...of taking JJ's address out of contest The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia is accusing President Kufuor of taking Ex-President Rawlings' 1996 State of the Nation's address in Parliament out of context.
According to him, the former President, in his presentation, did not say that his government wanted to extend ballot boxes to Ghanaians abroad.
He said Mr. Rawlings only advocated for moves to extend the privileges to Ghanaians outside the country, since their voting rights were not violated, adding that the ex-president did not introduce any bill to Parliament as suggested by President Kufuor.
Mr. Nketia, a.k.a “General Mosquito”, said the NDC government had backed out because the Electoral Commission (EC) that had the mandate to demarcate electoral boundaries had contended that it was not feasible to send out ballot boxes outside the country.
“The NDC government was convinced by the arguments of the EC that it was not feasible to send out boxes outside Ghana.”
He said it was unwarranted for the President to create an impression that he was merely continuing an agenda, which was set by the previous government, while failing woefully to tell Ghanaians, as he quoted the 1996's state of the Nation's address, about why and how his predecessor dropped the issue of extending ballot boxes outside Ghana.
He said the government is up to 'a sinister motive' in reintroducing the bill, which must be prevented by all the opposition political parties, adding that the mere passage of time after the government had withdrawn the bill, did not mean that it should be introduced.
He said the eagerness of the NPP government to have this bill passed, smacked of an agenda to rig the next elections because of its sinking popularity and unfulfilled promises.
Mr Aseidu Nketia said it surpassed all logic that the NPP government was leading a crusade to pass the bill, which was tainted with fraud.
“The NPP is having a sinister motive. If anything, as the President is claiming that it was the previous government that set up the agenda and that he is only continuing, why don't he continue with contracts given out by the NDC but revoked all?” he asked.
Assigning reasons, Mr. Nketia, who stated that the NDC regularized the voting rights of Ghanaians to the extent that others voted by proxy, said the then administration was confronted with dual citizenship.
“The President was being disingenuous when he quoted the ex-President's speech out of context without letting Ghanaians know the main reasons why the NDC has backed out of that; it is because the NDC, as a listening government, had listened to the arguments of the Electoral Commission and dropped it.”
“Nobody has prevented Ghanaians living outside from voting, because they already had their voting rights. Extending ballot boxes is a privilege; it is not a right. It is now clear that the government, having realized that its wrong-doings are being exposed and risk the chance of not winning the next elections, because they have lost genuine favour with Ghanaians in the country, they are adopting a means of rigging,” he lamented.
“It would offer them the possibility of rigging and that is the crux of the matter. To say that the NDC had an uncompleted agenda was too simplistic because powerful arguments of complicity made the nation dropped it. It was not sent as a bill to Parliament but was rather a promise to see the possibility of Ghanaians outside to vote even though they have their voting rights,” he said.
General Mosquito, who observed that there were no mechanisms to cross-check the identities of Diasporans, said the NDC stood on its position of adopting all legal means to block the passage of the bill, even though they were aware of how the government could manipulate its members to vote in a particular direction.
He cited the voting of the Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi-Huges, as an example to drum home his claim that the government had the capacity to manipulate its members.