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General News of Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Source: Daily Guide Network

Constitutional confab in the offing

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday said the electoral systems of the country had over the years experienced some political metamorphosis and would continue in that direction to enrich Ghana’s democratic dispensation.

President Mahama announced that government would soon organize a constitutional conference that would bring together all politicians and technocrats to draft the roadmap for constitutional review.

“Since 1992, our political institutions have grown stronger, considering the fact that we started using metal ballot boxes with padlocks, counting of ballots in another centre and even voting without identification cards,” he added.

President Mahama said this when five presidential candidates in the 2012 general election called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

The candidates; Dr Abu Sakara, Convention People’s Party; Hassan Ayariga, People’s National Convention; Jacob Osei Yeboah, Independent candidate; Kwesi Addae Odike, United Front Party and Henry Lartey, Ghana Consolidated People’s Party were at the Presidency to congratulate him for his victory in the election petition verdict.

The candidates, who paid similar visits to the President and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party Presidential candidate before the verdict, had already visited the NPP candidate before coming back to President Mahama.

President Mahama commended them for the tremendous role they played before the election petition verdict, describing the situation as exceptional, as other countries would have differed from their stance.

He said the election verdict had further raised higher Ghana’s position among her peers in the international community, and appealed to all the failed candidates to lend their support to achieve the development goals of the country.

President Mahama announced that government would soon organize a constitutional conference that would bring together all politicians and technocrats to draft the roadmap for a constitutional review.

He appealed to the failed candidates to avail themselves in the conference to support other stakeholders to provide a summary of policy priorities that would embolden government to embark on massive economic development.

All the candidates expressed their desire to offer their support and expertise to President Mahama to execute his development agenda for the country in the coming years.

They also appealed to President Mahama to run an all-inclusive government that would reduce political polarization in the country.

Electoral Reforms

President Mahama gave the assurance that government would support the Electoral Commission to carry out reforms that would help deepen further Ghana’s democratic credentials.

He said although the current constitution does not make provision for power sharing, his administration would harness resources from all corners of the country to help in the socio-economic development of the country.

President Mahama gave this assurance when members of old parliamentarians called on him at the Flagstaff House.

They were at the Presidency to congratulate him for his victory in the election petition victory and to throw their support behind him in his tenure of office.

President Mahama promised to work with all manner of people to create wealth and prosperity for the country irrespective of their differences and background.

“I am ready to work with all Ghanaians irrespective of their ethnic, religious, political and geographical differences and location, by harnessing their wealth of experience to improve the lives of our people,” President Mahama added.

On wages and salaries, President Mahama said much as government had the intentions of improving their working conditions, spending about 70 percent of the country’s revenue on their remuneration was far higher than the global figures of 30 percent.

He said given other development needs in the areas of health, education, potable water among others, government would continue to tread cautiously in order not to derail the economy.

President Mahama said although his administration started with challenges such as energy crises, fire outbreaks in the markets and industrial strikes, the situation was normalizing; and appealed to the former legislators to provide inputs that would help propel the development agenda of the country.

Kosi Kedem, Chairman of the Association, appealed to President Mahama to run an all-inclusive government as a way of uniting Ghanaians irrespective of their political affiliations.

He also condemned the rampant industrial strikes in the country, which he said, could retard the orderly progress of development.