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31.01.2006 General News

EC urged to contribute to ROPAB debate

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Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - Mrs Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie, Member of the Council of State on Tuesday called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to contribute to the debate on the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill to clear the air on the controversy surrounding it.

On the alleged threat of chaos when the bill was passed, Mrs Afenyi-Dadzie said there was the need for Ghanaians to be sober and reflect on issues pertained in the bill to sustain peace in the country. Mrs Afenyi-Dadzie was speaking to the GNA in reaction to the President's State of the Nation Address delivered in Parliament. President John Agyekum Kufuor said Government would ensure the bill was passed and "unacceptable for any group of persons to threaten mayhem."

He said it was up to the EC to decide when and how to implement the bill when passed.

Mrs Afenyi-Dadzie stressed the need for Ghanaians to have one motive and come together to build and sustain the peace and harmony being enjoyed despite divergent views.

Mr George Aggudey, 2004 Flagbearer of the Convention People's Party (CPP) described the address "as full of promises and lacked concrete news."

He said Government was behaving like a dictator with respect to its position on the bill, adding; "Government should not proceed with the passage of the bill."

Mr Aggudey commended President Kufuor on his views on media reports, that were tarnishing the country's reputation. However, he said the address should have gone further to deal with individuals whose reputations were being attacked falsely by the media. Dr Kwabena Adjei, Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said President Kufuor had complied with a constitutional provision to deliver the address, however, at the appropriate time the NDC would offer its response.

On the Bill, he said in the supreme interest of the nation and to save the nation from crisis "we have warned them ... they have not shown any sensitivity to the public outcry."

Nana Ohene Ntow, General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said the address indicated that the economy was moving forward steadily. He said it was laudable for the Government to establish an integrated aluminium industry through VALCO to create many jobs. Nana Ntow said it was a shame for the nation to have allowed edifices such as the Peduase Lodge and Flagstaff House to rot. He said Government had therefore, taken a bold step to restore the two buildings to their former glory.

Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, National Women's Organiser of the NDC said it was a misplaced priority for Government to invest in presidential palace and other buildings when the provision of social services such as electricity and schools were lacking.

She said the NDC was more concerned about the welfare of the people and therefore, invested in their welfare. 31 Jan. 06