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15.05.2008 NDC News

NDC Will Address Issues

By Daily Graphic
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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has assured Ghanaians that it will devote its campaign for the December elections to addressing critical issues that concern the people.

The party said it would concentrate on addressing issues such as improvement in the standard of living, affordability of decent meals, housing, education, employment, the challenges of fuel increases and cost of transportation.

"We will speak to the issue of improving access to decent health care for all Ghanaians.... We will talk about how we intend to manage the economy and continue to grow this economy at rates that will truly take us to a middle-income status by the year 2020 as had always been envisioned by the NDC," the party said.

That assurance was contained in a press statement issued by the party yesterday in reaction to some of the issues raised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at a news conference in Accra on Tuesday.

The NPP used the news conference to respond to remarks made by the NDC flag bearer, Prof J. E. A. Mills, and his running mate, Mr John Mahama, when the NDC launched its campaign at the National Theatre in Accra on May 7, 2008.

One of the issues that has generated controversy was a remark made by Mr Mahama that comparing records as a campaign message for this year s elections was a recipe for mediocrity.

However, the NPP responded by insisting on the comparison campaign, suggesting that the NDC was afraid of that contest.

The NDC statement, which was signed by the party s Director of Communications, Hannah Tetteh, questioned the record of the NPP before it was voted into office in 2000.

"They were elected on the basis of their promises and surely the electorate, when evaluating their performance, will have to measure their performance against the promises that they made when campaigning for power," it said.

"Their performance must be measured against their campaign rhetoric and it would be a shame, if the good people of this country would let them get away with their mismanagement and mediocre record by buying the political propaganda that they have cynically and consistently put out in the public domain," it added.

The statement accused the NPP of diverting attention from their failures and inability to answer questions posed by Prof. Mills and Mr Mahama at the NDC campaign launch in respect of what happened to the jobs promised to the youth, the size of government that they described as too big when the NDC was in power, the cost of living that they promised to reduce when voted into office, the affordability theory in relation to the pricing of utilities and services, and the zero tolerance for corruption.

"Why are they not ready for a debate on creating our common future instead of a referendum on the past?
We believe it is because they know that they really don t have anything to offer the good people of Ghana and know that their record does not live up to their rhetoric," it noted.

The statement recounted some of the economic achievements chalked up under the regimes of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and the NDC, including a reversal of the country s economic decline between 1981 and 1992 and attainment of positive Gross Domestic Product(GDP) growth in the early 1980s.

"But for now, the NDC, as a political party, is focusing on putting people first because it is quite clear that notwithstanding the much trumpeted effective economic management of the NPP, our people s living conditions have deteriorated," the statement indicated.

It said the NPP performance after seven years in government made dismal reading, adding that Ghana s position on the Human Development Index plummeted from the 128th position in 2000 to 135th in 2007.

 it said.

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