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24.10.2008 NPP News

NDC, NPP SLAMMED...They're Causing Too Many Problems

By Kwadwo B. Donkor -

The two main political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have been accused by the other contenders in this year's polls of creating unnecessary tension in the country.

The Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), the Democratic People's Party (DPP), the National Reform Party (NRP) and the Convention People's Party (CPP) made the accusations yesterday when the Council of State held a meeting with representatives of all the political parties.

They also accused some civil society organisations, particularly the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the state owned media of conniving with the 'so-called' big political parties to sideline  the other  political parties under the pretext that they did not have representations in Parliament.

The meeting, on the theme, 'Free and Fair elections,' was held at the conference room of the IEA, and was attended by all the political parties with the exception of the People's National Convention (PNC).

The DFP,  led by its General Secretary, Bede Ziedeng, said the accusations and counter- accusations by the two parties were not solving any problems but rather increasing the electorate's anxiety.

He referred to the just-ended limited registration exercise where there were reports of  the  two parties transporting people to registration centres and the reported cases of registration of minors.

He faulted the IEA for the scheduled  presidential debates which he said had been planned for only four candidates out of the seven parties taking part in the election.

Again, Mr. Ziedeng contended that even though the performance of the Electoral Commission (EC) so far had not been the best, that  should not give reason for people to demonise it and use the challenges as a basis to reject the result of the poll.

“So far as we are concerned, the structure and functions of the EC since it was set up have not changed.  And until we can prove otherwise, we must all continue to have faith in the EC,” he noted.

Mohammed Salisu Suleimana, General Secretary of the DPP,  Ekow Duncan, Director of Operations of CPP and Dr. David Pessey of NRP, all shared the sentiments expressed by the DFP.

The DPP in particular called on the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to resist the attempt to discriminate against the other political parties by disassociating itself from the planned presidential debates.

The IEA with support from the   British High Commission and the UNDP will, on October 29,  organise a presidential debate for the candidates of NPP, NDC, CPP and PNC.

The chairman of the Council of State, Prof. Daniel Adzei Bekoe, explained that although the meeting was at the instance of the council, it was in response to a request from some political parties.

Hanna Tetteh represented the NDC; Peter Mac Manu, Nana Ohene Ntow and Dr. Arthur Kennedy represented  NPP; Kwaku Baah for DFP; and Bernard Owusu Appiah and Bernard Palmer for the RPD.