News / Africa

    Ghana Political Parties Vie for Power in December Polls

    Joana Mantey
    As voters in Ghana prepare to elect a president and parliament in December, the rival political parties are busy canvassing for votes.

    Most feel political tension is not especially high.

    George Lawson, the deputy general secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress, or NDC party.

    “If you would recall,  in 2008 by now the atmosphere was really tense," he said. "[Now] people are going about their duties normally”.

    However, things do not seem normal within Lawson’s party, where there is deep internal wrangling.

    The NDC party has been involved in internal bickering over various issues.  Now a breakaway faction has formed a new party headed by Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, the wife of NDC founder and former President Jerry Rawlings.

    The Electoral Commission has disqualified the breakaway National Democratic Party, NDP, from the presidential election.  But it is seeking parliamentary seats and the former first lady is calling for the ruling NDC government to be voted out of power.

    Still the NDC’s secretary in Ghana’s Ashanti region, Amin Joseph, claims the ruling party is focused on winning. He accused the rival New Patriotic Party, or NPP, of being hostile. 

    “Abusive language is in our politicking," he said, "but the NPP seems to be dominating the survey that was conducted into abusive language.  At least people are realizing that the NDC is more decent than the NPP”.

    Ghana is seen as a model for democracy in Africa.

    It has held five democratic elections since 1992, when it passed a new constitution.
    However, some, like NPP communication team member and lawyer Mike Ocquaye, said December’s election could trigger changes to the electoral process.

    “We have instances," he said, "where there are attempts to bring proxy voting without reference to verification and that there will be a special list.  We have situations of people saying transfer and we will not be using verification and coming up with a special list [under] which people may accuse and counter accuse. These are very dangerous for an election and therefore purification of the system [is needed] to be able to conduct elections.”

    Some parties are also accusing rivals of supporting drug-related activities.  But Ocquaye says the tagging of political parties as having links to drugs trade needs to be discouraged.

    “Anybody who tries to make drugs political," he said, "is very naïve because we all know that, even recently, the biggest haul of cocaine [which arrived from Ghana] has been seized in Britain. Am I to say therefore that [President] John Mahama aided it? No, anybody who does that would be very naïve”.

    Despite some infighting and tension between political parties, they have all agreed to adopt a code of ethics as guide to this year’s elections.  They have promised to minimize the use of inflammatory language and to publicly denounce political violence should it occur.

    Listen to report on Ghana elections
    Listen to report on Ghana elections i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Nica from: aidFbufK
    November 29, 2012 5:51 AM
    Here's my comments left at the weibtse:Just wanted to voice my displeasure with the recent changes. I have nothing against your present format, but it been done before by others.The old BOS was probably the most unique mix of music that I have ever heard in the entire US. Add to that the way the DJ's presented the music and themselves, Summerfest, Live from the Archive, etc, etc, you guys really screwed up on this one.Try Googleing WBOS change' and you'll see all the upset fans out there. And lastly, while I don't have first had knowledge of this, it sounds like the entire staff was let go on very short notice. Better start freshing up that resume as you never know when YOU might be gone.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora