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23.11.2004 Politics

Representatives of political parties expound Manifestos

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Accra, Nov 23, GNA - Representatives of the three out of the four political parties that will be contesting the December 7 Presidential election, on Tuesday took turn to expound their manifestoes with emphasis on how they would handle the economy, create jobs and reduce poverty.

They are the National Democratic Congress, (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Grand Coalition with the Convention People's Party absent.

The programme, being organised by the Ghana Journalists Association with support from the US Embassy, is to serve as a platform for political parties to interact with the media and dialogue on various areas covered in their manifestoes.

Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei, Deputy Minister of Finance, who represented the ruling NPP, told the gathering that macro-economic stability was essential for sustainable take-off of the economy as well as create jobs.

He also said low level of inflation; interest rates and other indicators were essential to spur growth.

Dr Akoto-Osei said the government when elected for another four-year term would accelerate the afforestation programme that it had embarked to create jobs for the youth.

There would also be the mass cocoa spraying exercise, investment in infrastructure such as roads, salt industry and enhancement of the national volunteer scheme to create more employment.

On housing, Dr Akoto-Osei, said the government was in the process of building low cost houses to meet the needs of workers.

Dr Tony Aidoo, a leading member of the party, who represented the NDC, said putting so much emphasis on macro-economic stability could spell the doom of the productive sector.

He said the NDC philosophy of social democracy was to ensure that each Ghanaian was collectively responsible for each others welfare, especially that of the underprivileged in society.

On employment, he said an NDC government would encourage employment through competitive research, support for the agro-industries and granting of tax concessions to industries.

There would also be the launch of a major housing scheme to engage the youth, undertake employment for graduates with entrepreneurial skills and encourage outsourcing of jobs, especially those relating to computers.

Dr Aidoo said an NDC government would implement the current poverty reduction strategy with emphasis on free compulsory and universal basic education for all children to lift the heavy load of financial burden from parents.

Mr David Nibi, Deputy General Secretary of PNC, said the Grand Coalition government would emphasise self-reliance and break the continues dependence on donors to meet the country's financial needs. He said a Grand Coalition government would curb high government expenditure, block all avenues for revenue leakage as well as clamp down on official corruption.

Mr Nibi said the PNC government would create jobs for the youth through agriculture and reintroduce and modernize the workers brigade that existed in the first republic. 23 Nov 04

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