Trump predicts 'riots' if Republicans deny him the nomination

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said his supporters would "riot" if he was denied the Republican nomination despite winning the popular vote.

Some Republicans have signalled that they would be open to a brokered convention, where party officials, not voters, would chose the nominee.

That would only take place if Mr Trump fell short of the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

It is unclear if he can hit that threshold before the convention.

"I'm representing a tremendous - many, many millions of people, in many cases first-time voters," Mr Trump, the front-runner, told CNN. "If you disenfranchise those people ... I think you would have problems like you've never seen before," he said.

Delegate maths

Mr Trump has at least 646 delegates and is favoured to win many coming contests, but challenges from opponents Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich have blunted his momentum.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump won primaries in four states - Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. Yet a win by Mr Kasich in Ohio raised the possibly that Trump's delegate count could fall short.

Mr Cruz, who is currently in second place in the race, is also opposed to a brokered convention.

Where did Marco Rubio go wrong? - A bruising night for the establishment hope, and other takeaways from our US correspondents

Winners and losers on Super Tuesday II - John Kasich and Hillary Clinton have big nights

Clinton 'shouting' comments spark sexism row - Mrs Clinton gets some unsolicited advice and Twitter responds


Mr Cruz currently has 397 delegates and Mr Kasich has 142.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, once thought to be a promising Republican choice for nominee, dropped out of the race on Tuesday after a poor showing in state primaries.

Mr Trump also said he would not be participating in a Fox News Republican debate set for 21 March in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mr Kasich's campaign said they would not participate if Mr Trump did not, so the network then cancelled the debate.

The billionaire businessman with no prior political experience has come under fire by his fellow Republican candidates, along with Democrats, for encouraging a culture of violence at his campaign rallies.

Criticism over violent Trump rallies

He called off a rally to be held in Chicago after clashes between protesters and supporters.

He has said no one gets hurt at his "love-fest" rallies and that he denies responsibility for any violence.

Source: bbc.com

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US election 2016: Sanders beats Clinton in Maine caucuses

Bernie Sanders has beaten Hillary Clinton in the Maine caucuses, the latest contest in the battle to be the Democratic presidential candidate.

With 91% of the vote counted, Vermont Senator Mr Sanders is polling 64%, while former Secretary of State Mrs Clinton has 36%.

In the Republican race, Marco Rubio easily won Puerto Rico's primary, beating billionaire Donald Trump.

Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump remain overall leaders in the nomination campaigns.

Sunday night saw Mrs Clinton and Mr Sanders clash on a number of issues in a CNN-hosted debate in Flint, Michigan.

They traded accusations on economy and trade, with Mrs Clinton saying her rival voted against a bailout of the US car industry in 2009.

Results as they come in

Clinton v Sanders: The progressive battle

Trump and Cruz seek "one-on-one" battle

How radical are Trump and Cruz?

"I went with them. You did not. If everybody had voted the way he [Sanders] did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking four million jobs with it," Mrs Clinton said.

Mr Sanders countered by saying: "I will be damned if it was the working people of this country who have to bail out the crooks on Wall Street."

He described the measures taken at the time as "the Wall Street bailout where some of your [Clinton's] friends destroyed this economy".

In Saturday's round of voting, Mr Sanders took two states - Kansas and Nebraska - but Mrs Clinton maintained her Democratic front-runner status after a big victory in Louisiana.

'One on one' call

While the win in Puerto Rico - a US territory - will boost Florida Senator Mr Rubio's campaign, it sends just 23 delegates to the Republican convention which nominates a presidential candidate.

Republican hopefuls need the votes of 1,237 delegates to get the nod for the presidential race proper.

Mr Rubio still trails well behind Mr Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Speaking after wins in the Republican Kentucky caucuses and Louisiana primary election on Saturday, Mr Trump told a news conference: "I would love to take on Ted Cruz one on one."

"Marco Rubio had a very very bad night and personally I call for him to drop out of the race. I think it's time now that he dropped out of the race. I really think so."

Meanwhile, Texas Senator Mr Cruz - who won Republican caucuses in Kansas and Maine - said he believed that "as long as the field remains divided, it gives Donald an advantage".


Election calendar: Next races

  • 8 March: Michigan and Mississippi primaries: Democratic and Republican; Hawaii and Idaho caucuses: Republican
  • 15 March: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio primaries: all Democratic and Republican

The full primary calendar

Source: bbc.com

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If you love NPP, accept the result – Addison to Nii Noi

The newly-elected Parliamentary candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Klottey Korle constituency, has called on Nii Noi Nortey to put aside his personal interests and join his campaign to reclaim the seat from the NDC.

According to Addison, no one’s personal ambition should supersede the overall interest of the party.

Nii Noi lost out to Addison in a re-run of the August 2 primary, the outcome of which the latter had contested in court.

Reports from his camp indicate that Nii Noi is considering taking legal action to have the results from Saturday’s primary overturned.

However, Addison believes that despite excessive the media ‘hype’ built around Nii Nortey, the delegates chose him instead to represent the party in the November polls.

“He had free reign on the media and was being hyped and talked about as a grassroots boy, well it’s been decided,” he said.

“It’s always inevitable that when you lose an election of this nature, people feel hurt. It takes time to bring them around.”

Addison added that only a united NPP can prevail in the elections, and called on Nii Noi to join him to ensure that is made possible.

“Before this election, I had pledged that whoever emerged victorious, I would work with that person so that the party will take the seat. I expect that he [Nii Noi] will reciprocate that pledge and also come together so that we work for the party.

“We can only hope that they will come together, if they love the party. At the end of the day. it is the party that is Supreme and we want to take the seat from the NDC. We can only do so if we are united.”

Source: ghanaweb.com

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Minority Describes Prez Mahama’s Address As "Theatrical"

Hon Isaac Osei, Member of Parliament for Subin Constituency in the Ashanti Region has bemoaned the number of hours the President spent in delivering his "theatrical" State of the Nation’s Address (SoNA).

According to him, “the last time I was in the UK, the Queen’s speech lasted 25 minutes; what do we have here that we are talking so much.”

President John Mahama on Thursday addressed Parliament in his last SoNA in his First Term. He touched on a number of issues including education, health, finance, sports, energy and the upcoming November polls.

Speaking to MetroTV moments after the president's address, Hon Isaac Osei, who is also the Ranking Member on Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee said he could not identify the ‘"running theme in the President’s message".

“Three hours plus; a lot of theatre. At the end of the day, I don’t know one running theme in it…if you ask me what was the running theme in the President’s message, I don’t think I can tell you. It was theatre; a lot of theater; three hours State of the Nation’s Address?" he asked in a voice filled with disbelief.

Mahama Was Modest

However, Hon Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Member of Parliament for Ellembelle constituency in the Western Region had a vastly contrary view.

To him, the level of development and improvement occurring in the lives of Ghanaians cannot be considered as theatrical.

“Even though he (Prez Mahama) should have hit his chest with what he has done, he was so modest…tell those communities that have 35,000 kilometres of good road that it is theatre…what the NPP is running away from is that when we were working hard; led by His Excellency President Mahama; so determined, working, focused addressing the energy sector, road, health, educational infrastructure, all they did was making noise…now they are running for cover,” he fired back.

Source: peacefmonline.com

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Adams Mahama’s murder: Some NPP members will soon be tried – Afoko reveals

The suspended National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Paul Afoko has revealed that some members of the NPP will soon be hauled before court to be tried over their involvement in the killing of the Upper East Regional Chairman, Adams Mahama.

According to him, he has empirical evidence that some party members, who have not yet been fingered in the ongoing trial, were rather behind the murder of the former hardworking chairman.

Mr Afoko’s brother Gregory Afoko has been standing trial for close to one year, after police suspected him to be the main suspect of the acid bath on the late Adams Mahama, who died from severe bodily burns after the unfortunate incident.

The state claims it has enough evidence and has established Gregory Afoko’s complicity in the murder case which came as a big blow to the party’s Upper East Regional branch.

However speaking to Bola Ray on Starr Chat on Starr FM, Mr Paul Afoko stated that his brother is innocent of the crime he’s alleged to have committed, adding that the real truth in the case will be out soon.

“I’m happy that finally the Attorney General’s Department after keeping my brother in custody for close to one year has finally gotten their acts together and say they are now ready for the trial because they have evidence. There are things that will come out at the trial and I have evidence which I have handed to the police. Some members of my party should be prepared, they will enter the dock …I didn’t force them to write letters to me as the National Chairman six months before Adams died, making certain allegations. As I speak they know themselves…we are ready for the trial”.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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I have stopped financing NPP – Paul Afoko

The suspended National Chairman of the NPP, Paul Afoko says he will not contribute to the funding of the party’s campaign activities in the upcoming November general elections.

According to him, he is returning vehicles he has already purchased for the party’s campaigns activities because the NPP has unfairly treated him.

As has been the tradition, the various political parties marshal resources to fund their campaign activities during elections from several sources including their own wealthy members.

Mr Afoko, an astute businessman who is known to have funded the party in previous elections was expected to be as generous to the party as he has over the years been, but the embattled former Chairman says he is not going to make such favours anymore.

He was last year suspended indefinitely by the National Executive Council of the party based on recommendation from the NPP’s disciplinary committee for acts of misconduct.

However speaking to Bola Ray on Starr Chat on Starr FM, Paul Afoko stated that the pickup vehicles he purchased was part of his plan for a solid campaign activities for 2016 elections but that plan could only materialize if he was fully at post as the Chairman of the party.

“I’m not buying anymore cars. It was all part of a plan; you just don’t throw money at things… you plan. The plan included tooling the party up and if that plan is thrown out of sync or out of gear then…. . Some of them have already been branded in party colours, I’m not saying I will debrand the vehicles; the jury is out and going forward we’ll see what will happen. I have halted the process of ordering for more.”

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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I hold no grudge against Akufo Addo – Nii Noi Nortey

The stripped winner of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) Klottey Korle elections held August 2 2015, Nii Noi Nortey has dismissed reports that he has problems with the party’s Flagbearer Nana Akufo Addo.

According to him, his detractors who are bent on scuttling his chances in the upcoming election re-run are responsible for the propagation of such false claims.

There have been reports that Nana Akufo Addo, whose lawyer and friend Philip Addison was defeated by Nii Noi Nortey in the constituency primary, once traveled with Nii Noi Nortey but refused to mention his name when doing the introduction.

Some political watchers held the view that Nana Akufo Addo’s move went to confirm his dislike for Nii Noi Nortey.

However speaking to Kweku Owusu Adjei on Si Me So on Kasapa 102.3 FM, Nii Noi Nortey explained that Nana Addo during the said incident acknowledged all present, except that he as the leader of the NPP couldn’t have taken sides at the time because there was still dispute about the elections.

“When we went to Tema, Nana Addo mentioned the names of us all the three contestants, and asked us to try and solve the problems concerning the election and the tension in the constituency. I have worked with Nana Addo before as the constituency chairman and I know he’ll not hold anything against me”.

The party is holding a rerun of the election on Saturday 27 February after the earlier one held in 2015 which was won by Nii Noi Nortey had its results challenged in court.

Nii Noi Nortey expressed confidence of winning the elections to deliver the Klottey Korle seat for the NPP come the November Parliamentary elections.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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We have overcome dumsor but … – Prez Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has cautioned that although the erratic power supply, known in the local language as ‘dumsor’ has improved tremendously over the last two months, a lot more work needed to be done to ensure stability.

He said about 800MW has within the last few months been added onto the national grid from power generating firms such as KTPP (220MW), TICO (110MW), Karpower (220MW), and AMERI (250MW).

