News / Africa

Ghana Voters Weigh Options Ahead of National Polls

Poster of Ghana presidential candidates. (AFP)
Poster of Ghana presidential candidates. (AFP)
Joana Mantey
Ongoing debate in the media and elsewhere suggests that Ghanaians will no longer accept the opinions of political leaders without question. Eric Adjei, a retired politician,  said the days when people voted based solely on a politician’s looks or charisma is over.

“When you have acquired some level of education, you become more politically aware. People are now confronting issues and saying ‘hang on’ we are just not going to let you come and bombard us with promises and then after four years you come back to us again and say please vote for me,” he said.

Adjei is happy that the media is offering an avenue for political discourse on campaign promises by the political parties.

Interim President John Mahama, the presidential candidate for the ruling National Democratic Congress, or NDC, is promising to provide school children with free laptops.  And he has promised to build a public university in eastern Ghana. There are other promises too.

George Lawson is the deputy general secretary of the NDC.  He said his party will ensure there are enough schools for Ghanaian children and that high school education is gradually made free. “Our aim is to give quality education to the Ghanaian, enforce free universal basic education and then again eliminate schools under trees,” he said.

Education is also dominating discussions in the New Patriotic Party, NPP.

Presidential candidate Nana Akufo Addo says if he becomes president,  he will put up 350 classrooms and make high school free for all students. There are also promises to build housing units for Ghanaians, as well as provide loan guarantees to private developers for slum upgrading.

NPP member Mike Ocquaye said his party is offering better policies. “We want to come into government to help the people of Ghana.  Our party is known as the party which brought in social policies that helped the masses in the previous government.  We are looking forward to doing more for the masses,” he said.

However, not all Ghanaians agree that the candidates’ policies meet their basic needs. 

Kwesi Plange is a freelance journalist.  He said parties must show how the country’s economic gains are helping ordinary workers.

“If at the end of the day the people asses their lives and realize that, ‘when I compare myself with the guy I give power to represent me, I see him riding a free car, he has a free house, he has servants in tow. I mean he is able to afford all the basic things of life.

Then it takes away the motivation to be part of the electoral process," he added.

Obiri works for the non- profit organization, Center for Environmental Impact Analysis.  He said most of the manifestos are silent on environmental issues.

“Let’s focus on the environment, let’s focus on natural resource governance.  If we are able to get these two things right, we’ll be able to do everything right,” he said.

Obiri said problems such as high arsenic poison in blood samples of residents along polluted water bodies in the central region of Ghana could be solved if political parties gave priority to environmental issues.

The Ghanaian think-tank Institute of Economic Affairs, or IEA, is giving presidential candidates an opportunity to debate the issues. The IEA says the debates will help promote accountability among the presidential candidates and public discourse on their manifestos.

Ghana Voters Weigh Options Ahead of National Polls
Ghana Voters Weigh Options Ahead of National Pollsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid