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28.06.2005 General News

Take review of APRM seriously - NDC urges Govt

GNA
Accra, June 28, GNA - The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has charged the Government to find immediate remedies to the negatives identified in the Report of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). It said: "The negatives in the Report are very personal to President (John Agyekum) Kufuor and the NPP (New Patriotic Party) Government and are, therefore, regime-specific.
Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, NDC National Organizer, told a news conference in Accra on Tuesday that the Party was baffled at what appeared to be an orchestrated attempt by otherwise respectable individuals and organizations to distance either President Kufuor, the Government or both from especially the negative aspects of the Report. He said: "The impression is being created that it was Ghana as a country that was under the scrutiny of the APRM." He said it was strange that in the period prior to Abuja, the impression was created that Ghana had already passed the APRM assessment and that the Abuja meeting was a mere formality.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo stressed that it was President Kufuor and his Administration that were the subject of the Report and must fully take the concerns it raised in good faith as it was doing with the credits it gave to the Government. Defining "peer", Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said it was someone, who was of the same age as another person, someone who belonged to the same social or professional group as another person. "Countries have no peers; individuals have peers and to say that the Peer Review Mechanism refers to a country is to abuse the English Language.
"It is President Kufuor, who agreed to be reviewed by his peers - his colleague Heads of State; the assessment of the country and its institutions is part of the process to assist President Kufuor's peers in assessing their colleague...." He said, "President Kufuor knew when he offered to be the first to be reviewed that it was his performance that was to be reviewed not former President Jerry Rawlings, or anybody else".
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said it could not be true that the APRM Report was a reflection of Ghana's collective achievements under the Fourth Republican Constitution and that it spanned both the NDC and NPP eras. Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said: "The APRM Report is a report on the performance of President Kufuor and his NPP Government. Let them take the credit for both the positives and (liabilities for the) negatives, but for Heaven's sake, let them do something about the negatives."
NDC said the Report "should provide the basis for dispassionate discussion so that as a nation we can agree together as what must be done. This is the way to protect the integrity of the APRM process if it must continue to have meaning and relevance in the Africa's quest to achieve good governance". He said: "The reaction of (President) Kufuor's Administration to the APRM report raises serious questions about its ability to tolerate criticism.
"As a Party, the NDC has had cause to draw attention to the disdainful treatment of dissenting views by the (President) Kufuor administration. We, however, did not expect it to be extended to the APRM."


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