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07.04.2004 General News

Six opposition parties hit at Government

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Accra, April 7, GNA - Six opposition parties in Ghana have raised the alarm about what they described as "a growing threat to national stability posed by people in the heart of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government of President John Agyekum Kufuor".

They described the situation as a complete usurpation of power by NPP's own security apparatus, saying there was increasing subordination of the nation's security services to partisan and private political agenda.

The Opposition Parties - National Democratic Congress (NDC) represented by its Flag Bearer, Professor John Evans Atta Mills; Mr Charles Kofi Wayo, a Presidential aspirant of the People's National Convention (PNC); Mr Danny Ofori-Atta of the EGLE Party (EP) and Mr Dan Lartey of the Great Consolidated People's Party (GCPP). The others were representatives of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the National Reform Party (NRP).

Mr Lartey, who acted as the spokesman for the group, said after the consolidation of civilian constitutional control under the Fourth Republic following decades of Military and Police involvement in politics, "President Kufuor, unfortunately has gathered around himself a group of security advisors, who were active in the NRC-SMC security establishment of the 1970s with their frightening track record of human rights abuses and systematic torture of political opponents".

Mr Lartey said: "These forces are now bent on, with or without approval of the President, on acquiring military power by supplanting or neutralizing legitimate constitutional agencies such as the Armed Forces and Police." He alleged that a number of people had been recruited into the Ghana Police Service, using NPP channels and had been equipped with illegally imported weapons.

He said as opposition parties: "It is our patriotic duty to alert the nation to the dangers ahead" and expressed the hope that religious bodies and traditional authorities would consider the current tense political situation worthy of attention.

"Similarly we urge the media to be more discerning and look beyond the NPP propaganda or propaganda from elsewhere, otherwise, our country is sitting on a time bomb."

Mr Lartey said the six opposition parties would work to ensure a firm democratic dispensation, rule of law and due process and the maintenance of a level playing field.

He said they would also place a curb on the abuse of incumbency and oppose the political manipulation of state institutions and provide the basis for a safe and secure future for Ghanaians.

On the performance of the Electoral Commission EC on the recently concluded Voters' Registration Exercise, Mr Lartey said they were collating figures and would take a definitive position after that.

The parties, however, expressed reservations about the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan's alleged comments that the exercise was "technically proficient" when it had not finished the provisional review of the exercise. 7 April 04

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