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18.01.2007 Politics

Parties Advised against Stomach Politics

By Daily Graphic
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The Deputy General Secretary of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Mr Bede Ziedeng, has advised opposition parties against craving for power on the basis of solely benefiting from the national purse.

He said political parties must see their existence beyond just winning political power, adding that politicians must base their practice on the principles their parties stood for rather than thinking only about "their stomachs."

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra, Mr Ziedeng said our forefathers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of society were the kind of politicians Ghana needed.

To buttress his point he cited the case of Sgt. Adjetey who was killed together with others several years ago in the process of agitating against the then colonial government.

"It is unfortunate that today's politics has been reduced to getting personal benefits at the expense of principles," he said, adding, that politicians should avoid benefiting from political patronage.

He said some countries had had parties in opposition for many years and yet had earned respect from great parties including those in government.

Mr Ziedeng stated that in a democracy such as Ghana, opposition parties could still make significant contributions to nation building without necessarily coming to power.

Touching on the electoral fortunes of his party, he said its chances were bright given the goodwill it was enjoying from Ghanaians and that the DFP was a party of like minded people who had decided to offer an alternative to both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He said Ghanaians were comfortable with the DFP than the other political parties because of what it stood for in terms of its opposition to the politics of insults, violence and mudslinging.

When asked why the leadership of his party hardly spoke or criticised the government on key national issues, the deputy general secretary retorted that people from other parties could not determine the agenda or the type of issues the DFP should address.

Mr Ziedeng, however, indicated for instance that when the government planned to increase the prices of utilities, the DFP strongly registered its opposition which according to him contributed to the government rescinding its decision.

On his party's preparations towards the 2008 polls, he said structures were being put in place for the party's congress this year to elect executives and a flag bearer.

Story By Sebastian Syme

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