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25.08.2005 General News

CDD not tied to any political party

CDD not tied to any political party

Accra, Aug. 25, GNA - The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) on Thursday said it was disingenuous for any individual and entity to described it as an appendage of a rival political party.

"Should we choose to do so, officials of the Centre like other Ghanaians need no cover to be able to partake in partisan politics in Ghana's Fourth Republic," it said.

Reacting to what the Centre described as misconceptions and misunderstandings of the Afrobarometre Round 3 Survey Report conducted in 18 African states, Professor Edward Gyimah-Boadi, the Executive of the Centre said, "Among the registered political parties in our nation the CDD has neither permanent friends nor enemies.

"It would be wrong to judge the centre on the basis of any criteria other than the quality of ideas it contributes to the development of the nation and the consistency of those ideas within the broad tenets of democracy and good governance," he said.

Prof Gyimah-Boadi said the ideas that the Centre had chosen to promote were bound to bring it in conflict from time to time with one or the other faction of the political class.

"That, in a sense is one of the occupational hazards associated with the kind of work to which we have dedicated ourselves to," he said. On the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) boycott of CDD's activities on grounds that the Centre has been pro-government in recent past, Prof Gyimah-Boadi said the CDD has no apology for holding the values it expounded.

He noted that the Centre had received a letter from the party to that effect and had also replied them. "Aware of this reality, we do not seek to please or give aid and comfort to any faction of the political class.

"Nor is it our policy or practice to measure our success or failure by whether or not some activity, proposal or research findings of ours pleases or displeases some factions of our political class," CDD Executive noted.

He said not a single aspect of the Afrobarometre survey report attacked an individual or a political party, but rather it focussed on systems and institutions within countries.

Prof Gyimah-Boadi said the Centre has amply manifested its commitment to non-partisan and non-sectarian inclusiveness by inviting different political parties and stakeholders to workshop discussions. He said it was unusual for individuals and entities to seek to discredit survey research whose results they considered to be unfavourable to their respective causes and positions. He said some of the personal attacks; comments and reactions on the report reflected the dangerous levels of polarisation and partisanship in the politics of the Fourth Republic.

"They are also a reflection of the persistent high levels of political intolerance and deficit of knowledge about social science research," Prof. Gyimah-Boadi said.

He said the survey methodology was well tested and that the instrument used for the Ghana survey was the same basic instrument used in all the 18 African nations involved in the Afrobarometre Round 3 survey.

On whether there was a correlation between perception and reality, the CDD Executive Director said: "To ignore or discard perceptions is doing oneself a disservice.

"Dismissal of perception is a dangerous thing for our democracy, however it is interesting that people who dispute perceptions are completely happy when the perceptions favour them," he said.

The CDD, he said, "Would continue to extend invitations to and involve all accredited political parties in its programmes, continue to send publications and other products of the Centre to all parties as it has regularly done."