Koforidua, Nov. 13, GNA- The former President and Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Jerry John Rawlings, has accused the Kufuor administration of imposing economic deprivation upon the people to the extent that people were at the verge of accepting deprivation as part of their life.
He, therefore, called on the supporters of the party to continue to fight against the wrongs in the society.
"Don't allow the flame of courage to fight against the wrong to die in you", he stressed.
Former President Rawlings was speaking at the Sixth Delegates Congress of the Eastern Regional Branch of the NDC at Koforidua on Saturday.
He called on the delegates to vote for people of integrity who had demonstrated their leadership qualities to lead the party to victory in 2008.
The Congress elected a new 29-member Regional Executive of the party with Mr Julius Debrah, the 2004 Parliamentary Candidate of the party for Suhum as the new Regional Chairman.
Mr Anthony Gyampoh retained his position as the Secretary, Mr Bismark T. Tawiah, Organiser, Mr F. S. Vinyoh, Treasurer and Mr J. Atta Mensah, as Propaganda Secretary.
The Member of Parliament for Upper West Akim and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, Mr Samuel Sallas-Mensah, said despite the government's claim for effective management of the economy, records available indicated that the government had overdrawn the Consolidated Fund by eight trillion cedis as at August, this year. He said it was difficult for one to comprehend how government spent "non-existing money" suspecting that, "it could be an indication that the expected government revenues were not being realized while false figures are being thrown at the people or the government is printing more money than what the financial law allows." Mr Sallas-Mensah said such indicators were the reasons for the Minority in Parliament to describe the 2006 budget presented to Parliament last Thursday as "Azaa Budget".
The Acting General Secretary of the Party, Mr Bede Ziedeng, said the NDC had found the antidote to the "rigging machine" of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) which had made them to win several elections in the country.
He alleged that the "election rigging machine" of NPP was effectively working in the Eastern Region and come the 2008 elections, the antidote which were tried at the last two by-elections would be brought to the region to reverse the trend. Mr Ziedeng appealed for unity and co-operation within the ranks of the party.
In his report, the Regional Secretary of the party, Mr Anthony Gyampoh, said the party won 38.38 per cent of the votes cast in the Presidential elections in 2004, a fall from 42.62 per cent won in 2000. According to him, the election results did not reflect the efforts made by the party in the region and blamed the poor performance of the party to lack of transparency in the compilation and distribution of the voters register.
Mr Gyampoh said the voter's register was released to the party some few hours to the elections and for those of the Upper Manya and Asuogyaman constituencies, the registers were found to have been bloated with ghost names.
He complained of intimidation and electoral violence against the functionaries of the party during the elections in Suhum, Asuogyaman, Fanteakwa, Abuakwa South, Upper West Akim and Afram Plains South constituencies.
Mr Gyampoh said in Abuakwa South Constituency, the violence continued even after the election day which resulted in the burning of the furniture, files and all items at the constituency office of the party at Kyebi.
The Presidential Candidate of the Party for the 2004 elections, Professor John Evans Atta-Mills expressed his appreciation to the delegates for their support during his campaign.
The Congress proceedings was nearly hijacked by persons campaigning for national executive positions of the party as they tried to lobby the delegates for their votes during the upcoming National Delegates Congress of the party.
They included Dr Kwabena Adjei, Mr Fred Ohene-Kena and Mr Victor Gheho, contesting for national chairman, Mr Antwi Boasiako, contesting for General Secretary, Mr Baba Jamal and Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, contesting for Deputy General Secretary and Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, contesting for National Organiser position.