A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana and a senior researcher with IEA, Dr. Ransford Gyanpoh has questioned the allegations by the New Patriotic Party over the credibility of the register.
In his opinion, the allegations should be thoroughly investigated by the Electoral Commission.
‘’How reliable and how truthful are these allegations coming from a party seeking to capture political power, In Ghana the history of our 4th Republic shows that any time political parties are seeking to amass power , all manner of things, and so shouldn’t these allegations first be thoroughly investigated by the EC,’’ he quizzed.
Dr. Gyanpoh raised concerns over the limitations by the NPP, in the Volta region with their alleged foreigners in the voters’ register.
‘’Why have the allegation of foreign voters be limited to only areas close to the NDC strongholds particularly Togo?, where are the other compelling border town evidence?,’’ he questioned.
The senior research fellow and lecturer indicated that, Ghana compiled its voters’ register before Togo did theirs and therefore there could be a possibility that some Ghanaians who doubles as citizens of Togo, registered in Togo and not the other way around as been alleged by the NPP.
Commenting on the existence of voters who used the National Insurance Card to register, he advised that such people should be made to register again because the fact that they used the ID to register does not make them non-Ghanaians.
He also refuted claims that the Supreme Court in 2012 ruled that the register was flawed because of the existence of voters through the National Insurance Card.
He admonished stakeholders with any superior technology to assist the EC to delete those alleged voters.
Dr. Ransford Gyanpoh disagreed with the suggestions that the compilation of a new register is the only way forward, he insisted that, the call for the new register is not the only thing that ensures credibility of the elections.
‘’As a nation the other issue we must ask is, do we have the resources to conduct a new voters’ register and must we only focus on the register to the neglect of the countless proposals for electoral reforms that have been submitted to the Electoral Commission by the Electoral Reforms Committee that are yet to be attended to?
Again must we always call for a new voters’ register in every election year, let us remember in 1996 we had one, in 2008 we had one, in 2012 we had one and now we are looking for another one. Is that all that matters? Must the Electoral Commission again tender to entrench to demands that sacrifice its independence,’’ he asked further.
Dr. Gyanpoh accused the political parties for busing what has become the so-called foreigners and minors in the register.
He asked: ‘’who undermined the credibility of the voters register, is it not the political parties themselves who bused aliens and minors to the registration centres and when they were challenged, they protested, Will a call for a new voter register suddenly make the political parties be repentant of their corrupt practices that blows the register, If you call for a new voters’ register today, does it mean the NPP will not buss people there?’’
The presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party says the NPP as a party never taught the ruling government could make things go bad in managing the economy.
Nana Akufo-Addo was delivering a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a leading Think Tank in Washington, on Tuesday, October 20.
“Even we in opposition did not think our rivals could make things get this bad. What is frustrating for the Ghanaian people is that we believe it is all, in essence, avoidable. We believe we have what it takes to make Ghana work again. So my task is not to deepen the gloom but to give both Ghanaians and the investor community a reason to hope. That, yes, the story today may be bad but change is coming,” he said.
The presidential candidate was alarmed at how bad things have gone with so much incompetence, corruption and mismanagement on the part of the Mahama led administration, he made reference to an article captured in the Bloomberg which described Ghana’s success story as going dark.
According to Nana Addo Ghanaians are yearning for a change, a change that is stern from the economic hardship and difficulties Ghanaians are going through.
He said: ‘’ the reasons informing the clarion call for change in Ghana, Akufo-Addo said, stem from the mismanagement of Ghana’s economy, rising cost of living, rising cost of doing business in Ghana, rising levels of unemployment, as well as rampant and widespread cases of corruption, amongst others, under the government of John Mahama’’.
He added: ‘’with Ghanaians yearning for a change in their circumstances, after being plagued by economic hardships and rampant corruption over the last 7 years, coupled with President Mahama desperately looking for a second term in office, though his NDC government would have spent 8 years in office by 2016, “the stakes are certainly high’’.
Nana Addo indicated that, the NDC had failed after they took over from the NPP, destroying the very foundation of the great achievements of former president Kuffour.
‘’Ghana’s public debt, he said, has shot up 1,000% in less than 7 years the NDC has been in office, with the country spending GH¢9.5 billion to service interest payments on loans alone, a figure representing Ghana’s entire debt stock in 2009, when President Kufuor and the NPP left office’’.
