for the movement said yesterday. Mr Barnor, who was reacting to a Ghana News Agency report in the "Daily Graphic" headlined "RM will not form a Party", said " the report gives the impression that the RM leadership is confused about where it wishes to go". He said he told the GNA that , "in December, the RM national council determined that the campaign to reform the NDC had failed. We decided not to waste any more time appealing to the NDC leadership to address that party's problems. "Accordingly, we have formally registered the "Reform Movement" as an organisation separate from and entirely outside the NDC. We are no longer the "NDC Reform Movement", he said in a rejoinder. "RM is now open to people from all parties, who share our desire for clean and constructive politics in Ghana. '' More importantly, RM is available to many Ghanaians outside the political establishment who seek a way to contribute to shaping national direction. So, the first fruit of our struggles is the new non- partisan RM. Mr Barnor said he told the GNA during the interview that "to achieve the kind of change in our political culture and national direction that the Reformists advocate and "which Ghana desperately needs", Reformists must be ready to contest for power and put our ideas into practice". The RM has adopted a strategy for evolving a party that satisfies both their sense of democracy and desire ''to restore some substance to party politics in Ghana. "RM will host a national consultative meeting of progressives ("Reform Congress") in February. This 'congress' will debate the 'Reform Charter - a political and policy programme for 21st Century Ghana' that we have prepared. "Once adopted at 'Congress', the charter becomes the basis for a political programme for the next six to nine months, during which it will be refined and deepened through discussions among our cells". "This refined programme will then be presented to another Congress later this year. "When we have finalised our programme, organisation and campaign strategy, we will form our political party. Incidentally, when our party is formed, RM will continue in existence as an NGO. It will play the role of a political watchdog, including blowing the whistle on its founders if we step out of line!"