However, he said additional power generation onto the national grid will ensure that the country meets the ever growing annual demand of about 12% ad ensure that it does not experience prolong power rationing again.

“Mr. Speaker, I pledged to Ghanaians that I will continue to work to ensure that we never find ourselves in such a dreadful situation ever again. To end up never being there again, we must add even more generation to keep ahead of a robust growth of almost 12% increase in demand every year”.

“A lot of work still needs to be done to give us the comfort of sustainable generation going forward”, he said.

A huge deficit in power generation resulted in prolonged power rationing in the history of the former British Colony.

For four years, businesses had spent huge amount of money in procuring generators and fuel to power their firms.

Many businesses that couldn’t cope with the situation had to fold up with a lot more cutting down employment to make ends meet.

President John Dramani Mahama delivering the State of the Nation Address, Thursday, said those were trying time and expressed the hope that the country does not go through such experience again.

“This was a time of considerable national anxiety. A huge deficit in power generation had resulted in prolonged power rationing. I was painfully aware of the difficulties this situation was posing to Ghanaians”.

“Ghanaians had to put out with long hours of darkness or spend huge sums of money on generators. Businesses face serious disruption or cost went up because of the generation”.

“I took full responsibility as President and Commander in Chief on this nation. It has never been easy. It has been a year of hard work that has made us achieve the fastest mobilization of emergency power in the history of Ghana”.

But going forward, he said a lot more measures needed to be put in place to ensure that there is sustainable energy for all.

He said a planned a power-base on MoU and Power Purchase Agreement that the country has signed unto projects that an additional power generation of about 3,500 MW “can be achieved by the year 2020”.

“If we do this, this will ensure Ghana’s power security and will position Ghana as the power hub of West Africa”

“In this term and my next term, I intend to work hard to achieve this objective. Additional power into the national grid will aim at diversifying fuel sources – from gas to crude oil, LPG and LNG. Additionally, there will be an injection of renewable energy”.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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First Citizens Complaint Centre established in Accra – Mahama

President John Mahama has announced the setting up of the first of series of Citizens complaint centres in Accra.

According to him, the centre is located in room 209 of the second floor of the Public Services Commission building in the ministries area.

President John Mahama who made the disclosure while presenting the State of the Nation address in Parliament Thursday said reports by this Centre is expected to help to promote the fight against corruption, as well as improve service delivery in the public sector.

He noted that the centre apart from walk-ins also receives and processes voice complaints using hot-lines and via its website www.ghanacitizens.org.

“The Citizens Complaint Unit will collate data and will produce quarterly reports based on the type, nature and source of the complaints received. This report will also include recommended actions, resolution of complaints as well as trend analysis”.

President Mahama added that if this centre proves successful, it will be replicated in all the regional capitals across the country, with the various district assemblies being encouraged to establish their own units in the district capitals.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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Ghana's elections now first Monday in November

This year's crucial presidential and parliamentary elections and subsequent ones will now be held on the first Monday in November every four years if the constitution is duly amended.

The change in the traditional December 7 date, to the first Monday in November is to smoothen the transition process from one elected government to another, even if it is the same party that wins an election.

Given the December 7 date, it will take barely a month for a newly elected president to be sworn into office, something political pundits have raised issues about.

After three rounds of elections in 2008, including the crucial Tain Constituency run off, outgoing president John Kufuor had barely a week to hand over power to the late president John Mills.

A process to amend Article 112 clause 4 which sets out the procedure for the presidential elections is already underway to change the December 7 date.

On Wednesday, an elections committee made up of the Electoral Commission, Representatives from the Attorney General and the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament agreed to the first Monday in November arrangement but must go through a number of processes to make it the law.

The Attorney General and government will make their input after which the instrument will then be laid in Parliament to mature.

Speaking to Joy News on the matter, the  Vice Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament, George Loh dismissed media reports that November 7 has been confirmed as the new date for future elections.

On the contrary, he said the committee settled on the first Monday in November as the most convenient day for  elections.

Why Mondays and not weekends?

George Loh explained that weekends were deemed as inappropriate because a lot of people will be going for funerals and weddings for which reason Mondays were adopted.

"Mondays are the best option," he said. He could not however say the length of time it will take for the processes to be concluded for the November date to be adopted as the new election date.

Meanwhile the Director of Communications of the NPP Nana Akomea says he would rather the Elections Committee had chosen a Saturday instead of a Monday.

One would have thought a weekend which are "natural holidays" would have been considered, he said.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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STATEMENT: Gov't Hits Back Dr Bawumia....

Government has strongly refuted claims Dr Mahamadu Bawumia that it has wasted and cannot account for most of the loans it has contracted.

In a statement signed by Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, in response to calls by the running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo that Ghanaians must reject the NDC’s attempt to hoodwink the public on claims of massive investments in projects as the reality points to the contrary, governent accused the economic guru of deliberately discrediting the achievements of the current administration for “partisan gains”.

It is instructive that after years of living in denial that these projects exist, he has finally acknowledged their existence, except that he wants to tread down the path of discrediting them for partisan gain.

“Dr Bawumia’s latest untruth is only a last effort to create doubt about the unprecedented investment made in all sphere of our national life by President John Mahama’s government,” the statement said.


Read government's response to Dr Bawumia's claims below


GOVERNMENT SETS THE RECORDS STRAIGHT ON DR BAWUMIA’S FALSE AND OR MISLEADING CLAIMS

Government has noted a number of false and or misleading claims attributed to Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, the third time running mate to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer.

At a party event in Wa, Dr Bawumia among other falsehoods claimed that;

1. The NDC government had borrowed US$ 37 billion out of which it accounts for only US$ 7 billion

2. That there are six reasons why Ghanaians should reject what is contained in the “Accounting to the People” book.

We are constrained to respond as follows;

1. It is instructive that after years of living in denial that these projects exist, he has finally acknowledged their existence except that he wants to tread down the path of discrediting them for partisan gain.

Dr. Bawumia’s latest untruths is only a last-gasp effort to create doubts about the unprecedented investments made in all spheres of our national life by President John Dramani Mahama’s Government. It is borne out of a morbid fear that the overwhelming evidence provided in the 210-page book, shatters the many unsustainable falsehoods churned out by him, the NPP and their allies about the performance of President Mahama.

On the specific claim, without source, that this government has borrowed US$37 billion since 2009, we wish to put on record that this is false and a desperate attempt to find basis for the flawed conclusions he churned out at the event.

At paragraph 127 on page 36 of the 2016 Budget presented to Parliament in November,2015, the Minister for Finance clearly indicated that our total National Debt stood at GH¢92,161.84 million or US$24,285.07. This was made up of GH¢54,488.26 million (US$14,357.91million) for external debt and GH¢37,673.58 million ($9,927.16 million) for domestic debt.

This represents our entire national debt since independence and includes US$8.1 billion bequeathed President Atta Mills’ Government by Dr Bawumia’s NPP in January 2009.

Given that his claims on our debt which forms the basis of his accusations are false, it stands to reason that his weak inferences with regards to how much has been spent on the projects highlighted in the book “Accounting to the People” are problematic and unacademic. In deed Dr Bawumia cannot feign ignorance of the use to which loans contracted are put. Every external loan contracted by Government is subject to Parliamentary approval and the use to which it is put is clearly stated in the documents presented to Parliament. By constantly pretending not to know this, Dr Bawumia is casting aspersions on the competence and diligence of his NPP MPs who help to approve these loans.

2. Regarding his claim that his phantom total loan amount could have been supposedly used for six things he itemised, we wish to state as follows:

a. Claim 1: The money could have been used to develop the Rail network from Accra to Paga and Transformed many parts of our country by this Investment.

Response: A review of the NPP’s 2000 and 2004 manifestos reveals the basis for this claim.

The NPP promised at page 15 of their 2000 manifesto to ensure a “Modernization and extension of railway network and Connection to the Northern Regions”.

At page 25 of their 2004 manifesto, the NPP also promised to ensure “Preparatory work towards the expansion project to link Ghana by rail to its northern neighbours of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.”

The records show that Dr Bawumia and his NPP failed spectacularly to fulfil their promise. The records also show that the railway sector collapsed under the NPP and in some instances they sold existing rail tracks as scrap.

We entreat Dr Bawumia to peruse pages 94, 95 and 98 of “Accounting to the People” where irrefutable proof our superior performance in the Railway sector has been provided.

b) Claim 2: The money could have solved the water problems in Ghana.

Response: Once again, Dr Bawumia inadvertently sets his party up for mockery. The NPP holds the most abysmal record in the provision of water by any government in this fourth Republic. In all their 8 years in office, they increased water coverage by a paltry 2%.

We invite him again to turn to pages 58 to 65 to learn about the unmatched record of President Mahama with regards to the provision of water. The facts as presented in the book show that since the NDC came to office, water coverage has increased from 58.5% in 2009 to 76% in 2015.This is set to increase to 85% by close of this year when an additional 20 water projects are completed around the country. In absolute terms we have provided 77.5 million gallons of water per(MGD) day for 4.2 million Ghanaians as of the end of 2015. By the end of 2016 this will increase to 110million (MGD) for a total of 7 million Ghanaians. In all 52 years preceding the NDC in 2009, available water capacity could only serve 14 million people.

c) Claim 3: Solve the energy problem

Response: Between pages 69 and 78 in “Accounting to the People”, incontrovertible proof is provided on work done to increase our generation capacity which has not only ended load shedding but, made available for the first time in our history reserve capacity to take care of eventualities.

d) Claim 4: Put in place at least 1000 kilometres of asphalted roads in each region. There will be no major road problem left in any region after this.

Response: Pages 100 to 111 of the book provides pictorial proof of massive first-class road investments across the country. A regional breakdown is also provided for some of the road projects being undertaken in the country. Unlike Dr Bawumia’s dubious claims of expanding the road network by 8 times of what we have done, we have provided proof. We challenge him to list all, and we mean all, these roads and show where they are.

e) Claim 5: Put in place one world class hospital in each region.

Response: Dr Bawumia’s NPP also has the worst record in the provision of health infrastructure. The NPP has the dubious distinction of being the only party that failed to build a single Regional hospital in all 8 years of their tenure under the fourth republic. The President Rawlings Government built the Cape Coast, Ho and Sunyani Regional Hospitals. President Mahama is currently providing world-class Regional hospitals at Ridge in Accra, Sewua in Kumasi, Bolgatanga in the Upper East and Wa in the Upper West Region. In addition to this he is providing two world-class teaching hospitals and 15 District Hospitals. He has already provided 5 polyclinics with another 15 about to start, over forty health centres and hundreds of CHPS compounds. Together these hospitals will deliver over 6,000 additional beds representing the biggest investment ever by any Government in health infrastructure in Ghana’s history.

It is also a fact that every Region in Ghana has benefitted or is benefiting from the provision of a world-class hospital equipment under President Mahama. Regarding the provision of equipment, President John Mahama also holds the record for best performance. In the last four years, US$ 267 million has been invested in the provision of critical diagnostic and treatment equipment for over 150 health facilities nation-wide. This also represents the biggest ever investment in health equipment by any Government. Unshakable evidence of these and facts on the robust performance of the NHIS are set out from page 22 to 39 of “Accounting to the People”.

f) Claim 6: These investments have not translated into improved services for the people.

Response: It is obvious from this claim that Dr Bawumia and the NPP are not in tune with developments in our communities. The tens of thousands of school children who now sit in comfortable classrooms after almost half of the 4,321 schools under trees the NPP bequeathed know otherwise. The millions of Ghanaians in whose taps water had not flowed for decades but who now enjoy supply of treated water know better and cannot be deceived. The many Ghanaians who can now receive quality health diagnostic care know better.

