Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - A day's forum for the youth wing of political parties on what should be the core issues of discussion in the 2004 elections on Wednesday, turned into a platform for party representatives to take a bite of what their campaign messages would be.
The forum, organised by the Youth Network, a Non-Governmental Organisation that advocate for human rights and democracy was characterised by counter reactions and accusations of one party against the other and who has shown or was in the position to rule Ghana better.
Speaking on behalf of the New Patriotic Party, Mr John Boadu noted that this year's election marked a significant milestone in the democratic transition of the country therefore it was incumbent on all and sundry to work towards ensuring peaceful and fair elections.
He attacked political opponents of the NPP whom, he said often use macro economic indicators such as inflation to argue about the nation's economic performance and said most of the time such people did not put forward sound economic arguments and they tried to misinform the public.
He touched on the NDC's social democratic agenda and described it as interesting because the quest to have a different political and economic philosophy from that of a ruling party was not surprising.
The opposition with that new philosophy could end up with the philosophy of the predecessor government, Mr Boadu intimated. Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the NDC National Youth Organiser on pointed out issues such as the high cost of living, selective justice, and insecurity on the part of the NPP government, which he said one could not gloss over.
"We in NDC are going to use the same NPP campaign story in 2000 that says look at the growing cost of living and cast your vote. "On national Health Insurance Scheme, we the NDC are saying that we don't oppose the government in raising funds to fund the scheme. Our bait is the sincerity of government in the management of the funds," he said.
On Value Added Tax, Mr Iddrisu said perhaps it would be fair for President Kufuor to make another tacit admission that they were wrong in opposing it when they were in opposition.
He mentioned access to basic quality education; corruption and good governance as some of the core issues that should be addressed by the youth in the coming elections.
Mr Bernard Monah, People National Convention Youth Organiser saw agricultural policy as what should be considered as a major priority because it is the mainstay of Ghana's economy and it would continue to remain so.
He said there was also the need to review the nation's relationship with the Breton Wood Institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank because some of their policies were "too inimical to our development".
On corruption, he said, "The NPP government promised zero tolerance, but today what we are witnessing is not even partial corruption".