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Analyst Says Ghanaians Disapprove of Outgoing Presidential Transition Team

Some Ghanaians are expressing their displeasure with President John Kufour's transition team after failing to meet with the team of President-Elect John Atta-Mills ahead of Wednesday's swearing in. The meeting between incoming and outgoing administrations failed to come off Monday after the outgoing team said it needed to conduct presidential tours. Some are speculating that the outgoing administration is procrastinating because it has things to hide. President Kufuor is expected to leave office Tuesday at midnight ahead of Mr. Atta-Mills' taking the oath of office as constitutionally mandated. Political analyst Alhaji Idrissu Bature tells reporter Peter Clottey that Ghanaians are disappointed hearing what they consider lackadaisical claims by the outgoing transitional team.

"We are less than five days from the handing over, so Ghanaians were expecting that the transitional team of both sides will get to work and then try to do the handing over notes prior to seventh January. And President-Elect Atta –Mills has already indicated that before even the run-off, his transitional team is ready and is in motion. So Ghanaians were surprised that as at Sunday and Monday, the transitional teams of both the NDC (National Democratic Congress) and NPP (New Patriotic Party) couldn't hold that joint meeting for the comparing of notes and then handing over of ministerial portfolios assets and liabilities," Bature pointed out.

He said the failure of the outgoing transitional team to meet the incoming transitional team led to speculation that perhaps President John Kufuor's administration has something to hide.

"Some people believe that it is a deliberate ploy by the ruling New Patriotic Party because the figures or the micro-economic stability indices that they have been telling us about are suspect. So that when the joint transitional team meet, some of these things are likely to come up. For example, the cost of building the presidential palace has not been disclosed to Ghanaians, and skeptics believe that the NPP administration is trying to delay the meeting in order to cover up," he said.

Bature said although the outgoing transitional team assigned reasons for yesterday's failed meeting, many Ghanaians were not satisfied with the explanation.

"In fact, the chief of staff of (President Kufuor) currently at the seat of government, Mr. Kwodwo Mpianim, gave the reason that because the president had to introduce the president-elect to the facilities at the seat of government that was the reason why they couldn't meet. And this for many was taken with a pinch of salt because the president is not part of the transitional team," Bature noted.

He reiterated some Ghanaians' expression of suspicion over the explanations offered for the failure to meet.

"Analysts believe that the government wants to hide some of the figures so that on Wednesday, seventh January, there is a handing over, then the work of the transitional team would be curtailed or truncated," he said.

Bature said the practice of non-cooperation of the outgoing administration is not new to Africa's body politic.

"Under normal circumstances the transitional period could even last up to one year. But what we have in this part of the world is that as soon as a government is put in place, the whole process is truncated because cooperation doesn't come properly. So it is going to be difficult. Today for example, one of the major tasks of the transitional team is to set the rule of engagement prior to even proper sitting. And I don't even think that we would have a full disclosure of the state of the nation. It is just for the procedure of the meeting and the rules of engagement. So we are not going to have a full disclosure before the Kufuor administration exists on Wednesday morning," Bature pointed out.

Meanwhile, the European Union observer mission that monitored Ghana's election described the independent electoral commission as competent and transparent in organizing the just-ended election.

In a released statement, the European Union observer mission said, "the Electoral Commission of Ghana has done a good job in organizing these elections and it has worked competently and transparently and its role should be acknowledged."

The Chairman of Ghana's independent Electoral Commission, Kwadwo Afari Gyan declared NDC flag bearer John Atta Mills the president-elect of Ghana on January 3, after a second round of voting. Both the ruling New Patriotic Party and the NDC failed to garner more than 50 percent of the vote to win the December 7 first round of a general election. Atta Mills won the runoff with 4,521,032 votes, representing 50.23%, while Nana Akufu-Addo of the ruling party received 4,480,446, accounting for 49.87%.