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08.11.2004 Politics

Parliamentary Candidates debate each other

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Agormanya (E/R), Nov. 8, GNA - Four of the six candidates contesting the Lower Manya Parliamentary seat would prioritise education in their development agenda if elected in the forthcoming Election 2004. They promised to pursue various programmes to raise the current low level of education, which they identified as the bane of development in the area.

The candidates are Mr Robert Kwesi Nartey of the People's National Convention (PNC); Madam Cecilia Kosi Akueter of the Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) Party; Mr Michael Teye Nyaonu of National Democratic Congress (NDC), who is the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) and Mr Emmanuel Okrah of the Convention People's Party (CPP). The candidates presented their programmes at a Parliamentary Candidates Debate, held at the Trinity Parish Hall, Agormanya, on Sunday.

Organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, the debate the first of 25 being organised in 25 selected constituencies throughout the country, provided a platform for the candidates to move away from personality targeting and to articulate their programmes on critical issues of national development.

The candidates addressed issues on Local Government and Decentralisation; Health including HIV/AIDS; Accountability and Mainstreaming Gender, National Security, Agriculture and Food Security.

Mr Nartey asked the electorate to vote Dr Edward Mahama, the PNC Presidential Candidate, who he described as an Nrumahist Party, into office to continue the policies, including that of education of Ghana, which came to an abrupt end after his overthrow.

He said a PNC government would re-establish Ghana to its former glory as in the days of Dr Nkrumah and promised to pursue an all round education for the people.

Mr Nartey, who is also Headmaster of Mount Mary Demonstration Junior Secondary School, said diarrhoea, measles and other childhood diseases were prevalent in the Constituency, and said the PNC would pursue a National Health Insurance Scheme to address any inability to pay immediately for health care delivery.

Madam Akuerter, who is also the National Women's Organiser of the EGLE Party, referred to God as her tower of strength in her development agenda for the Constituency.

She promised to make women's issues as the focus of her activities, and said she would modernise the Agormanya Market and attach a day care centre to the Market to care for the infants of the market women Madam Akuerter said she would also seek sponsorship packages for children, who could not pay their fees.

She endorsed and affirmative action to increase the participation of women in decision-making and also ensure that a woman was elected District Chief Executive (DCE).

Mr Okrah of the CPP also promised to modernise the Agormanya Market to ensure its full utilisation, and also generate employment. He promised an open consultation with the people, and added that a CPP government would re-open all abandoned factories established by the Party's first leader, Dr Nkrumah.

Mr Okrah identified lack of transparency in the disbursement of the District Assemblies' Common Fund and interference as the sources of conflict between MPs from a party different from that of the government appointed DCE.

He promised to humble and subordinate himself to and unite with the DCE to move forward the development of the Constituency.

The PNC, CPP and EAGLE Party candidates promised to educate their constituents accept People Living With AIDS, and would also pursue programmes to integrate them into the communities.

Mr Nyaonu of the NDC, who left before the close of the Debate to attend a meeting, said education would be his number one priority. He said the NDC did far better, when in power and asked the electorate to reject the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and replace it with the NDC.

Mrs Difi Dedo Agyarko-Kusi, Candidate for the NPP, and an Independent Candidate Mr Francis Cecil Amartey were absent. Supporters of Mrs Agyarko-Kusi walked out of the Debate claiming that they had not been invited, but CDD-Ghana maintained sending invitation to the NPP Candidate and her supporters. 08 Nov. 04

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