In Ghana, the presidential candidate of the opposition People's National Convention party (PNC) is calling for a coalition government ahead of this year?s general elections. Doctor Edwards Mahama says his call stems from the animosity between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is he says is detrimental to the development of Ghana?s blooming democracy.

Mahama adds that a coalition government is the best antidote to accelerate Ghana?s development agenda, which he claims has been stymied over the years by partisan politics. From Ghana?s capital Accra Doctor Mahama tells reporter Peter Clottey that he is advocating a coalition government, which would pursue a holistic national development agenda that goes beyond anybody?s personal or political interest.

?What I have noticed is that in Ghana when a government comes into power they abandon all the projects of the previous government most of the time. For example, NDC started renovating the ?job 600? (building) to make it available as offices to members of parliament before they were thrown out of power by the ballot. The NPP came, and they haven?t done anything about it. In all these situations, Ghanaians lose money. If there is a coalition and a government is thrown out, it is unlikely because of the plurality of opinions that formulated the particular project that the new government can just disregard all these political parties and throw out a project and start doing what they want,? Mahama pointed out.

He said Ghanaians should have a government that cares about their well-being.

?I think if we are working on ideological basis, we would give the people of Ghana good governance, not only good governance, but government that recognizes. PNC has no permanent friends or permanent enemies. We have permanent interest, which is Ghana and the growth of our party,? he said.

Mahama said it was unfortunate his call for a coalition government is being criticized and belittled because of a failed attempt by the party going into an alliance with another opposition party that fell apart.

?We in PNC had an understanding with the CPP (opposition Convention People?s Party). We signed the Memorandum of Understanding with them. The Memorandum is still there. We kept out part of the bargain, and they haven?t been able to do it. And as I keep saying, you can only propose to a woman. You cannot force her and marry her. I think the memorandum that we signed with the CPP was equitable. Listen if not for the PNC, there would be no CPP to talk about because in 1996 there was the NDC represented by Jerry John Rawlings in the elections and the NPP represented by then-candidate J. A. Kufuor and Edward Nasigiri Mahama representing the PNC, which was the Nkrumahist lineage. If I had not stood in 1996, today we would have only NDC, NPP, and nobody would be talking about CPP,? Mahama noted.

He is urging all opposition parties in the country to come together to alleviate what he described as the suffering of the masses.

?That is what the coalition idea is all about. And you know I just don?t jump on these things and start talking about them. If you go back and look at 2004, we already have a feeling Ghanaians were not satisfied with what they were getting from the NPP. So we tried to organize a grand coalition, unfortunately it didn?t work as well as we originally thought for several reasons so we are visiting it again,? he said.