Indeed, we urge Dr Bawumia to check page 25 of “Accounting to the People” for evidence of massive improvements in critical human development and health indicators as culled from the Ghana Health and Demographic Survey of 2014. It shows that Infant, Child and under-five mortalities which were alarmingly high under the NPP have reduced significantly under President Mahama.

3. Contrary to Dr Bawumia’s claims, capital expenditures as a ratio of GDP averaged 5.6% from 2001 to 2008 and not 11% as claimed by Dr Bawumia. It is currently within the same band. The resort to “Capex/GDP” ratios is only an attempt to mask his party’s horrendously appalling record with regards to the delivery of critical infrastructure like schools, hospitals, water, housing, roads, communications, energy among others.

Dr Bawumia is fully aware that a thorough analysis of the actual amounts pumped into these projects vis-à-vis the outcomes will expose the staggering mediocrity exhibited by his party when in Government between 2001 and 2008.

4. On Job creation, Dr Bawumia is encouraged to read pages 137 and 138 of “Accounting to the People” where evidence of job creation arising from several interventions is given. We wish to assure that Government will continue to do more to ensure that more jobs are created for our youth. It would be recalled however that the NPP is bereft of a sustainable track record when it comes to job creation save for the ignominious tag of deceiving Ghanaians at page 5 of their 2000 manifesto that they will “Create jobs for all persons able and willing to work and to reward each of them appropriately”.

Let Dr Bawumia disprove this horrible deception by pointing us to which jobs they created for ALL Ghanaians.

5. Dr Bawumia also repeated the discredited mantra of “inflated cost” of projects as means of chipping away at their positive impact on the lives of our people. In doing so he has placed himself firmly in the ranks of the Political Quantity Surveyors whose modus operandi is to claim without basis, logic or fact that the cost of every project is inflated. This is done for the sole purpose of undermining the projects in question for political gain. But the Danquah-Busiah tradition will no longer be allowed to undermine the interest of Ghanaians for their parochial gains- not anymore!

No amount of falsehoods however will distract Government from investing further in all sectors of the economy to enhance the wellbeing of Ghanaians.

Finally, the public is respectfully encouraged to download copies of the book, “Accounting to the People” from www.moc.gov.gh,www.ghana.gov.gh,www.presidency.gov.gh and www.greenbookghana.com

This will further shred Dr Bawumia and the NPP’S campaign of deceit which has failed on two occasions and will fail again because the people of Ghana cannot be neutral between truth and deceit.


Edward K. Omane Boamah (Dr)
(Communications Minister)

Source: Peacefmonline.com

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Museveni rival Kizza Besigye arrested over protest march

Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been taken into police custody after vowing to lead a protest march against President Yoweri Museveni's election victory.

Mr Besigye was bundled into a police van when he tried to leave his home, where he had been under house arrest.

His wife Winnie Byanyima said it was like a "military barracks" outside their home in the capital, Kampala.

Mr Museveni won Thursday's poll by a landslide to extend his 30-year rule.

Mr Besigye said the result had been rigged, while foreign observers said the poll had been marred by fear and intimidation.

In a BBC interview, Mr Museveni rejected allegations of vote rigging, and accused Mr Besigye of planning to incite violence.

Responding to criticism from European Union observers that the electoral commission "lacked independence and transparency", Mr Museveni told the BBC's Zuhura Yunus that "those Europeans are not serious".

"Transparency is what we've been voting for," he added.

Mr Besigye had vowed to march to the headquarters of the Electoral Commission to ask for a copy of the official declaration of results.

Official results gave Mr Museveni nearly 61% of the votes, with Mr Besigye taking 35%.

It was the fourth time Mr Besigye, candidate for the opposition Forum for Democratic Change party, had lost to Mr Museveni.

The two men were once allies, with Mr Besigye serving as Mr Museveni's personal doctor when they were guerrilla fighters.

Mr Museveni, a key ally of the West in the campaign against militant Islamists in the region, seized power in 1986 and is credited with restoring stability to Uganda.

However, critics say he has become increasingly authoritarian.

On Friday, the US said Mr Museveni should "rein in" his security forces after they briefly arrested Mr Besigye, and fired tear gas to disperse his supporters in Kampala.

Source: bbc.com

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“Try me too” – Nana Addo begs settler communities

The flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has appealed to settler communities in the Tano South constituency of the Brong Ahafo Region, to give him a chance to lead the country in this year’s general election.

He says Ghanaians can kick him out if he fails to turn around the fortunes of the country in four years.

Nana Addo made the appeal in an address to Muslim clerics and Chiefs of settler communities in Derma, a community in the Tano South Constituency.

The NPP flagbearer, who was accompanied by national and regional party stalwarts, appealed to the communities to consider him for at least one term and promised them he would not disappoint.

“This year, try me too. Give me the chance to show you what I can do. Four years is not so far away. If I come and I don’t succeed, kick me out. God knows my heart and I can assure you that I won’t disappoint you. Progress and prosperity are what I am offering the people of Ghana.”

He explained that the NPP, traditionally, had not done well electorally in settler communities across the country, largely because of the deliberate tagging of the NPP as an “anti-Northern” party by political opponents.

Thus, the NPP, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, has now decided to aggressively campaign in all settler communities across the country, so as to dispel this false notion, with barely 8 months to the November elections.

“This talk of the NPP being anti-Northerners is simply not true. When you go into the history books, all the leaders of the tradition, from which the NPP emerged from, are Northerners. The tradition we belong to is called the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition. Dombo hailed from the North. Jato Kaleo, Abaayifa Karbo, Yakubu Tali, B.K Adama, Imoro Salifu, C.K. Tedam, were all Northerners who started our party,” he said.

Nana Akufo-Addo told the Chiefs that “this type of anti-NPP sentiments only surfaced during elections,” adding that “when there are no elections, we live in this country peacefully and harmoniously. These are done purely for electoral advantage.”

He therefore urged them to ignore this type of politicking, but rather vote for candidates and political parties whose sole aim in office will be to better the lives of Ghanaians, through the institution of effective policies.

To the people of Derma, who are predominantly cocoa and vegetable farmers, Nana Akufo-Addo urged them to consider the NPP’s track record in the run-up to the November elections.

“When given the choice of NPP and NDC, there is no way that you, as a cocoa farmer, should choose the NDC over the NPP. The NPP is the party that has looked after the welfare of cocoa farmers. It is the NPP, under President Kufuor, that raised cocoa production to levels never witnessed in Ghana’s history. ”

To this end, he urged the electorate to consider the welfare of the nation and of their families, and their conditions of living before casting their ballots on November 7.

“Would you prefer a ‘family member’ who has nothing but suffering for you, or would you prefer a ‘stranger’ who will bring you prosperity? The NPP is the party that will bring prosperity to the people of Ghana… We in the NPP, under my leadership, are going to put the country back on the road to prosperity,” he added.

Nana Akufo-Addo also made brief stops at Techimantia and Dwomo, all in the Tano South constituency, urging the electorate to vote for him as President and Benjamin Yeboah Sekyere, the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency.

 

Source: citifmonline.com

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Bawumia rubbishes NDC’s records

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate to New Patriotic Party’s 2016 Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, has rubbished claims by the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), that it has transformed the country by undertaking a number of projects.

He outlined six reasons why Ghanaians must reject the NDC’s attempt to hoodwink the public on claims of massive investments in projects as the reality points to the contrary.

Dr. Bawumia outlined these in a lecture on the topic “The Role of Financial Discipline and Investment In National Development”, at a National Financial Literacy and Investment Summit organised by the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG), at the University for Development Studies, Wa Campus.

Where is the rest of the money and what could it have done? Bawumia asks and answers

Dr. Bawumia pointed out that the NDC had increased Ghana’s debt in seven years by GHC90 billion, from GHC9.5 billion at the end of 2009 to some GHC99 billion currently; an equivalent of some 37 billion dollars at the time of borrowing.

“First, If you sum the cost of all the loan financed projects listed in the green book (even including those with artistic impressions, it is less than $7 billion. Meanwhile, the government has borrowed the equivalent of $37 billion so where is the rest of the money? Indeed, given the resources at its disposal one should expect at least four times the quantum of investment that the NDC claims to have undertaken”, Dr. Bawumia said, as he began listing the six reasons.

He proceeded to list a number of things the over 30 billion dollars from borrowing the NDC cannot account for, could have done, which proves that contrary to the claims, the NDC has done a bad job at giving Ghanaians their due after undertaking unprecedented borrowing in the last seven years.

“The close to $30 billion of borrowing that was not used for projects could have inter alia:

  •     Developed the Rail network from Accra to Paga and transformed many parts of the country just by this investment.
  • Solved the water problems in Ghana
  • Solved the energy problem and not put the country through 4 years of dumsor at the cost of human lives and collapsing businesses and unemployment
  • Put in place at least 1000 kilometres of asphalted roads in each region. There will be no major road problem left in any region after this.
  • Transformed Agriculture in the Northern regions, Afram Plains and Ghana through investment in machinery, irrigation and dams
  • Put in place one world class hospital in each region
  • Buy at least 1000 ambulances for the Ghana Ambulance service
  • Set up factories with the private sector across the country to add value to our raw materials and create jobs. On the issue of jobs, the question is, if the government has taken a whole 4 years to solve a basic problem like Dumsor, how long will it take to address unemployment? At this pace, many of the unemployed youths will be over the pension age before the NDC finds a solution to the unemployment problem.
  • Equip our existing health and education institutions with state of the art facilities.
  • Build an additional 600 of the Senior High Schools the government is currently trying to build”, he said.

Fact: Investment to GDP has declined and affected Economic Growth

The second reason, according to Dr Bawumia, is the fact that the data shows that contrary to all the claims of the NDC, infrastructure spending as a proportion of GDP has declined from an average of 11% between 2001 and 2008, when Ghana had no oil, to 5.7% between 2009 and 2015.

“To explain this point, if a person tells you they have invested GHC 1000 in the education of their children and another tells you they have invested GHC 2000, you cannot conclude that the second person has invested more in his or her children if you do not compare it against the number of children in the family. If the first person has one child and the second has 10 children, then the investment of the person with one child will be higher (i.e. GHC1000 per child compared to GHC200 per child for the second person).

“It is in this context that when we measure the impact of investment, we look at it relative to the GDP of a country. If as a country, your investment in infrastructure relative to GDP is declining, then your growth is likely to decline. This background is very important to understand what is happening in Ghana today,” he said

Overpricing of projects and resort to mediocrity

“The third reason why I say the NDC is attempting to hoodwink Ghanaians with claims of massive infrastructural investments is that most of these projects are over-priced as a result of the single source procurement method, which has become the procurement method of choice for this government, as we saw in the SADA, GYEEDA, KARPOWER, SMARTYS bus branding etc.. I would like to see for example the government explanation from the government quantity surveyors of the costing on the Kumasi airport runway for $23.8 million. However, you and I know that they would not explain because they cannot explain”, Dr. Bawumia noted.

For the fourth point, he stated that since all governments undertake infrastructural products, it is disingenuous for the NDC to claim that as unprecedented, especially when compared to resources accrued, the NDC has done far less investments in infrastructure compared to the NPP government under former President John AgyekumKufuor for example, which had less than ten times the resources the NDC has had in seven years.

“The nation’s road network increased by 18,736 km and 29,970 km during the four (4) and eight (8) years of NPP-led administration respectively. At the end of year 2008, the network size met as at the end of December 2000 had been increased about 80%. In contrast, the NDC government has thus far added only 3,772 km to Ghana’s road network.  This means that the NPP constructed 8 times more roads (km) than the NDC even though they had 10 times more money. Yet when you listen to Government propaganda, they will tell you of the massive road investments they are making. Unfortunately for them the facts completely disprove their attempt to hoodwink Ghanaians.