Additionally, Nana Akufo-Addo noted that, over the last 3 years, social and economic lives of the people have been heavily disrupted by ‘dumsor’, the cost of which has been estimated to be $2.2 million a day, equivalent to 7% of Ghana’s GDP, according to calculations made by Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER).
“Corruption is perceived to be at an all-time high. Investor confidence is low. Unemployment is worsening as businesses are folding; cost of borrowing is at 35%; inflation keeps rising, at 17.5% last month; cost of living is high; our cedi has been one of the world’s worst performing currencies over the last couple of years. Depreciation and our inability to pay our bills forced Ghana, oil rich Ghana, to apply for an IMF bailout last year. This has put a 10% cap in wage increases, way below the rate of inflation, making people poorer, and a cap on public sector hiring as well,” Nana Addo explained.
The Editor-In-Chief of the Informer Newspaper, Andy Kankam has described as scandalous the position of the two former presidents on the call for a new voters’ register.
He could not understand why the two Former Presidents, JJ Rawlings and John A. Kuffuor called for a credible register when they are aware of the constitutional provision on this matter.
He said: ‘’I have a problem, am scandalized that they seem not to respect the very constitution that gave them power to rule.’’
Andy Kankam criticised the two former presidents for pronouncing that the EC should compile a new voters’ register, he described the situation as unfortunate, an abuse of the constitutional provision in Article 46 which guarantees the independence of the Electoral Commission.
‘’So we should just change the register because someone says you should change it, what if tomorrow another party calls for the change of the register, what do we do,’’ he quizzed.
According to him, the Electoral Commission has given all the political parties and other stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the issue on 29th October, so why then should the Let My Vote Count hold their demonstration, why should they petitioned the two former leaders?
Because they called Let My Vote Count, we should do their bidding, why don't they want to listen to others?
Andy Kamkam also expressed disappointment in some groups and the clergy for their pronouncement on the register ahead of their engagement with the EC.
In his opinion Ghanaians should wait patiently till the Electoral Commission deals with issue and stop interfering in their work.
In an interview with the host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, the Editor-In-Chief of the Informer Newspaper lashed the Institute of Economic Affairs for stampeding the work of the Electoral Commission with their stakeholder forum of the voters’ register.
Presidential Candidate for the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo has called on the international community to intervene in the current on-going debate for a new voter register and the elections in general because he suspect rigging.
He believes that if that is not done it will foment troubles for the country in 2016 and the sub-region as a whole.
Nana Addo believes that Ghana has struggled so hard to preserve its democracy and any under no circumstance should it be undermined.
“Ghana has worked incredibly hard to preserve a democratic character. One administrations shouldn’t be allowed to undermine it. And a times, this requires putting the interest of the country above partisan interest.
“The hope is that the global community takes notice and urges change before the elections rather than looking back at the 2016 elections; shaking their heads and asking ‘how did this happen’; we are telling you exactly how it’s going to happen .”
Nana Addo made these statements in an address to a gathering in Amsterdam as part of his European tour.
Nana Addo alleged that, all plans and pieces have been orchestrated to rig the elections and therefore efforts must be applied to resist the attempt of rigging the elections.
“All the pieces are in place for a rigged elections. As Africans, we have witnessed election related violence tear countries apart, we know what we risk should this problems not be resolved”.
The New Patriotic Party together with pressure group, Let My vote count Alliance have called on the EC to compile a new register ahead of the 2016 elections.
The NPP and the LMVCA believes that the current voters’ register is not credible and above all its bloated and for a credible, transparent election, it should be changed.
The two former presidents, JJ Rawlings and John Agyekum Kuffour have also called for a credible register ahead of the general elections.
Meanwhile the Electoral Commission will be holding a stakeholder forum to her with the political parties, civil society groups and other interested parties to discuss whether to compile or not compile a new register.
The number of migrants who have arrived in Greece this year has topped half a million, the United Nations said.
The rate of people arriving has risen to 8,000 a day, the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees said, with many hoping to beat winter weather.
Most migrants then head north from Greece, but bottlenecks are forming in some Balkan states.
Slovenia is to deploy its army to its border after being overwhelmed by numbers entering from Croatia.
The number of migrants reaching Europe has reached record levels in 2015.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says more than 650,000 arrived so far this year, compared with 280,000 last year
The UNHCR says the number of migrants arriving by sea this month is already more than five times higher than the total for October last year
At least 3,135 have died making the journey - compared with 3,279 throughout 2014
Most travel from Turkey to Greece, and while summer months usually see the most arrivals, the number of people reaching Greece increased in October.
