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Ghana Main Opposition Party to Unveil Manifesto in October

FILE - A supporter of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) wears campaign paraphernalia on the side of a road in Accra, Ghana, Nov. 23, 2012. The NPP has said it will challenge the ruling National Democratic Congress party with its own manifesto October 18.

Ghana’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) says it will launch the party's manifesto on October 18 to outline its plans to transform the country as well as to alleviate the suffering of the citizens.

In an interview with VOA, NPP communications director Nana Akomea says it is critical for Ghanaians to judge the performance of incumbent President John Dramani Mahama and the promises he has made over the years.

Akomea’s remarks came after Mahama unveiled his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) party’s manifesto on Tuesday.

Promises Mahama made include a one (computer) tablet-per-student policy if he wins the elections, plans to increase the number of administrative regions from 10 to 15, and registration fees for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for Ghanaian children. He also promised to build five new stadiums if he is re-elected.

“We will endeavor to ensure our children receive the best quality education relevant for their future, in an environment conducive to learning provided by motivated, inspired and highly trained educators… We’re going to increase the percentage of the district assembly’s common fund to provide free NHIS [National Health Insurance Scheme] subscription to disabled persons in the various districts so that persons with disability if they're sick can be able to go to the hospital because the subscriptions would have been paid for them,’’ said Mahama.

“We will refurbish the Azuma Nelson Sports complex, formerly Kaneshie Sports Complex. In addition, we will build five new stadia at the Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Volta and the Eastern Regions.”

Supporters of the NDC say the manifesto is a clear indication that Mahama’s agenda for the country would improve the lives of Ghanaians despite what they said has often been sharp criticism from the opposition who the supporters say have no clear pragmatic alternative ideas to resolve the economic challenges the country faces.

FILE - President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama is seen during a visit to New Delhi, India, Oct. 28, 2015. His critics say he is making his usual list of largely empty promises ahead December 7 election in his country.
FILE - President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama is seen during a visit to New Delhi, India, Oct. 28, 2015. His critics say he is making his usual list of largely empty promises ahead December 7 election in his country.

Calls for performance-based evaluation

But Akomea says opponents of the president have yet to be given the opportunity to run the affairs of the country, which he says is the reason why prospective voters should be mindful of the lofty promises in the ruling NDC’s manifesto.

“The promises that he is putting across to seek re-election, those promises must be evaluated on the basis of his performance in the last seven-and-a-half years. And so we are looking at the promises he made in 2008 when he was contesting to be voted into office, and then we are looking at the promises he made when he was vice president, and president, and then we are looking to see how he has performed, and then we will put it before the Ghanaian people,” said Akomea.

“They have to look at the manifesto they brought in 2008, the manifesto they brought in 2012, the promises he made in 2008, and see how much he was able to achieve, and that should be the basis of judging President Mahama and the NDC’s promises.”

The NPP says the NDC’s promises are aimed at scoring cheap political points ahead of the December 7 presidential, parliamentary and local polls.

Akomea says Ghanaians should expect a new government from the NPP full of practical achievable ideas to help resolve the myriad of problems the NDC created.

“We are going to present to Ghanaians a set of policies and programs that they themselves can see will be the way forward. We have said, for example, corruption has been a major issue on the minds of Ghanaians, and we have said that we would set up the office of an independent prosecutor outside the ambit of the government, the executive machinery, so they can take independent action in investigating cases of corruption and bringing people to justice…. We are also going to give the commission on human rights enhanced powers so they can prosecute on their own. They can conduct investigations on their own and prosecute on their own,” Akomea said.