“Indeed, it was His Excellency President Mahama who told us that any government touting projects as achievements is conducting an exercise in mediocrity, So what has changed? The real fact is that the NDC has no real achievements to point to outside the undertaking of some projects hence their resort to mediocrity”, he said.

So-called massive investments have not translated into job creation & production

“The fifth reason why I say the NDC is attempting to hoodwink Ghanaians with claims of massive infrastructural investments is that infrastructural investment is not supposed to be for its own sake but to increase productivity and production in the economy. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. If you have indeed undertaken massive and unprecedented infrastructural investment, then why is the economy collapsing?  –      Why is the NHIS in trouble?Why is unemployment on the increase? Why are businesses collapsing? Why is agricultural growth stagnant? Why is manufacturing growth negative? Why is the government having difficulty meeting statutory payments?” he queried.

“The facts therefore show that the impact of the NDC infrastructure investments have not translated into increased output, job creation and better living conditions for the people of Ghana”, Dr. Bawumia added.

Ghanaians can relate to a worsening in social services and conditions

The sixth and final reason why the NDC’s claims of projects should be rejected, according to Dr. Bawumia, was the fact that the so called massive investments being claimed by the NDC have not translated into an improvement in social services.

Dr. Bawumia touched on vital areas like Water, Health and Education to explain that despite the huge claims of the NDC, the ordinary Ghanaian cannot relate to an improvement in services and relief.

“The NDC claims to have put in over a billion dollars in the area of water infrastructure. Yet, today many places across the country are seeing the worst shortages of water in decades. So what is the essence of the claims being made by the NDC with respect to investments in water when after seven years, the people are rather seeing worse shortages than they were before these so-called investments?” he asked

Touching on Health, Dr. Bawumia pointed out that despite the claims of huge investments, the reality for many Ghanaians was the fact that the NHIS is failing. He also noted that despite the claims of massive investments, many existing hospitals are crying for basic equipment to deliver health care to the people.

“What Ghanaians can relate to is the many illnesses and drugs which have been taken out of the NHIS care lists, the Capitation policy and the situation where patients seeking to be treated on the basis of possession of the NHIS Card are turned away in favor of patients with money. For many Ghanaians, the sad reality is that the killer Cash and Carry program, which the NPP worked to cancel, has been technically introduced back as a result of the failure of the NHIA.

“Again, despite these huge claims of investment, our Hospitals across the country, keep crying over very essential equipment and facilities. I had this sad reality hit home when a close relative passed away last year as a result of the lack of oxygen at Tamale Teaching Hospital. The recent closure of certain departments in Korle-Bu also re-emphasizes this point”, he noted

Dr. Bawumia cited the recent gory Kintampo accident as another example of how despite the huge claims of investments in Health, the Ghanaian people cannot relate to an improvement in healthcare.

“So again, what is the point in the claims of massive investment in the Health Sector when after seven years and with over 200 billion in Resources, we cannot sustain the Health Insurance Scheme which was functional when Ghana had less than 10 times the resources this government has had; and cannot provide vital logistics for our existing Hospitals and service our Ambulances to save the lives of our countrymen?”, he probed.

Is every investment necessary or prudent?

Ending his dissection of the NDC claims of massive investment, Dr. Bawumia stressed that investments must be assessed critically on the impact it makes to productivity and lives and not just on the basis of numbers that are bandied around.

“It is therefore clear that despite the huge claims of investment, the reality for many Ghanaians is that livelihoods have worsened and social services are not functioning.


Source: citifmonline.com

 

 

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Afari Gyan much better than Charlotte Osei – NPP

Despite accusing him on several occasions of bias and dragging him to the Supreme Court in the historic 2012 election petition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) says Dr. Afari Gyan as Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman, was far better than the  incumbent Chairperson, Charlotte Osei.

Former EC Boss Dr. Afari Gyan, retired in June 2015, having spent 22 years in office in which he oversaw 5 elections. He was replaced by Charlotte Osei, who was picked from the National Commission for Education Education (NCCE) as the first female to head the electoral body.

Madam Osei’s relationship with the political parties has got off to a rocky start, particularly with the NPP, whose petition for a new voters’ register to be created, was rejected by her.

On Saturday, the EC announced that the 18-member Steering Committee created ahead of the polls had not been suspended despite reports on Friday indicating that it had done so after an Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting.

The EC’s latest announcement has not gone down well with the NPP, who have questioned its relevance and composition of members.

The party had initially indicated their support for Madam Osei when she first assumed her role, where they called on her to “resolve the many challenges she is inheriting from Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, her predecessor”

However, according to them, the recent decisions made by the EC Chairperson shows that she is still a long way from her much-maligned predecessor.

This conclusion on Charlotte Osei comes at a time when she is yet to conduct her first major election after only overseeing two by-elections.

“As for the present EC boss, she is a pale shadow of Dr. Afari Gyan; comparatively, Dr Afari Gyan was better,” Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahene told Citi News.

Nana Obiri Boahene said some of the EC staff have outlived their usefulness.

“As the Electoral Commission of Ghana, if you consider the utterances and comments of some of the members, you will know that they have outlived their usefulness.”

A frustrated Boahene said the Commission can decide to handover its entire mandate to the steering committee.

“They can decide to, as it were, hand over all functions of the EC as spelt out in the constitution to the Steering Committee. Who cares?”

The General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Atik Mohammed, in commenting on the EC’s U-turn said the Commission is needlessly complicating the issues at stake.

“Having conceded that they’ve erred, it will be difficult for the Commission to say the committee should continue with its work whilst. I would like to understand what they [EC] meant by saying return to the drawing board.”


Source: citifmonline.com

Nana Obiri Boahene said some of the EC staff have outlived their usefulness.

“As the Electoral Commission of Ghana, if you consider the utterances and comments of some of the members, you will know that they have outlived their usefulness.”

A frustrated Boahene said the Commission can decide to handover its entire mandate to the steering committee.

“They can decide to, as it were, hand over all functions of the EC as spelt out in the constitution to the Steering Committee. Who cares?”

The General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Atik Mohammed, in commenting on the EC’s U-turn said the Commission is needlessly complicating the issues at stake.

“Having conceded that they’ve erred, it will be difficult for the Commission to say the committee should continue with its work whilst. I would like to understand what they [EC] meant by saying return to the drawing board.”

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/02/22/afari-gyan-much-better-than-charlotte-osei-npp/#sthash.G2nwdq6R.dpuf

 

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EC’s actions must deepen public trust – Gyampo

A Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr. Ransford Gyampoh is questioning the rationale behind the Electoral Commission’s formation of an Election Steering Committee without broad consultations.

According to him, the distrust that political parties and some Ghanaians have for the Electoral Commission will only be deepened by such actions and decisions which are not based on consensus from key political actors in the country.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Dr. Gyampo said the Electoral Commission must be seen to be actively implementing the reforms that were agreed upon in the aftermath of the 2012 elections rather than creating bodies such as the Steering Committee.

“My own issue is that, why do we need that committee? In my view, the EC may mean well in putting in place that committee, but given the feeling of distrust that many Ghanaians and political parties have in the EC and the current legitimacy deficit that the EC faces in view of the post 2012 election, it seems that everything good or initiative that the EC will put in place to an extent, brings some distrust among its key stakeholders and it is not the best. There can be no meaningful discussion of building a strong institution without public confidence in such institutions.”

He noted that, “one way to restore public confidence in the EC is for it to be proactively and publicly be seen to be implementing proposals for electoral reforms which have been submitted to it. This is the only way out, otherwise anything they do maybe seeing as the EC majoring on minor issues.”

Dr. Ransford Gyampo is also advising the Electoral Commission not to succumb to all the demands of political parties but to strike a balance in dealing with them.

“The EC is an independent organisation and it must not necessarily pander to the whims and caprices of political parties. Bu the point must also be made that over the years, if IPAC wasn’t useful then it should have been disbanded by now. Over the years the EC has executed its mandate well because it has worked with the IPAC; so it has been a good relationship between the two without the EC necessarily lording its independence over the IPAC. So there has to be a balance,” he said.

Mandate of the steering committee

The National Election Steering Committee is to ensure a smooth and peaceful 2016 elections. Apart from the 10 members, the seven Commissioners of the EC are also members with Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, being the Chairperson of the Committee, while the Director of Elections will serve as a Secretary to the Committee.

The Committee is to share ideas and harmonize activities of the Commission to ensure that there is adequate security before, during and after the 2016 election.

“…Of the 18 members, eight are from the commission and the remaining ten come from institutions that the commission decided should have representation on the committee”, Mr Owusu Parry, Public Affairs Director of the EC, recently told Citi News.


Source: citifmonline.com

“The EC is an independent organisation and it must not necessarily pander to the whims and caprices of political parties. Bu the point must also be made that over the years, if IPAC wasn’t useful then it should have been disbanded by now. Over the years the EC has executed its mandate well because it has worked with the IPAC; so it has been a good relationship between the two without the EC necessarily lording its independence over the IPAC. So there has to be a balance,” he said.

Mandate of the steering committee

The National Election Steering Committee is to ensure a smooth and peaceful 2016 elections. Apart from the 10 members, the seven Commissioners of the EC are also members with Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, being the Chairperson of the Committee, while the Director of Elections will serve as a Secretary to the Committee.

The Committee is to share ideas and harmonize activities of the Commission to ensure that there is adequate security before, during and after the 2016 election.

“…Of the 18 members, eight are from the commission and the remaining ten come from institutions that the commission decided should have representation on the committee”, Mr Owusu Parry, Public Affairs Director of the EC, recently told Citi News.

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/02/22/ecs-actions-must-deepen-public-trust-gyampo/#sthash.q3UNEV02.dpuf

“The EC is an independent organisation and it must not necessarily pander to the whims and caprices of political parties. Bu the point must also be made that over the years, if IPAC wasn’t useful then it should have been disbanded by now. Over the years the EC has executed its mandate well because it has worked with the IPAC; so it has been a good relationship between the two without the EC necessarily lording its independence over the IPAC. So there has to be a balance,” he said.

Mandate of the steering committee

The National Election Steering Committee is to ensure a smooth and peaceful 2016 elections. Apart from the 10 members, the seven Commissioners of the EC are also members with Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, being the Chairperson of the Committee, while the Director of Elections will serve as a Secretary to the Committee.

The Committee is to share ideas and harmonize activities of the Commission to ensure that there is adequate security before, during and after the 2016 election.

“…Of the 18 members, eight are from the commission and the remaining ten come from institutions that the commission decided should have representation on the committee”, Mr Owusu Parry, Public Affairs Director of the EC, recently told Citi News.

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/02/22/ecs-actions-must-deepen-public-trust-gyampo/#sthash.q3UNEV02.dpuf

“The EC is an independent organisation and it must not necessarily pander to the whims and caprices of political parties. Bu the point must also be made that over the years, if IPAC wasn’t useful then it should have been disbanded by now. Over the years the EC has executed its mandate well because it has worked with the IPAC; so it has been a good relationship between the two without the EC necessarily lording its independence over the IPAC. So there has to be a balance,” he said.

Mandate of the steering committee

The National Election Steering Committee is to ensure a smooth and peaceful 2016 elections. Apart from the 10 members, the seven Commissioners of the EC are also members with Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, being the Chairperson of the Committee, while the Director of Elections will serve as a Secretary to the Committee.

The Committee is to share ideas and harmonize activities of the Commission to ensure that there is adequate security before, during and after the 2016 election.

