Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress Party
(NDC) will be celebrating 16 years since its formation today, reminding
Ghanaians that the party has a great democratic legacy ahead of this year’s
general elections. The NDC said it demonstrated its commitment to entrenching
democracy in Ghana when it handed over power peacefully to the opposition after
losing the 2000 general elections. The party claims that its presidential
candidate John Atta-Mills who is Ghana’s former vice president, will win this
year’s polls, claiming that the ruling party failed to live up to its promise
to alleviate suffering by ordinary Ghanaians. NDC
Communications Director Hannah Tetteh tells reporter Peter Clottey that the
party is poised to win this year’s elections.
NDC is now 16 years as being a political party, and I we don’t think we should
make it a one day celebration. We think that for the month of June, we should
do a few activities that would depict our commitment to the democratic process
that would help Ghanaians to understand what the NDC stands for in an election
year, and would help them to make a better choice,”
said the opposition party has a plan to introduce itself to the ordinary
Friday, we are going to be in Kumasi, and we are going to have a town hall
meeting at the Prempeh assembly hall with our flag bearer and our running mate
and leading members of the party to give the people of Kumasi the opportunity
and people within the Ashanti region to interact with us and to see that the
NDC is not perhaps the villain that it has been couched out to be, but a social
democratic party that thinks about the welfare of Ghanaians and is committed to
making a better Ghana,” she said.
reiterated that the opposition NDC party is committed to cementing and
supporting the growth of Ghana’s democracy.
“We are ready to play by the
rules. When we lost an election and we believe that having supervised the
election that it was a fair, credible, and transparent election we handed over
to the NPP (New Patriotic Party) government. We didn’t do the things that other
West African governments and countries and other nations in Africa, especially
African leaders, have tried to do, perpetuating themselves in power,” Tetteh
She said the founding father
of the party proved his embrace for democracy, although he became the head of
state of Ghana by the barrel of the gun.
“Jerry Rawlings did not
become a Robert Mugabe. He showed that even though he started out as somebody
who was the head of a government that was a quasi-military and civilian
government, he ended his political career as a head of state as a democrat. And
the NDC as a party is committed to the democratic process, and that is the
significance of what we handed over when we lost an election,” she noted.
Tetteh said the opposition
party is displeased with the level of preparation of the electoral commission
ahead of this year’s elections.
have some problems with the way the preparations for this elections are going.
You see, we’ve had a situation where we’ve had problems with the voters
register. The NDC received from the custody of the electoral commission a CD
Rom with the voters register, and a printout of the voters register. And there
were huge discrepancies between the registered voters in some constituencies in
the Ashanti region on the printout as against what was on the CD Rom. Now, that
is troubling because the electoral commission is saying that that was just a
human error. But remember that it’s that hard to have paper copies that are
going to go out to the constituencies and with which we are going to use for
the elections. So, how do we know that an error of such nature will not happen
again? And what happens if there are even more serious errors that would cause
us to doubt the credibility of the electoral process?” Tetteh asked.
She blamed the ruling New
Patriotic Party for not adequately funding the electoral commission ahead of
this year’s general election.
“We think that the electoral
commission has not been adequately resourced to be able to perform its task. We
are talking about these issues now because there is time to rectify the
situation, so that we can have a peaceful free, free fair and credible
election,” she pointed out.
the NDC claims that when it was in power, it ensured the
deepening of the democratic process in Ghana and established key institutions
that were essential under the new constitution for the development of
democracy, including district assemblies, the National Commission for Civic
Education, the Electoral Commission, and the Commission of Human Rights and