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15.02.2006 General News

ROPAB Is Another “Bokassa Priority” Of The NPP Gov't – CPP

By CPP (UK & Ireland) Secretariat.

Fellow Ghanaians

We view with increasing concern the priorities of the ruling NPP government. A concern that is shared by millions of Ghanaians where ever they find themselves in the world.

From the moment the government of the New Patriotic Party assumed office in January 2001, many have questioned the billions spent in renovating the President's private house, Ministerial bungalows, when many millions of our citizens sleep rough besides gutters at night. Many questioned the necessity for changing Ministerial cars so frequently when the number of beggars on our streets grows with each passing day. Many were shocked to hear about billions of Cedis placed in the booths of Party cars for frivolous activity, when a great many children still walk to school in our country without shoes. Many are questioning as you read this release the priority in our HIPC country of spending $30m building a Presidential Palace against a backdrop of endless poverty reduction programmes by every Ghana government since the days of PAMSCAD 1 and PAMSCAD 11 in the 1980's.

Many Ghanaians remember a country at the heart of Africa who's Head of State spent the equivalent of his impoverished countries Gross National Product in a Napoleonic coronation to declare himself emperor. He built himself a shimmering palace whilst his people starved. That head of state was Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the country, the Central African Republic (CAR).

Many are now viewing the priorities of the NPP government in similar terms, referring to these priorities as “Bokassa Priorities”

The Representation of the Peoples Amendment Bill (ROPAB) has come to be seen as another “Bokassa Priority” of the NPP government. Many understand that in an ideal situation where the country has achieved the much talked about “middle income” status, and our GPRP has been scrapped in favour of “work and happiness” programmes. Our Children are fully nourished and happy in their schools, hospitals, roads, and housing needs are being met, then the possibility of spending billions to enfranchise Ghanaians abroad becomes a noble aim.

Many are sceptical about the possibility of organising elections at Ghanaian missions abroad when the outcome of every election is still debated before our courts, some still undecided even now.

Such scepticism is reinforced by the fact that the NPP government's focus has not even been on repealing PNDC Law 284 which still places many months of residency as a criteria for Ghanaians resident abroad to be eligible to vote in a constituency.

ROPAB is a “Bokassa Priority” the NPP government, a “Bokassa” government.

There are many weighty issues and reasons for rejecting ROPAB and those issues have been debated for many many months in our Parliament and without. We will simply ask that you reject ROPAB as a “Bokassa Priority”

Yours In The Name Of Ghana's Democracy

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