“…Of the 18 members, eight are from the commission and the remaining ten come from institutions that the commission decided should have representation on the committee”, Mr Owusu Parry, Public Affairs Director of the EC, recently told Citi News.

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/02/22/ecs-actions-must-deepen-public-trust-gyampo/#sthash.q3UNEV02.dpuf

 

 

A Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr. Ransford Gyampoh is questioning the rationale behind the Electoral Commission’s formation of an Election Steering Committee without broad consultations.

According to him, the distrust that political parties and some Ghanaians have for the Electoral Commission will only be deepened by such actions and decisions which are not based on consensus from key political actors in the country.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Dr. Gyampo said the Electoral Commission must be seen to be actively implementing the reforms that were agreed upon in the aftermath of the 2012 elections rather than creating bodies such as the Steering Committee.

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/02/22/ecs-actions-must-deepen-public-trust-gyampo/#sthash.q3UNEV02.dpuf
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Hannah Tetteh briefs Parliament on GTMO detainees

Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh, is currently on the floor of Parliament briefing Members in a closed door meeting over the circumstances that led to Ghana accepting the two Yemeni ex GITMO detainees into its fold.

Her invitation to the August House was spurred by concerns from Members from both sides of the legislature over the Gitmo detainees’ acceptance into the country without their knowledge.

Snippets of information picked from the meeting indicates that Madam Tetteh is not prepared to open up.

She came into the House with a prepared document and has restricted herself to that note all along.

Hannah Tetteh, kasapafmonline.com understands, has admitted that there is an agreement between Ghana and the US Government over the ex GTMO detainees but declined to give details of the said agreement.

According to her, she was and is still not privy to the discussions that have gone on between President Mahama and the US Government.

She said the matter was even not discussed at the national security level and therefore information regarding the circumstances that led to the two ex GTMO detainees are scanty.

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016, the Foreign Affairs Minister announced that Ghana has accepted a plea from the International Criminal Tribunal to provide shelter for two cleared terrorist suspects of Yemeni origin who were detained in Guantanamo Bay prison by US authorities.

The two were Khalid Mohammed Salih al-Dhuby and Mahmmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef.

According to Madam Hannah Tetteh, the two Gitmo detainees were unable to “return to Yemen at the moment and we have indicated our readiness to accept them for a period of two years after which they may leave the country”.

That aside, the Ministry said it had also agreed to provide humanitarian assistance and refuge to some persons from Rwanda, Yemen and Syria.

Ever since the announcement, a cross section of the Ghanaian populace has criticized the government for putting the country’s security into jeopardy.

Concerns have also been raised as to the actual number of detainees the country has admitted into its fold.

“I have received a paper indicating that fifteen (15) more of the detainees will be following. That means Ghana is going to host 17 of these detainees. So, it is important that we get to know whether their arrival will benefit Ghana. In the context of good governance, information is very vital. We call it answerability – people need to be accountable”, argued Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, MP for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo.

Madam Hannah Tetteh is therefore expected to brief Members about what actually went into the discussions with the US Government before accepting the Gitmo detainees.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com

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Uganda polls: Museveni's main rival, Besigye, arrested. Ghana is blessed

Police in Uganda say they have arrested the main opposition presidential candidate to prevent him from announcing his own election results.

Kizza Besigye was detained during a raid on his party's headquarters in the capital, Kampala, following Thursday's tightly contested elections.

Police also fired tear gas to disperse his supporters.

The US urged President Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 30-year-rule, to "rein in his police".

With official results for nearly half of the polling stations declared, Mr Museveni is leading with 62% of the vote, while Mr Besigye has 33%.

Mr Besigye's supporters say the result is being rigged to rob him of victory.

This is the third time in the space of a week that the opposition candidate has been detained.

He was released on the two previous occasions without being charged.

There is a heavy deployment of soldiers and police in parts of Kampala, says the BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in the city.

There have also been reports of some clashes between the security forces and opposition supporters, she adds.

Mr Besigye was arrested because he planned to announce "purportedly final results" in breach of electoral laws, police said in a statement.

His action would have amounted to "disturbing public order", police said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Mr Museveni, and told him that the arrest "calls into question Uganda's commitment to a transparent and credible election process free from intimidation", the state department said in a statement.

The US embassy in Uganda condemned the crackdown in a post on its Twitter account.

tweet from us mission condemning raid

The US also criticised the shutdown of social media, chat apps and mobile money services in Uganda on Thursday.

President Museveni said the decision had been taken for security reasons, and to prevent people from "telling lies".

Voting was extended to a second day at a few polling stations, where election material arrived up to five hours late on Thursday.

The Commonwealth election observer mission head, Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the lengthy delay in opening polling stations was "absolutely inexcusable and will not inspire trust and confidence in the system and the process".

Ugandans also voted in parliamentary and local elections.

Final results are expected on Saturday.

Major presidential contenders:

Posters of Uganda's three main presidential candidates

  • Kizza Besigye, 59, veteran opposition leader and once personal doctor to incumbent President Museveni. He has lost the last three elections
  • Amama Mbabazi, 67, former ally of President Museveni and once prime minister and also served as defence, security and justice ministers
  • Yoweri Museveni, 71, in power since winning a five-year guerrilla war in 1986 and he is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders. His final term was meant to end in 2006, but in 2005 he won a campaign to lift the constitutional term limits.

Uganda election: Issues, candidates and the poll

Uganda election: Old guard tries new tactics

Source: bbc.com

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Uganda election: Facebook and Whatsapp blocked

Social media has been blocked in Uganda on the day of presidential elections to stop people "telling lies", President Yoweri Museveni has said.

Mr Museveni, 71, is seeking to extend his 30-year rule, in a race widely seen as the tightest in the East African state's history.

His main rival Kizza Besigye was briefly detained by police.

A foreign observer group condemned the blockage of social media and lengthy delays in opening voting booths.

Uganda decides: Live updates

Uganda's election explained

Interviewed on TV about social media, Mr Museveni said: "Some people misuse those pathways. You know how they misuse them - telling lies.

"If you want a right then use it properly."

Many people found a way around the controversial restrictions, including opposition candidate Amama Mbabazi who tweeted advice on how to do it:

Amama Mbabazi tweet

A VPN - a Virtual Private Network - gets round government censorship by redirecting your internet activity to a computer in a different country.

Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and mobile money services were blocked.

Despite this, #UgandaDecides was trending on Twitter.

Commonwealth election observer mission head Olusegun Obasanjo said: "It is ill advised if anyone has blocked social media."

Condemning the failure of voting stations to open on time, he said: "Delays of three, four, five and even six hours, especially in Kampala, are absolutely inexcusable and will not inspire trust and confidence in the system and the process".

The electoral commission said difficulties in transporting electoral materials caused the delays.

The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in the capital, Kampala, reports that crowds were angry after waiting several hours to vote and police fired tear gas to disperse them.

Voting was cancelled at at least two polling stations in the city after clashes with police and accusations of fake ballots being distributed.

Some voters in Kampala, traditionally an opposition stronghold, accused the authorities of deliberately stalling the vote, AFP news agency reports.

"People are quite angry and everybody is believing that there is something wrong behind this because of the way they are delaying things," Moses Omony, a motorbike taxi driver, is quoted as saying.

Mr Besigye was arrested for demanding access to a house in Kampala where he believed vote rigging was taking place following the closure of polling stations, said Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, spokesman for his FDC party.

He is among seven opposition candidates hoping to end Mr Museveni's 30-year rule.

A candidate needs to secure more than 50% of the vote to avoid a run-off with the second-ranked contender.

Ugandans also voted in parliamentary and local elections.

Official results are expected by Saturday.

Major presidential contenders:

Posters of Uganda's three main presidential candidates

  • Kizza Besigye, 59, veteran opposition leader and once personal doctor to incumbent President Museveni. He has lost the last three elections
  • Amama Mbabazi, 67, former ally of President Museveni and once prime minister and also served as defence, security and justice ministers
  • Yoweri Museveni, 71, in power since winning a five-year guerrilla war in 1986 and he is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders. His final term was meant to end in 2006, but in 2005 he won a campaign to lift the constitutional term limits.

Uganda election: Issues, candidates and the poll

Uganda election: Old guard tries new tactics

Source: bbc.com

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Burundi crisis: US concerned over 'Rwanda's destabilising activities'

The US has raised concerns with Rwandan officials over reports suggesting it is involved in "destabilising activities" in neighbouring Burundi, officials have said.

Rwanda is reported to have armed and trained refugees to fight on behalf of the Burundian opposition.

The Rwandan government has denied the allegations.

Burundi has been hit by civil conflict since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to stand for a third term.

Has African Union let down Burundi?

Burundi on the brink

Tit-for-tat killings spread fear

In a hearing in the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, two top diplomats cited reports from colleagues in the field that they said pointed to Rwandan involvement in the Burundi crisis.

Thomas Perriello, US envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, said the reports suggested that Burundian refugees, including children, were being recruited from camps in Rwanda to participate in armed attacks against the Burundian government.

Turmoil erupted in Burundi after Mr Nkurunziza announced plans last April to run for a third term, which he went on to win.

More than 400 people have died in the violence and at least 240,000 have fled the country.

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Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US assistant secretary of African affairs, said that US officials had encouraged Rwandan authorities "to play a productive role and not to do anything that might further destabilise Burundi".

The governments of Rwanda and Burundi are from rival ethnic groups and there is growing international concern that another ethnic conflict could take root in the region.

Last week, a UN panel reported that Burundian refugees had been recruited at a refugee camp in eastern Rwanda in May and June 2015, and given two months of military training.


Burundi's deepening crisis:

  • April 2015: Protests erupt after President Pierre Nkurunziza announces he will seek a third term in office.
  • May 2015: Constitutional court rules in favour of Mr Nkurunziza, amid reports of judges being intimidated. Tens of thousands flee violence amid protests.
  • May 2015: Army officers launch a coup attempt, which fails.
  • July 2015: Elections are held, with Mr Nkurunziza re-elected. The polls are disputed, with opposition leader Agathon Rwasa describing them as "a joke"
  • November 2015: Burundi government gives those opposing President Nkurunziza's third term five days to surrender their weapons ahead of a promised crackdown.
  • November 2015: UN warns it is less equipped to deal with violence in Burundi than it was for the Rwandan genocide.
  • December 2015: 87 people killed on one day as soldiers respond to an attack on military sites in Bujumbura.
  • January 2016: Amnesty International publishes satellite images it says are believed to be mass graves close to where December's killings took place

Burundi's football-playing president

Find out more about Burundi

Source: bbc.com

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US Election 2016: Chris Christie ends bid for Republican nomination

Republican Chris Christie has dropped out of the US presidential race after a disappointing finish in New Hampshire.

The New Jersey governor spent heavily and campaigned the longest in the state but still finished in sixth place.

Mr Christie joins former tech executive Carly Fiorina, who also left the race after struggling in Iowa and New Hampshire.

He was praised for his debate performances and was credited with blunting the momentum of Marco Rubio.

During the campaign, Mr Christie promoted his law-and-order credentials, saying his experience as a federal prosecutor after the 9/11 attacks uniquely prepared him to protect the country against terrorists.

Also as the Republican leader of traditionally Democratic state, Mr Christie said his experience showed he could work with both parties to get things done in Washington.

However, as a candidate his positions on issues such as climate change, immigration and gay rights shifted to the right, putting him in line with his more conservative rivals.

Mr Rubio had surged in the polls after a strong showing in Iowa. But Mr Christie effectively painted the Florida senator as the "boy in the bubble" who was overly cautious and scripted.

However, Mr Christie's moderate rivals - Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush - seemed to have reaped the benefits.

