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13.11.2008 Elections

4 presidential candidates outline policy on good governance

By myjoyonline
4 presidential candidates outline policy on good governance

Presidential candidates of four political parties with representation in parliament have outlined their policy frameworks on governance and the fight against corruption.

Away from the usual rally ground rhetoric, the candidates were subjected to a spontaneous question-and-answer session, in the second presidential debate organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs and Joy FM in Tamale, on Wednesday.

Even though the four agreed to constitutional reforms to the current constitution which has been administered for 16 years, the path towards that reform appears to be different.

Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, said a constitutional review committee would be formed under his administration to conduct a comprehensive assessment of some of the laws inherent in the constitution.

He cited the term of the president, a clear separation of the executive from the legislation as well as the separation of the attorney general's position from the Ministry of Justice, as some of the areas to be looked at.

On corruption, he noted anti–corruption laws have been passed under this current administration to minimise if not eradicate the canker.

He maintained, substantial amount of monies have been saved the country through the passage of the procurement law, financial administration law.

According to him, anti -corruption institutions would be strengthened with stiffer punishment imposed on corrupt officials when he is elected as president.

He insisted the NPP has shown clear commitment in fighting corruption having increased monies allocated to anti corruption institutions in 5 folds.

In a subtle rebuttal, Prof Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress, said corruption is not solved merely by the institution of laws.

He said leaders must show clear commitment to fighting the canker by instituting punitive measures against ministers and other officials seen to be corrupt.

He promised to resource anti-corruption institutions if given the nod in December.

On the constitutional reforms, Prof Mills believes a general consultative process needs to be done before embarking on a constitutional review.

He observed the “winner take all” policy currently being implemented under this constitution as well as the excessive executive power as some of the issues which would be addressed under his presidency.

Expressing his disapproval over the mode of appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, Prof. Mill insisted his tenure would ensure a fair administration of justice in the country.

The presidential candidate of the Convention People's Party Paa Kwesi Nduom, says his administration will provide responsive governance if elected into power in December.

He pledged to decouple the Ministry of Justice from the attorney general's office within 100 days, to allay any fears and perception of bias and selective justice.

He also promised to make the position of the District Assemblies an elective one.

This he said would bring true meaning to the decentralisation process and give more power to the people at the local level.

He said corruption would be brought to the barest minimum under his administration. While strengthening the institutions, he also pledged to ensure efficiency through the use of technology.

But Dr. Edward Mahama, of the People's National Convention says, tumbling with the constitution was not the way to go to ensure good governance in the country.

According to him, the institutions of government must be seen to be working in a fair and just manner.

He would however take steps to separate the ministry of justice from the attorney general for effective administration of justice.

He also called for a reduction in corruption, adding he would be an exemplary leader in the fight against corruption.

He promised to enact conflict of interest laws as a way to fighting the canker of corruption.

Story by Nathan Gadugah