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22.08.2005 Diaspora (Germany)

NDC Germany Rejects Constitutional Affairs C'ttee’s Report

By National Democratic Congress
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Dear Hon Felix-Owusu Agyapong 20th August 2005

It is with great concern that we read on the news (Ghanaweb, 17th August 2005, Title: Ghanaians in Diaspora Want Parliamentary Seat) that Ghanaians in Germany have given their approval to the People's Representative Bill at a Meeting in Hamburg, Germany. First of all it should be noted that Hamburg does not represent Germany. Hamburg is the second smallest out of 16 States in Germany. So this tells that Hamburg in no way represents the greater Germany.

Secondly, I don't purport to speak on behalf of the over 20,000 Ghanaians living in Germany. However after consulting with NDC representatives in the various German States, I am writing on our behalf to seek further clarification from the Committee on Constitutional affairs led by Hon Kwame Osei Prempeh and his team on the above purported meeting which was supposed to have taken place in Hamburg at a date, time and place unknown to anyone with the exception of himself and Committee.

Regarding such an important issue which affects the structures and foundation in Ghana's infant democracy, we believe that this exercise should be pursued based on the principles of honesty, transparency and accountability. This we have already promised our support if the exercise meets these standards.

Majority of the Members of the NDC and other private individuals in Germany of whom we are frequently in touch only heard of the above meeting on the Internet. None of us was informed of this important meeting nor were we informed of the venue to even invite ourselves.

Within the Ghanaian culture it is respectful that prior to visiting a host to discuss issues of mutual interest, the visitor informs the host of his coming and reasons for coming. This will enable the host to welcome you, give audience and to have mutual discussions for the benefit of the whole village. Furthermore the Committee led by Hon Kwame Prempeh owe a duty to the Ghanaian taxpayer who paid for their air-fares to provide a report reflecting an objective and truthful opinion of a fair-representative of Ghanaians in Germany.

Hon Kwame Prempeh and his team did not practise any of the above courtesies but only to come up with an opinion reflecting their preconceived ideas. Of what purpose should they have wasted the tax-payers money to come to Germany if they are only determined to push through their preconceived agenda?

And this is a practical example of the concerns that we in Germany have been expressing about this Bill. The lack of consultation, the lack of information on how it will operate, the process of identifying who is eligible to vote and the necessary guarantees and safe-guard for a true and honest result from such a democratic exercise.

If the NPP and their representatives Hon Kwame Prempeh and his team given this minor test of consultation could not apply the above principles of honesty, transparency and openness what guarantee is there that the govt could be trusted to hold a fair and honest vote overseas. This is our concern of how easily such an exercise can be subject to fraud but reported as fair by the custodians of such an exercise.

In this respect I will like Hon Kwame Osei Prempeh to provide answers to the following questions to first the Ghanaian Parliament and secondly members of the NDC in Germany:

1. What channel of advertisement did they use to publicise information about the German meeting? 2. When did the Meeting take place and at what Venue? 3. What was the number of people present at the meeting, who were they and from which cross-section of society do they represent? 4. What are the names of the NDC representatives at the Meeting and which Branches did they represent? 5. What was the agenda at the Meeting, when did it start and when did it end?

In effect we request for the minutes of the meeting which was supposed to have taken place in Hamburg to be made public and to address the above questions.

Failure to produce these minutes and credible answers to the above, I call on Parliament to reject any report which have the mention of Germany in it because it is not a fair representation of the opinion of Ghanaians in Germany and is therefore a fraud on Parliament and the people of Ghana.

Yours sincerely

Kwasi Tamakloe National Democratic Congress Germany

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