"While running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed - that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation," Mr Christie said in a statement on Wednesday, making an indirect reference to front-runner Donald Trump.

A former prosecutor, Mr Christie is known for his blunt and aggressive speaking style. His campaign slogan was: "Telling it like it is."

However, he was quickly eclipsed by Mr Trump, who drew headlines and massive crowds with his brash persona and controversial statements about immigrants and trade.

In 2012, Republican leaders had urged Mr Christie, who was then a rising star in the party, to run for president, but he rebuffed their appeals, saying he wasn't ready yet.

Yet by 2015, when Mr Christie launched his presidential campaign, his stock had fallen. His popularity faltered after his staff was accused of intentionally creating a traffic jam to punish a political enemy.

His approval ratings in New Jersey also suffered as some residents said Mr Christie was more concerned about his presidential ambitions than his current job.

After flooding hit coastal towns in New Jersey in January, Mr Christie had to apologise after he sarcastically dismissed calls for him to do more to help.

"I don't know what you want me to do, you want me to go down there with a mop?" he told a man who questioned why he was in New Hampshire and not New Jersey.

Ms Fiorina decided to end her campaign on Wednesday after months struggling to regain traction.

"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them," she said in a statement.

The former chief executive of Hewlett Packard had shot to the top of the Republican field after a series of strong debate performances.

Her campaign sought to capitalise on Republican voters' apparent appetite for candidates outside the political establishment, but her poll numbers quickly faded and she was never able to recover.

Mr Christie and Mrs Fiorina's departures leave seven Republicans remaining in the race for president.

More than dozen candidates had entered the race over the summer, but the field has narrowed after voters cast the first ballots in Iowa and New Hampshire.

20 February - South Carolina primary (Republican); Nevada caucus (Democrat)

23 February - Nevada caucus (R)

27 February - South Carolina primary (D)

1 March - 'Super Tuesday' - 15 states or territories decide

18-21 July - Republican convention, nominee picked

25-28 July - Democratic convention, nominee picked

8 November - US presidential elections

In depth: Primary calendar

Source: bbc.com

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PNC Will Revolutionalise Agriculture – Dr. Edward Mahama

Dr. Edward Nasigrie Mahama, Presidential Candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC) has said the Party would revolutionalise agriculture and make Ghana an exporter of rice and maize if voted to power in the 2016 elections.

He said Ghana is endowed with arable land and suitable vegetation for the reproduction of all kinds of food crops and that the only thing lacking is a visionary leader to spearhead the forefront of farmers with good policies and programmes to make farming business venture to enhance production. 

Dr. Mahama was providing policies and programmes that the PNC government would implement if voted to power in the 2016 general election during an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa. 

The Presidential Candidate gave the assurance that a PNC Government would provide credit support and the needed farm equipment and machinery as well as inputs such as fertilizers and make them available at the appropriate time and at affordable prices to farmers to increase food production.

“I will lead Ghanaian farmers to produce rice and maize to feed the nation and for exporting,” Dr Mahama said and stressed that Ghana will stop the importation of rice during PNC administration.

 Dr. Mahama said agriculture was a force to reckon with, as it has the potential of scaling Ghana out of poverty and unemployment if the necessary attention was given to the sector.

He reminded Ghanaians about the early 70s when the Fumbisi Valleys and Nasia Rice Farms in the northern regions turned the fortunes of farmers to prosperity, and wondered why those valleys were still available but government was unable to make good use of them to benefit farmers.

Dr. Mahama said the three regions in the north alone have the potential of producing rice and maize for export, to earn foreign exchange and appealed to Ghanaians to consider the PNC in the 2016 elections as a stopgap to bring prosperity and progress to the country.

Source: GNA

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Parliament Approves Withdrawal Of 1% Interest Tax

Parliament on Wednesday February 6, 2016, approved the Income Tax Amendment Bill. The new Act, when signed by the President into law, will remove a recently imposed 1 percent tax on interests earned by investors, and also cut withholding tax from 15 percent to 7.5 percent.

A blistering wave of sustained public anger forced the Mahama-government to rush to Parliament with the bill after a law passed last year, imposed what critics have called killer taxes, sparking fears that investments in Ghana could plummet and also suffocate businesses. 

It is not clear as to when Parliament will communicate it’s decision on the new act to the President for action, but insiders say the “House is likely to act with extreme urgency in notifying the President on the matter” given the “huge public, business and investor interest in the provisions of the new legislation.” 

Stop charging 1% interest tax – GRA

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on January 13 2016, directed all financial institutions to stop charging the 1% withholding tax on interest earned by individuals.

However, the move by the GRA generated angered some members of parliament since in their view, the GRA could not carry out such an action without recourse to Parliament.

A member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Asibey Yeboah argued this point out  out in an interview with Citi News.

“If Parliament passes a law, the president assents to it, and that is the position of the law. Even the President in his press conference was not able to send a message to Ghanaians that nobody should pay that tax; the Minister of Finance cannot say same. Now the GRA sends a directive to financial institutions to stop collecting the tax. I think it’s a not right, they shouldn’t have done that and as the law stands, they should go ahead and collect the taxes because it is only Parliament that can reverse the decision,” he insisted.
 

Source: citifmonline.com

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MMDAs Must Have Offices For Independent Governance Institutions - Ahwoi

All Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) must have functional offices for Independent Governance Institutions (IGIs) in their jurisdiction, in order to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability.

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, Lecturer, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, said as far as practicable, MMDAs must ensure that independent constitutional bodies such as Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ghana Audit Service, and Electoral Commission, among others have office and staff accommodation, vehicles logistics and equipment to make them functional in their dominion.

He said under the new decentralization programme 60 per cent of the national budgetary allocation is for the MMDAs; hence the need for the IGIs to be in every administrative district to ensure transparency and accountability.

Prof Ahwoi, who is also a local government expert and a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, was speaking on Tuesday in Accra at a day’s workshop on “Inter-Service and Sectoral Collaboration and Co-operation System (ISCCS)”.

The workshop was organised by the Local Government Service (LGS) for participants from the IGIs, decentralized and deconcentrated/non-decentralised sectors and departments.

Prof Ahwoi cautioned that without functional IGIs in place at each MMDAs, central government’s budgetary allocations to them could easily be mismanaged.

He said the purpose of the ISCCS is to facilitate unity of effort, achieve common objectives; provide common understanding and development of an effective local platform to work.

On the new Consolidated Local Government Draft Bill, Prof Ahwoi said it would soon be placed before cabinet for endorsement and subsequent submission to Parliament for approval.

He said under the Bill, the District Assemblies Common Fund of 1994, the Local Government Act of 1993, the Local Government Service Act of 2003, the Internal Audit Agency Act of 2003, the Public Procurement Act of 2003 and LI 1964 of 2009 are being considered for a review.

He said Ghana needs a binding decentralisation policy which cannot be altered by any successive governments in the future.

Mr F. N. Andan, the Chairman of the LGS Council, said the development and implementation of an ISCCS would enhance holistic planning and judicious use of resources for efficient and effective service delivery.

Dr Callistus Mahama, the Head of the LGS, said as an effective system for integrated service delivery, the ISCCS takes various forms such as inter institutional engagement, networking and communication, coordination of functions, resource and service sharing, capacity development, definition of reporting relationship, conflict resolution and joint service delivery.

Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena, the Head of Civil Service, said decentralization is all about service delivery and the people of Ghana.

He pledged the Civil Service’s full support for the implementation of the decentralisation programme; further declaring that “we need to collaborate to avoid duplication of functions”.

Source: GNA

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Ex-Prez Kufuor: Social Media Affecting Ghana Negatively

A former president of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufour, has cautioned the public to be wary of the negative influence of television and social media.

Mr Kufuor said some alien vices prevalent in developed countries have found their way into Ghana, in recent times, and could be partly responsible for the increased decay in Ghanaian society.

“Even though technology has come to play good roles in the lives of Ghanaians, it is now having negative implications in the society especially with the youth, who have their own way of accessing every  information through  various social medias , of which are not good for human consumption” he told Nana Yaw Kesse on Peace FM’s 6PM News Bulletin on Tuesday February 9 while mourning Abuakwa North MP J B Danwuah Adu, who was killed Tuesday dawn at his Shiashie residence in the national capital, Accra.

The former president also pointed out that “life has become too fast and so advanced, so, our security systems should develop fast to catch up with modern trends, else things will be dangerous”.

He noted that “government should work at the unemployment rate which is also causing the evil one to find jobs for the idle hands, creating problems all over the country.”

According to him if a youth after school has nothing doing he would be lured by friends to engage in bad ways which can earn them income since they are not engaged in anything profitable.

In Mr Kufuor’s view, there have been too many strange deaths and killings in recent times, saying: “I just don’t understand. The killings and deaths are becoming one too many. Both children and adults are dying. It’s not normal,” he lamented.

“We are praying that the police and security agencies will be vigilant and proactive because this is uncharacteristic of Ghanaians, it is too much,” he underscored.

Source: peacefmonline.com

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This Is 'Not Good News At All'...'I’m So Disturbed' – Kufuor

Former President John Agyekum Kufour says he still cannot come to terms with the unfortunate news of the death of the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North, Joseph Boakye Danquah, who was stabbed to death in his house in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Speaking in an interview on PeaceFM during the station's 6pm Bulletin, the former president said,; “I’m so disturbed that I don’t even understand it.” 

The former President, who made the late MP a Deputy Minister for Women and Children during his tenure, also lamented the bizarre cases of murder being recorded lately saying "something strange" is happening in Ghana

It’s not good news. It’s not good news at all...I just don't understand. The killings and deaths are becoming one too many. Both children and adults are dying. It's not normal...I don’t get it….we plead with the securities to really look into it, it's becoming one too many,” he added.

He emphatically stated that he can never attribute the recent killings to a particular individual, party or society because it can never be the cause.

The former president therefore urged government to focus on providing security agencies with the required gadgets needed to track issues above human imagination, to keep them in tune with the digital ways of getting information.

This he said need to corrected as soon as possible to prevent the security agencies from always being blamed for not providing accurate and correct information on criminal cases when the actual problem is because they do not have the necessary equipment needed to investigate crimes.

Source: peacefmonline.com

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$7bn ENI-Sankofa Deal...Gov't Responds To NPP's Concerns

Government has described as needless, the appeal by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the Italian Prime Minster, Mateo Renzi, to review the terms of the ENI-Sankofa gas deal because the opposition party's claims are misleading.

The NPP, on Tuesday, called on the Italian Prime Minister, during his two-day visit to Ghana, to review some of the terms in the ENI-Sankofa deal to maximize mutual benefits from the project.

According to the NPP, the deal disadvantages Ghana in that even the negotiated gas price of $9.8/MMBtu is higher than the price of gas sold to Ghana from Nigeria.

It is even more expensive than our own Atuabo Gas price of $8.8/MMBtu delivered at Takoradi...At the negotiated gas price of $9.8/MMBtu, it puts to great risk Ghana’s potential of becoming the Petrochemical hub of the region to Nigeria, due to that country’s lower gas prices.,” a statement issued by the party on Tuesday, February 2 and signed by Nana Akomea, the Communications Director of NPP said.

He further stated that since the contractual agreement between the government of Ghana and ENI, a state-owned Italian oil conglomerate, "is potentially the largest single investment in Ghana, which will bind the Ghanaian people for the next 20 years, it is, therefore, important that the benefits of this project are not so one-sided as they seem today."

But the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Amarh Buah, in a statement issued today, said the NPP is seeking "to create some confusion in the minds of well-meaning Ghanaians since the issues raised are not factual."


Read below Government’s full response to the NPP concerns.


