PROFESSOR John Evans Atta-Mills, the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said yesterday that if elected President he will move the country, beyond partisan politics.
Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, Professor Mills said he would move Ghanaians to focus on bigger issues with a consensus driven agenda.
'Ghanaians need a new beginning in the politics of their country. These are the qualities I will bring to the presidency in January 2009.'
Professor Mills said he would restore truth and trust between the government and the people.
'I want to make sure Ghanaians eat, and eat well for less. So food production will be number one priority on my list.'
Professor Mills whose press statement dwelt on what he termed 'Attacks on the NDC by President Kufuor and other matters' said it is not a correct assertion that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, under Kufuor inherited a 'mess' from the NDC.
He said the NDC government through the power of taxation, collected moneys from Ghanaian tax-payers and together with loans that it contracted from foreign benefactors and utilization of state assets paid for the country’s expenditure.
He said it is not true that the NPP government inherited 'empty government coffers, saying 'at the end of January 2001, the very month that President Kufuor assumed office, all public and civil servants were duly paid.'
He said some contractors were paid which explained why in that month government undertook renovations of the President’s residence, the State House and the Castle.
Professor Mills said 'perhaps what President Kufuor means to say in a more sophisticated sense is that at the time the NPP assumed office, Ghana owed more than its available revenue'
He said if that was the issue then 'since the time of President Nkrumah, the national budget has always shown a deficit.'
Professor Mills said since the NPP government came to power, the Ministry of Finance in his annual budget, announces that out-flows exceed in-flows or that expenditures exceed revenues.
'What that means is that like the NDC government before it, the NPP government has always run a budget deficit. There is never a year when there is a surplus sitting somewhere in an account.'
Professor Mills outlined the achievements of the NDC in the road, education, housing, energy sectors among other things and said the NPP government was building on those developments, but had failed to give the NDC credit for those strides.