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General News of Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Source: GNA

CPP has trust and confidence in EC - Nduom

Accra, March 25, GNA - The Convention People's Party (CPP) on Tuesday affirmed its trust and confidence in the ability of the Electoral Commission (EC) to manage Elections 2008 professionally but tasked the EC to ensure that its data base is accurate.

"If the credibility of the Commission is eroded, we will not have any peace after the next elections as some political parties appear to be preparing themselves for an unhealthy contest.

"As a party, we believe in the professional abilities and capabilities of the Commissioners, and their electoral staff," Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom CPP Flag bearer stated at a press conference in Accra to expose the media to the party's Community Base Campaign strategy. He called on EC to ensure that the political parties behave in accordance to the tenets of the 1992 Constitution, the Political Parties law Act 574, and other electoral operational guidance. He said electoral problems were caused by the political parties and therefore charged the EC to take steps to ensure that all political parties and their agents adhere to the rules and regulations governing public elections.

The former Minister for Private Sector Reforms, also tasked the government to release funds required by the EC on a timely basis to remove all doubts about the capabilities of the commission to conduct free and fair elections.

On the recent discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities, Dr Nduom urged the government to outline immediate developmental strategies for these communities to avoid Nigeria's Niger Delta problem. He said the government must prevent the situation where the people of Niger Delta suffer in poverty while the oil companies and their governments reap the benefit, from happening in Ghana.

"I am calling for a plan of development and modernization for the immediate communities where oil and gas have been found." The government should also make sure that whatever decisions are arrived at on how to invest the oil and gas benefits are passed into law by Parliament to ensure that implementation does not vary by political ideology or the personal desire of any one leader.

Dr Kwaku Osafo Spokesman of Industry, Trade and Labour urged the government to promulgate the necessary laws to prevent the haemorrhage of revenue, which the nation would accrue through thievery and corruption.

The nation should reach a consensus on the priorities for the utilization of the stream of revenues for national renaissance and development.

Dr Osafo who is also an International Development Economist called on the sub-regional leaders and the African Union (AU) to quickly fashion a new joint oil policy in terms of production, distribution, marketing and partnership to protect Africa's interest. He said the story for African countries such as Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Angola and Congo-Brazavile had been harrowing and sad. "Oil revenues in these sister countries sprouted greed, vile ostentation, corruption, ineptness, arrogance and insensitivity to the poor and needy. The dark lamentable recesses of man's inhumanity to man surfaced in the most criminal manner.

"The oil resources were not substantially and substantively used to build and improve the human resources base only limited infrastructures in low cost housing, roads, railways, hospital were undertaken," he said.

He said Nigeria which is the 8th world largest oil producer fared no better from the oil money revenue, throwing the people of the Niger Delta into the abyss of poverty and underdevelopment. He therefore appealed to the government to put in place the structures to ensure that Ghanaians benefit from the oil and gas resources.

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