RESPONSE TO THE NEW PATROTIC PARTY’S STATEMENT ON THE ENI-SANKOFA DEAL

Accra, February 4, 2016. – The Ministry of Petroleum’s attention has been drawn to a statement issued and signed by the Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akomea on the OCTP gas project. The statement which was captioned: “NPP WELCOMES ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER, RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT ENI-SANKOFA DEAL” sought to create some confusion in the minds of well-meaning Ghanaians particularly as the issues raised are not factual and therefore misleading.

The Ministry therefore wishes to set the records straight by responding to the issues as raised in the statement.

NPP: The Government of Ghana’s provision of financial terms to ENI and its partners of 20% return on investment, instead of the normal 12.5%, is an unusually high rate for commercial transactions of this nature, especially as GNPC assumes all the risk in the project.

RESPONSE: The Government did not provide a guaranteed 20% to the partners. The rate of return on investment for this project is less than 12.5%.

Usually individual partners use different criteria for deciding whether or not to proceed with a project. In doing so, they normally discount past cost on investment. In the pricing negotiations for this project the parties considered the full cycle economics which includes past costs, future costs and potential returns. Under this approach the rate of return was less than 12.5% within an environment of high oil prices. So given significant reductions in oil prices today the return to the investor will even be lower on a full project life cycle basis.

It is also not true that GNPC is assuming all the risk in the project. The partners took a significant portion of the exploration risk amounting to about a billion dollars and are expected to spend about 95% of the development cost for 50% of the overall benefits.

NPP: The negotiated gas price of $9.8/MMBtu for gas from the Sankofa fields is too high by world standards, of between $5-7/MMBtu. It is even higher than the price of gas sold to Ghana from Nigeria, which stands at $8.3/MMBtu, delivered at Takoradi. It is even more expensive than our own Atuabo Gas price of $8.8/MMBtu delivered at Takoradi. At the negotiated gas price of $9.8/MMBtu, it puts to great risk Ghana’s potential of becoming the Petrochemical hub of the region to Nigeria, due to that country’s lower gas prices.

RESPONSE: The price of gas in the Sankofa Gas Sales Agreement is determined by a number of factors. This includes:

The headline price, which is US$9.8 per million British thermal unit.

The cost of developing the field and operating it for 20 years.

Interventions by the GNPC to reduce financing costs, which would reduce the gas price by as much as US$1.65 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu).

The concept of world average price for gas as a comparator is erroneous since we are dealing with the price of delivered gas at a particular delivery point. For example, if gas is produced in the US, by the time it arrives in Ghana in the form of LNG, would have been priced at more than US$15 /MMBtu. Even at today’s oil price (say, US$30), LNG landed price in Ghana would be more than US$8/MMBtu.

In addition, comparing Atuabo gas to the Sankofa gas is misleading. Atuabo gas is associated gas, which was priced at zero. The zero price was negotiated for a foundation volume of 200 Bcf. This was possible because the associated gas was a bye product of a very lucrative oil project. Beyond 2020, when the foundation volume would have been exhausted, the price of Jubilee gas would cease to be zero. Another key feature of the Sankofa gas price is the fact that about 50% of the proceeds would accrue to the State in various forms, including taxes, royalties, as well as GNPC’s 20% stake in the project.

NPP: This agreement compels GNPC to buy up to 90% of ENI produced gas at a higher negotiated price of $9.8/MMBtu for 20 solid years. This gas sales same agreement is further guaranteed against default by three guarantees – the government of Ghana, the World Bank and GNPC – amounting to some $750 million. Furthermore, GNPC, after buying the gas from ENI at a guaranteed price stands the risk of losing its market (VRA, IPPs, petrochemical industries) to other cheap gas suppliers.

RESPONSE: The Agreement reached contains a take-or-pay volume of 90%. Such requirements are standard terms in gas sales agreements in our part of the world where the gas market is not developed. In return we are assured of 90% availability of gas from the ENI field, which compares favourably with other less reliable supply sources whose effective prices are higher if we factor in the cost of short term alternatives.

It should also be noted that the 90% is also a commitment by the Contractor to supply same volumes, failure of which attracts penalties in the form of lower price for the gas.

The price of Jubilee and WAGP should be adjusted for the costs of other, more expensive, alternatives as Jubilee and WAGP are highly erratic. It must be stated that to date, Ghana has not been able to implement the terms of contract with WAGP. This has been a major contributor to the prolonged energy challenges that have bedeviled the country. In addition, interruptible supply of gas affects the operational efficiency of power plants, thereby leading to higher cost of power.

The issue of security for the project – from the World Bank, Government and the GNPC – is standard industry practice and is typical in gas commercialization projects in countries where the gas market is not developed. This explains why the World Bank supports this arrangement. It is important to emphasize that the Government’s portion of the security is only the last resort which only kicks in when the value chain ceases to work. That is why Government is implementing the bold reforms within the energy sector to forestall such occurrences. In essence if the value chain works, and SOEs in the chain are viable, there would be no need for this level of security.

NPP: Ghana also guarantees additional free cash flows to the company by allowing them to write-off 7% interest on all commercial loans from project revenues, when the normal provision is between 2-3%. This also reduces Ghana’s potential tax revenues from this project by over $160 million. No other companies, whether from Jubilee or TEN, have been given this same rate of 7%.

RESPONSE: It is equally not true that Ghana guarantees additional cash flow through write off of 7% interest on commercial loans exclusively to this project. There is evidence that other companies in the Petroleum sector have borrowed at near or higher rates than the 7% referred to and have benefitted from tax deductions as provided under the law governing petroleum operations.

NPP: The cost of the development of the Jubilee Fields, with more reserves of oil equivalence and with a water depth of 3,630 ft., came to $4 billion. The cost of development of the TEN oil fields, also with more oil reserves of oil equivalence, came to $4.9 billion. The cost of development of ENI’s Sankofa is $7 billion, with less reserves of oil equivalence and at relatively lower water depths of 2,706 ft. We wonder the quality of due diligence done, if any.

RESPONSE: Comparing the development costs of Ghana’s three leading fields – Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa, is completely out of context. Jubilee and TEN are essentially oil fields, whereas Sankofa is principally a gas project. The investment requirement for any field depends not only on reserves and water depth, but also the complexity of the sub-sea infrastructure, proximity to existing infrastructure (in the case of gas, pipeline network).

Additionally, the statement compares only one phase of Jubilee development to the total ENI project. Jubilee in fact is a phased development project. The full cycle Jubilee development project cost is not USD4billion as indicated in the statement. It is rather expected to be around USD8billion whereas the ENI full cycle development cost is estimated at USD7.9billion. As already stated we are already seeing significant reductions in the cost of the ENI project which will have a positive impact on the final gas price.


Signed: Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah (MP) MINISTER FOR ENERGY AND PETROLEUM

Source: peacefmonline.com

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We Aren’t Safe Under President Mahama - Wontumi Sadly Breaks Down

After carefully studying and analyzing the trend of murder cases being recorded in Ghana lately, the Ashanti Regional Chairman for the New Patriotic Party has observed the nation has reached this frightening point because President Mahama hasn’t made security his top most priority.

Mr. Bernard Antwi Boasiako believes the lack of commitment on the side of President Mahama to ensure Ghanaians are soundly protected by our security agencies, has motivated murderers to take advantage of the situation.

In a statement copied to Peacefmonline.com, the Ashanti Regional Chairman for the NPP charged the president to equip the police and other security agencies with the necessary gadgets and items needed to make them efficient when it comes to tracking down murderers.


Below is a copy of his statement:

As a country, we have witnessed series of assassination attacks under the leadership of President Mahama and it's about time we come out strongly to ask these few questions as Ghanaians!

President Mahama and his NDC and everybody admits that the country has been engulfed with gross corruption, hardships, poor governance and couples of misfortunes but, the least we expected to add up: is the country's security threats and his poor commitment to protect the citizenry.

As the commander in chief of our security forces, we think it's prudent to question the president on matters of our safety when we feel unsafe.

We can't just sit down with our arms folded to allow these forms of misfortunes to continually happen all because the commander in chief of our security forces is not actively performing his roles.

Who knows who is next?

Amongst all these unfortunate happenings under your watch as a president, what measures have you put in place to abate a possible reoccurrence considering the under listed unfortunate assassinations attacks on innocent Ghanaians?

Feb 09, 2016 ~ The MP for Abuakwa North gunned down by unknown assailants.

Jun 21, 2014 ~ The Paramount Chief of the Nanumba Traditional Area, Naa Dasana Andani, killed.

20 Nov, 2014 ~ Nana Adusa Gyapong, the chief of Atwima Koforidua in the Ashanti Region gunned down by unknown assailants.

Mar 12, 2014 ~ Nii Ayittey Noyatse, the Joma Mantse, was shot and killed by unidentified assailants.

Nov 5, 2013 ~ Paramount Chief of Seikwa, Nana Kwaku Dwumah Ankoana II, assassinated

March 13, 2014 ~ Fennec Okyere, manager of controversial hiplife artiste, Kwaw Kese, shot dead.

Nov 12, 2015 ~ Vodafone Marketing Officer shot dead in his home at Sakumono

Dec 5, 2014 ~ The Branch Manager of Ecobank Ghana at Abrepo in Kumasi in the Ashanti region has been shot dead.

12 Dec, 2013 ~ Stanbic Bank worker murdered in mysterious circumstances.


Ghana deserves a leader who cares and for once we ask you to care about us as you prepare to exit power.

I believe you must leave a legacy before exiting power and I think you can do that by strengthening, investigating and protecting the citizenry for once in your few months stay in office.

I further extent my condolence to the family of J.B Dankwah and the people of Abuakwa North and as well all families who have lost their relatives due to President Mahama's failure to ensure his constitutional mandate of care to the citizenry. I share with you all


Signed...
Bernard Antwi Boasiako
(Chairman Wontumi)
Ashanti Regional chairman, NPP

Source: peacefmonline.com

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Ghanaians Will Not Vote To Change Gov't Just For Changing Sake - Fred Agbenyo

Deputy Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Fred Agbenyo strongly believes that Ghanaians will give the Mahama administration a second term on November 7, 2016.

Contributing to Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo', Fred Agbenyo noted that the electorates will definitely make the 'right decision' at the appropriate time.

To him, contrary to the beliefs of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Ghanaians are going to vote for their Presidential candidate Nana Addo, the 2016 general elections will see a change that is significant.

“Ghanaians will not vote to change government just for changing sake. Ghanaians will not vote to change government for changing sake…I can assure you that the people of this country are watching. They’re listening. And they will take the right decision at the right time.”

Fred Agbenyo also expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North Joseph Boakye Danquah.

He appealed to the Police Service to hold a manhunt for the unknown assailants that crept into the room of the late MP on Tuesday.

Source: peacefmonline.com

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Tragic...NPP MP Murdered!

Information available to Peacefmonline.com indicates that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North in the Eastern Region, Joseph Boakye Danquah, has been stabbed to death.

He was stabbed at his residence at Shiashi in Accra by some unknown assailants on Tuesday dawn.

According to reports his wife, Ivy Heward-Mills was there when the incident occurred. It is however not clear whether the legislator was killed by armed robbers or hired assassins. 

Hon Danquah was 50 years old, a professional accountant and a member of the Special Budget Committee in Parliament. He was also part of the Trade Industry and Tourism Committee and was the grandson of late Ghanaian statesman J.B Danquah.

Meanwhile the Greater Accra Region Police Commander COP George Dampare has confirmed the killing of the MP and indicated that investigations have already started in earnest.

Source: peacefmonline.com

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Make The Right Choice In Nov Elections – Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called on Ghanaians to vote for their preferred political parties during the forthcoming general elections.

