Accra, Jan.7, GNA- The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Saturday organised a reception at the forecourt of the State House in Accra to mark the 13th anniversary celebration of the fourth republic. The three- and-a-half hour cocktail party at the national edifice, adorned with the national colours attracted representatives of the various political parties, members of the Council of State, the Diplomatic Corps, traditional authorities and the general public. Contrary to expectations that the occasion was going to be graced by the President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, the septuagenarian Senior Minister, Mr Joseph Henry Mensah represented the State by taking the national salute, interacted with the guests and set the tone for the day.
He observed that national efforts at nurturing democracy had been chequered, hence the need for the citizenry to cherish and remember the sacrifices they had made to sustain the fourth republic.
In an apparent reference to the 1966 military coup d'tat that overthrew the first republic and consequent military interventions that overthrew the second and third republics and gave birth to the fourth republic, he said: "The new Ghana holds better life for Ghanaians." Mr Mensah said that national life was difficult to attain in fear and lawlessness. He wished Ghanaians a happy anniversary and urged them to fight to defend the freedom the country was enjoying.
Mr Dan Lartey, Leader of the Great Consolidated Peoples Party who attended the function told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that 13 years of the fourth Republic had been a sham.
He said life under the Peoples National Defence Council that gave birth to the National Democratic Congress in 1992 and the consequent electoral victory of the New Patriotic Party in 2000 had not transformed the lives of Ghanaians. Politics Republic Anniversary 2 Accra
Mr Lartey said measuring the standard of living of Ghanaians was beyond the bringing down of inflation and interest rates. He said salaries and wages had been stagnant for years hence the need for radical adjustment.
"I am standing in 2008 as a presidential candidate and I will win to reverse 13 years of waste," he said.
However Mr Ward Brew, Leader of the Democratic Peoples Party was more reconciliatory.
He was of the view that Ghana had made significant progress because the various political leaders had played a role in making Ghana a haven of peace and security. Mr Brew said adjustment of salaries and wages were not the panacea of the country's problems, adding, "It might destroy the few gains we have made in the economy".
Mrs Hilda Salifu, First Vice Chairman of the NDC said NPP had ruined all the gains her party made in the political, social and economic sectors.
She said only a government of the NDC could continue with the sound policies of the party.
Mrs Jemima Anita Desosoo, Deputy Propaganda Secretary of the NDC said the abandonment of the Aveyime Rice project by the NPP attested to the fact that the present political administration had no vision to promote the local production of food. 07 Jan. 06