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19.07.2004 General News

Substantial resources needed to deepen democracy - Kufuor

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Accra, July 19, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Monday said substantial resources would be needed to strengthen and deepen multi-party democracy in Ghana.

"We see ourselves as a beacon and pace setters of multi-party democracy in the West Africa Sub-Region but provision of resources had been a bottleneck, therefore, the resources we need to deepen and strengthen such a democracy must be substantial", he said.

President Kufuor made this observation when a five-member delegation from the Netherlands Institute for Multi-party Democracy (NIMD) paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

He said the future ahead of Ghana towards her socio-economic development must be built on multi-party democracy for the individual citizens to contribute to development.

"We should encourage the strengthening of political parties to have an arena for contrary views on ideas for governance by the people. When you allow people to express themselves, you give room for peace and stability because people vent out their pent-up feelings".

President Kufuor said political parties were institutions to enhance awareness among the people, individuals and also the machinery to inform and educate the people on their vital interests.

"When political parties are well organised in alternating support of government, they become important tools or machinery of state or incubators for in-coming governments", he said.

President Kufuor said Ghanaians were democratic people but since independence the practice under democratic rule had been the winner takes all exclusively of other political parties that had not encouraged multi-party democracy.

Professor Jos Van Kemenade, Netherlands Minister of State and President of the NIMD Board who led the delegation, expressed appreciation for the leadership under President Kufuor to deepen democracy in Ghana. He said stability was needed for socio-economic development and democracy was the pre-requisite for such peace and stability.

Professor Kemenade said the NIMD had been working in collaboration with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Ghana for the past two years to deepen multi-party democracy.

He said they had supported the political parties in Parliament, strengthened relationship between them and consolidate relationship between the stakeholders and the political parties.

The NIMD is an independent Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), funded by all political parties in the Dutch Parliament both in government and in opposition.

The main objective of NIMD is to support the process of democratisation in young democracies in Latin America, Africa and Asia. It operates in 13 countries with eight of them in Africa.