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13.02.2006 General News

ROPAB is not rigging machinery - Ntow

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 13, GNA - The ruling New Patriotic Party on Monday said the proposed Representation of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB) was not an-electoral rigging machinery to steal the people's mandate in Election 2008.

Nana Ohene Ntow told a press conference in Accra that "(National Democratic Congress) NDC's charge that the government plans to use the ROPAB law to rig elections is totally discredited, in that in 1992 we boycotted the parliamentary elections after the NDC had clearly rigged the elections.

"We did not resort to violence to settle our dissatisfaction; in 1996 we contested the general election and lost. We did not raise hell but took our defeat in our stride. In the year 2000, we won the first round but not with enough majorities for the Presidential. In the run off, we defeated the NDC soundly.

"In 2004, we again won. All these victories which the NPP has achieved so far did not surprise us to engage in any kind of rigging...indeed the NPP has no record of employing methods of rigging in order to win any election."

The NPP, therefore, condemns the desperate attempts by the NDC to create a state of insecurity, instability and fear in the country and urged all Ghanaians to reject NDC's mischievous machinations and destructive agenda.

The conference dubbed, "NPP's stand on ROPAB; exposure of NDC's sinister and morbid plan," outlined an attempt to visit chaos, violence, disorder, mayhem, social and political instability on Ghanaians by opponents of the bill.

Nana Ntow stated that NPP government had a duty towards all Ghanaians in ensuring that each citizen's voting rights were fully realized and: "We believe that there is no reason why ROPAB cannot be passed now, and that the NDC's threats of mayhem and violence are only part of a grand scheme to make the nation ungovernable. "The ruling Party has a mandate from the good people of Ghana to steer the affairs of the nation for a second four-year term. We promise to do just that."

The Party, therefore, urged "the government not to be cowed by threats and intimidation of the NDC but it should rather stay focused and do the right things in the interest of all Ghanaians".

The NPP described the NDC's accusation as vicious attack on the impeccable reputation and integrity of Ghana's Electoral Commission, which had attained local and international recognition for exhibiting high professional competence in organising elections.

Nana Ntow, therefore, urged the NDC to desist from "the blatant attempt to impute the integrity of an important state institution such as the EC".

He said the NPP was convinced beyond doubt that the NDC was only using the ROPAB issue to cover up their desperate and vicious plans to visit mayhem on Ghanaians just because they were not in power. According to the NPP General Secretary, security intelligent information available to the Party indicated that the NDC intended to create political instability and make the nation ungovernable. He said the indefinite boycott of parliamentary proceedings by the Minority was part of the grand scheme to create a parliamentary paralysis and undermine the integrity of the National Assembly and send wrong signal to the international and diplomatic community that "Ghana is descending into a state of chaos".

Nana Ntow also accused the Minority of employing deceit and manipulation of key national stakeholders in purported circulars and handbills from these institutions calculated to give the impression that they were opposed to the bill.

The NPP said the tactics employed by the NDC was an affront to the intelligence and integrity of the institutions, which included security institutions, civil servants, students, workers and other civil society organisations.

Nana Ntow noted that the overt and covert actions as well as utterances of leading Minority members were attempts to subvert Ghana's peace, democracy, constitutional order, civilised culture of reasoning over brute force and violence.

He described the NDC as anti-electoral reforms, "as any attempt by the NPP since 2000 to introduce electoral reforms with the aim of improving upon the system received vehement protest from the NDC". The NPP, therefore, appealed to the security forces to reassure Ghanaians of their safety and protection in the face of what he termed blatant security provocations. 13 Feb. 06

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