Europe 'must establish welcome centres'
UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said EU countries - who last month agreed to relocate 66,000 migrants from Italy and Greece - urgently needed to establish welcome centres as part of the deal.
"Obviously Greece is doing what it can, it's pulling in additional police," she said.
"But we need to repeat over and over again that it is of utmost importance here that reception conditions be established and be adequate to this enormous task."
The relocation plan "is in serious peril and may fail", Ms Fleming said.
The UNHCR says only 19 migrants have been relocated in the last months - all Eritreans, who have moved from Italy to Sweden.
Hungary closed its southern border with Croatia on Friday night, citing security concerns. The decision forced migrants to switch to a slower route via Slovenia.
Croatia and Slovenia imposed strict controls as a result, but those restrictions appeared to be relaxed on Monday night as many people waited in wet and windy conditions.
But Slovenia said it had been overwhelmed by the numbers entering from Croatia over the last three days.
Slovenia's interior ministry says more than 19,500 migrants have arrived in the country since Friday, with at least 5,092 crossing the border on Tuesday alone.
It had previously said it would take in only 2,500 migrants a day.
The country's parliament is expected to approve changes later on Tuesday to enable the army to help police guard the border.
Slovenia has called on European Union member states to help with the influx of migrants who have entered the country over the past few days.
Prime Minister Miro Cerar said the current numbers were beyond anything the small country could cope with.
"It is wrong to foster the illusion that it is possible for a small nation of two million people to stop, solve and rectify a situation where even much bigger EU member states have failed," he said.
The National Communications Director for the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Akomea has described the ruling NDC government as a party that lacks understanding of governance because of their gross incompetence and mismanagement of the economy.
The former legislator and Minister of communications indicated that, the ruling party have failed woefully across all the sectors of the economy because they lack the knowledge and the technical know-how to manage the country’s resources.
According to him the hardship Ghanaians are going through is as a result of poor leadership skills and management on the part of the Mahama led administration.
How can a party without oil be able to manage the economy with the same conditions, like cocoa, gold and other resources, to the point of stabilising the cedi against the dollar from seventy-two pesewas to one cedi and twelve pesewas, meanwhile you the NDC with all the oil which generated almost $3 billion failed to manage the economy and allow the cedi to destabilise against the dollar over 250%, this is unprecedented, this is poor management and incompetence, he said.
You cannot understand the NDC because the more you try to understand them, the more you strain your head, he added.
Nana Akomea lambasted the NDC for failing woefully in managing the energy sector due to the unprecedented power crisis popularly referred to as dumsor.
He said, you assumed office with a stable and uninterrupted power supply but you have now plunged the nation into total darkness due to your lack of insight and foresight in managing the nation.
Objectively, our current conditions shows clearly that the NDC lacks understanding of governance and so Ghanaians are suffering, he stressed.
Nana Akomea criticised the government for the continuous increment in utility tariffs without any justification.
You have the luxury of increasing tariffs by 100% but you only increase wages by 10%, you cannot understand the NDC, I do not understand them because it is impossible to understand them.
Nana Akomea made this comments when he appeared on the morning show on rainbow radio with host, Kwame Tutu.
The number of Ghanaian pilgrims who died at this year's Hajj has shot to 17, this was revealed in an interview with the deputy public relations officer at the pilgrims office.
Speaking with rainbowradioonline.com Mr. Mohammed Amin Lamptey said the total number of deaths through the stampede stood at 10 whiles 6 others died through natural occurrences and 1 other person died after he was run over by a car.
Some 17 other pilgrims are missing.
Over 5,000 Ghanaian pilgrims participated in this year’s hajj which forms part of their Islamic faith, it is the fifth and final pillar in Islam and every well to do Muslim is expected to embark on this Holy Journey.
About 700 pilgrims died through the stampede, the incident has been described as the worst in the last 25 years.
The pilgrim’s office had so far airlifted about 2,250 Ghanaian pilgrims back to the country with some others still in Mecca.
Prior to the stampede, 107 pilgrims lost their lives after a crane collapsed into the Grand Mosque, in the year 2006, 364 pilgrims died in a crush during the stone-throwing ritual.
In the year 1997, about 343 pilgrims were killed in a stampede and another 1, 500 injured through a fire outbreak, whiles in 1990, over 1,426 pilgrims were also killed in a stampede inside the tunnel leading to the holy sites.
