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26.05.2004 General News

Retaining Power in 2005: Rigging not Beyond NPP

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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THE NATIONAL Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, has said the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has a huge potential to use foul means to maintain political power in the December general election.

Observing that the NPP had been in the wilderness for a long period before assuming power in 2000 and would be supervising major elections for the first time, Haruna called on the International Community including the European Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Independent Observers, the ECOWAS and Civil Society organisations to monitor this year's election to avoid rigging.

The National Youth Organizer who said this at a fund raising dinner dance organized by the UK, Ireland branch of the NDC at the Marriot Hotel in London at the weekend, told The Chronicle from London yesterday that these organizations would help the nation consolidate democracy if the elections were carefully monitored.

"The fact that Ghana had a relatively smooth democratic process, is not enough reason for the international community not to want to observe future elections in Ghana. The current NPP in Ghana had been in the wilderness for a long period of time until they assumed office in 2001.

"Therefore this will be the first major election which will be supervised by them as the ruling government. They have a huge potential to use every foul means to maintain power in Ghana."

This, according to Mr. Iddrisu, was manifested in the government's desperate attempt to import arms into the country, amend the People's Representative Act to allow Ghanaians living abroad to vote in general elections and the appointment of four new individuals to the Electoral Commission despite the protest of the members of the EC.

"We in the NDC have seen that this year's elections will not be free and fair.

To this end, the EU, International Community, Independent Observers, Civil Societies, ECOWAS and other organizations should not only observe or monitor the election itself but also the pre - election activities in the interest of the nation."

Iddrisu indicated that Ghana being a major player in the West Africa sub-region and its constitutional stability, was important for the international community to be actively involved in ensuring the consolidation of her democracy.

He quoted Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, the flagbearer of the party who led the party's delegation to the function as saying he stood by his pledge to win power through honesty, transparency and dedication.

He maintained that the NPP lacked the original ideas and was trapped in inertia, mediocrity and incompetence.

Prof. Mills, according to Mr. Iddrisu, prevailed upon all and sundry to ensure free and fair elections and said, the nation would be better governed by the NDC that had ruled for years and had been in opposition as well and witnessed the abysmal performance of the NPP.

Meanwhile, The Chronicle learnt that Prof. Mills would be back in Accra in two weeks' time.