Two-hundred and seventy (270) pilgrims were killed in a stampede, 1, 426 pilgrims died through a stampede inside the tunnel leading to the holy sites in 1990.
The year 1987 recorded 400 deaths through a confrontation between Saudi Authorities and pro-Iranian demonstrators.
General Secretary of ruling NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has lambasted the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) for organising what he described as a forum that will create confusion among stakeholders ahead of the scheduled date for the Electoral Commission’s forum on the same issue.
According to the chief scribe of the governing party, the action taken by the IEA inviting political parties for the discussion is unfortunate, bad and an activity that should not be encouraged.
He revealed that the institution had been part of discussions with all stakeholders including the EC, to be part of the upcoming stakeholder discussion by the commission and therefore for them to organise one ahead of the EC, is not the best and they as a political party will not partake in the activity.
We cannot be part of an activity that seeks to undermine the authority of the Electoral Commission and create confusion. The Electoral Commission is mandated by the constitution to take the lead in such an activity, so why should you as an institution go through the back door to do this, he quizzed.
He was of the opinion that any interested party who intends to discuss or share his or her opinion on the voters' register should rather join the discussion been organised by the commission.
Speaking with Kwame Tutu host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, the former legislator and chief scribe of the party in their admonished all stakeholders to allow the EC do their work.
He also criticised the NPP for acting in a bad faith after presenting their proposal to the EC, by organising demnonstrations.
Do not interfere them. You cannot be walking about shouting and making unnecessary noise over the same issue you have presented a proposal on, he added.
Commenting on the position of the two Former Presidents on their call for a credible register, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said the position taking by the former leaders is not constitutional and that alone cannot warrant the compilation of a new voter’s register.
Our position on register has not changed
Johnson Asiedu Nketiah reiterated the party’s position on the on-going debate for the compilation of a new voters’ register.
He insisted that the party do not support the compilation of a new register and as a party they have documented their position and presented it to the EC and other institution. On the 29th October, 2015, we will defend our position when the EC meets with stakeholders and political parties..
Former First Lady Nana Konadu Aygemang Rawlings has said the choice of her daughter to contest on the ticket of the NDC is her personal decision but if she [Dr. Rawlings] had asked for her opinion before going to contest, it would have been different.
‘’If she had asked my opinion, it would have been different, but she took her decision and I think that she is entitled to that decision, she is an adult and she’s grown up in an open house,’’ she said.
According to the former first lady, the Rawlings' is a family with open minded persons and therefore every member of the family is allowed to agree and disagree with each other on any issues that comes up.
‘’We are a family of open mindedness, we do accept critic, we do accept correction and we do accept support,’’ she added.
Nana Konadu Aygemang Rawlings indicated that, although she will not stand on her daughters campaign platform, she will support her and give her the needed backing on how she can go about her campaign.
‘’Maybe I won’t stand on her platform, but I will give her a pat on the back of how to get to her destination,’’ she indicated.
Former mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and former Member of Parliament for Asokwa constituency, Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah has criticised the ruling government for failing to take measures in providing alternative for traders at the Kumasi Central Market before going on with the rehabilitation of the largest central market in the sub-region.
Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem, the former legislator explained that, it would have been best for government to create provisional shelter markets for the traders to trade in until the rehabilitation is done.
According to him, because these provision were not made it makes it difficult for traders to trade.
Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah indicated the process of the rehabilitation of the market started long time ago and therefore it is not rightr for the NDC to be givenall the credit.
He revealed to Nyankonton Mu Nsem that as a former mayor of the region, he created the shoe market, the yam market and other specialized market because of the plan to rehabilitate the market.
The outspoken politician indicated the rehabilitation of the market will not in any way give the NDC any chances of winning in the region, rather this will affect their chances of winning in the region.
You cannot win in the region because you are rehabilitating the Kumasi Central Market, it is impossible, in fact is not realistic, he added.
President Mahama joined the Asantehene yesterday to cut sod for the rehabilitation of the Kejetia market and the Kejetia Terminal Lorry Park.
The three-phased project is estimated at an amount of $298 million and it’s been constructed by Contrata Engaheria, a Brazilian construction firm.
The market has served as an economic hub for Ghanaians and the sub-region.
The president told traders to resist any fears of been evicted after the new market is constructed, he told them to be assured that they will be given priority when the project is completed, because the project after completion will be a double capacity market.
Prior to the sod-cutting, contractors had used 60 days to erect about 60% of the foundation for the project with more than 500 steel piles weighing 600 tonnes.