He said Ghanaians should not allow themselves to be coerced by any political party or its leadership to vote for him or her during the elections.

Make sure that as we go for the polls in November, you vote based on your own conviction.

Mr. Rawlings said this when he went to pay homage to the late Paramount Chief of the Osudoku Traditional Area.

He urged Ghanaians to ensure that they make the right choice when it comes to electing political leaders in November.

I am not here to campaign but it is important I entreat you to make the right choice based on what you think is right.

Mr. Rawlings was in the company of his wife, Mrs Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.

The Chiefs and people of Osudoku as part of one week long activities to bid farewell to their King, held a grand durbar for their late Paramount Chief Nene Klagbordjor Animle V on Friday.

Nene Klagbordjor Animle V, was the Paramount Chief of the Osudoku Traditional Area from 1944 to 2014 when he passed on in the United Kingdom.

He is succeeded by Nene Adegbor Ngmogmowuyaa Animle VI.

Source: Citifmonline.com

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Ghanaian Christians & Muslims Must Continue To Co-Exist Peacefully - Bawumia

Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice-Presidential Candidate of the NPP, has cautioned Ghanaian Muslims to be on guard against extremists and their influence and appealed to the Muslim Community to shun all divisions and continue to coexist peacefully with the majority Christian population as it is the only way to guarantee the stability of the Nation.

These comments were contained in a Lecture titled “Islam In The 21st Century: The Role of Muslim Youth in Combating Extremism and Radicalism for Political Stability” delivered at the 9th Annual Congress of the Ghana Muslim Students Association (GMSA) of the University of Development Studies (UDS) on Friday.

“As young people we ought to guard against the evils of exclusivism. It is important that we realise that if Allah so desired He would have made all of us one people. But as He states in the Qur’an, He allows us to wallow in our differences, which He shall settle on the Day of Judgment.

“There shall be no compulsion in religion” so states the Qur’an. Let us therefore respect one another’s views on matters of religion. Intolerance in matters of religion is what breeds extremism and radicalism, which triggers political instability,” he said.

Touching on the relationship between faiths, Alhaji Dr. Bawumia explained that radicalism and extremism are the products of exclusivism and intolerance.

“In Ghana especially, the majority of the people live by the Christian faith. There cannot be peace and stability in Ghana except us, as Muslims co-exist peacefully with our Christian brothers and sisters. What feeds extremism and radicalism is the idea that there is only one way to God. While we are entitled to believe in the rightness of our way, we cannot seek to annihilate views that are opposite to ours. Radicalism and extremism are the product of exclusivism and intolerance.”

The NPP Running Mate delivering what was subsequently described as a well-researched scholarly Islamic piece by other speakers, explained that Islam itself is very tolerant of Christianity and pointed to various examples in the Qu’ran to make this point.

“Islam itself is very tolerant of Christianity. The first wave of Muslim migration to escape the persecution of the Makkans who opposed the nascent religion of Islam, was to Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia). At that time the Prophet advised his followers to migrate to Abyssinia because “a Christian King rules.” Indeed the Qur’an affirms the Islamic affinity to Christianity when it states that “you will find nearest to the believers those who say ‘we are Christians…because amongst them are men who are devoted to learning and monks and because they are not arrogant” (Q: 5:82). The Prophet is also reported to have stated that “both in this world and in the hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary…” (Bukhari: Vol 4: 434),” he stated.

Continuing, Alhaji Dr. Bawumia mentioned the recognition given to Jesus and Mary in the Qu’ran.

“When the Makkans sent a delegation to appeal to the Negus of Abyssinia to extradite the Muslims and when the Muslims were called upon to say why they should not be extradited, their Spokesperson, Jafar bin Abu Talib, quoted copiously from the 19th chapter of the Qur’an as his defense. The 19th chapter of the Qur’an is called the chapter of Mary (Suratul Maryam). Indeed Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an and the chapter acknowledges the prophet-hood of Jesus, his special relationship with God, including the fact that he spoke from his cradle in defense of his mother when sections of her people thought that she had engaged in adultery; an incident that is not even mentioned in the Bible. The Prophet himself was to marry a Coptic Christian by name Maria and Allah subsequently made marriage between a Muslim man and a Christian woman lawful,” he added.

Dr. Bawumia urged Ghanaian Muslims to follow the good example of the National Chief Imam and to continue to work to sustain the peace and co-existence between the two faiths.

“In Ghana, unlike our neighbours in Nigeria, we have largely lived at peace with our Christian brothers and sisters. We have a National Chief Imam who even opened the doors of our Central Mosque in Accra to Christians to renovate for us as a symbol of the co-existence that ought to be between us. The youth should emulate this example by the National Chief Imam who is an embodiment of both Qur’anic and Prophetic wisdom.”

Source: peacefmonline.com

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Appiah-Ofori : NPP Should Deal With Ken Agyapong

Former Member of Parliament for Asikuma Odoben Brakwa, P.C. Appiah-Ofori has urged Ghanaians to forgive Assin Central New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, for his foul-mouthed outbursts in recent times as he urges the party's hierarchy to call him to order.

The ex-legislator said the vitriol from the MP had left him so “sad” he was lost for words and would not be able to comment at that moment in time but urged Ghanaians to forgive him nevertheless.

“I am pleading with Ghanaians to forgive Kennedy Agyapong... They shouldn’t judge all NPP members by his comments,” Mr. Appiah-Ofori told Accra News on Friday, February 5.

He urged the party’s disciplinary wing to take action to curtail the lawmaker’s public rants to give the party a good image, saying: “I am very sad. I think the party’s Disciplinary Committee should summon him before it; otherwise, it will continue unabated. It’s unfortunate. So they should call him and whip him into line.”

Source: peacefmonline.com

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NPP Re-Run: ‘I Won’t Take Part In Sham Election’

The stripped winner of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Korle Klottey parliamentary primary, Nii Noi Nortey, has vowed not to participate in a re-run of the election as ordered by the party’s national executive.

The fuming victor declared, “I am not going to be part of any sham re-run”.

Re-run of primary

The steering committee of the party ordered a re-run of the parliamentary primary in the Korle Klottey constituency following months of controversy over its fairness.
The party’s decision comes after it agreed with the parties to withdraw the case from court. Announcing the decision, Ag General Secretary, John Boadu, told anxious party supporters the re-run was necessary if peace was to prevail in the constituency.

Philip Addison, who went to court after losing to Nii Noi last August, will now have the opportunity to re-launch his parliamentary bid.

He has maintained that the results of the August 2 primary were cooked to favour the former constituency chairman, Nii Nortey.

Addison who polled 22 votes as against 393 votes for Nii Noi boycotted the elections and accused the constituency executive and the Electoral Commission (EC) of staging the polls.

Decision irks supporters

The party’s decision has irked Nii Nortey’s supporters who accused the acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, of backing Nii Noi's contender, Phillip Addison.

But speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, Nii Noi said he was disappointed that  the delegates were being made to pay for inconsistency in party decisions.

He said he was "confused” that the party that took the decision to hold the polls on August 2, 2015 should do a u-turn .

He said the party failed to defend its decision in court after Addison dragged the party there.

“It is not my grandfather who organised the election. It is the party which did.” Nii Noi criticised the party for chickening out of the legal tussle.

Ag Gen Secretary

But the acting General Secretary, John Boadu, explained that the confusion that erupted in the constituency following the poll was because of the arbitrary decision of the then General Secretary to change the date.

“The change of date from August 8 to August 2,” he said, was not the decision of the national executive.

This change, Addison has maintained caused his defeat as it took his supporters by surprise.

Mr Boadu was reluctant to revisit the controversy or explain why the party ordered the re-run.

But he assured the supporters that the decision was arrived at after extensive consultations.

His deputy General Secretary, Nana Obiri Boahen, also stressed that even polling station executives were consulted by the party.

Nonetheless, Nana Boahen expressed reservations about the final decision.

He said the reaction from the ground meant the party might have to review its decision.

“Sincerely …I think we should go back and take a second look at it”

Take your party

He said the “unfolding drama” after the decision was announced could not be underestimated because politics was a numbers game.

Nii Noi’s supporters have vowed to leave the party.

"Take your party! God will punish you people one by one" a woman fumed at the decision as Nii Noi's supporters left the party’s office.

Nii Noi has signalled dragging the party to court as an option open to him.

“I will be consulting my lawyers. I have been quiet from day one [but] it doesn’t mean I am stupid”

Nii Noi explained that as a former constituency chairman, he had sacrificed to make the party attractive and was being robbed of the fruits of his hardwork. 

Source: peacefmonline.com

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NPP orders re-run in Korle Klottey constituency

The Steering Committee of the opposition NPP has ordered a re-run of parliamentary primaries in the Korle Klottey constituency following months of controversy over its fairness.

The party’s decision comes after it agreed with the parties to withdraw the case from court. Announcing the decision, ag. General Secretary John Boadu told anxious party supporters, the re-run was necessary if peace was to prevail in the constituency.

John Boadu said too much litigation has surrounded the results and only a re-run can resolve the factionalism in the constituency.
Philip Addison who went to court after losing to Nii Noi Nortey last August will now have the opportunity to re-launch his parliamentary bid.

He has maintained the results of the August 2 primaries were cooked to favour the former constituency chairman, Nii Noi Nortey.

Addison who polled 22 votes as against 393 votes for Nii Nortey boycotted the elections and accused constituency executives and the Electoral Commission of staging the polls.

“The Electoral Commission was very much into this thing, people were given double ballots and so on ...they [EC] were in on it. Everything has been cooked", he said.

Trouble started after then General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong in a letter directed that elections be held on Sunday 2nd August. There was an agreement to hold it on 8th August.

Addison’s camp felt shortchanged and withdrew from the process along with another contender, Nii Adjei Tawiah.

They argued their supporters would be in church on Sunday and other delegates were not adequately informed of the change of date. He went to court where he obtained a default judgement for a re-run.

But the party asked for out-of-court settlement. The latest decision by the party irked some of Nii Noi Nortey's supporters.

"Take your party! God will punish you people one by one" a woman fumed at the decision as Nii Noi's supporters left the party office.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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There are lunatics in Parliament – Koku Anyidoho

Deputy General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Koku Anyidoho has called on the security agencies to be decisive in dealing with criminals who clothe themselves with political colours.

According to him, the police and other security agencies must be able to single out individuals and punish them for their crimes rather than lumping them together with their perceived political associations.

Speaking at Starr 103.5FM’s ‘Thought Leadership Summit” on security titled : “Securing Ghana 2016: Fending off threats and safeguarding the peace,” at the Alisa Hotel Thursday, the former presidential spokesperson said politicians who make inflammatory statements must be arrested regardless of their status in society.

“There are so many lunatics and outright idiots around, and they believe that so long as they hide under political colours, they can say anything and go free. In this Agogo issue, people are playing politics with it. People think it is an election year so they must blow that matter up.

“...There are lunatics everywhere, they are not just in the asylum houses or mad houses; they are everywhere even in parliament, they are there.

“People who make inflammatory comments should be dealt with regardless of their political coloration,” Koku fumed.

Other thematic areas including the state of Ghana’s preparedness to respond to emerging national and sub-regional security threats in a globalized world, understanding Government’s position, media, and religious leaders: what role can they play in emerging security environment and is the security ready for emerging threats, were also discussed at the summit.

Source: starrfmonline.com

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US election: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in first showdown

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are preparing to go head-to-head for the first time, as they vie to be the Democratic presidential pick.

The TV debate in New Hampshire is their first since the Democratic race was whittled down to two this week.

The first state-by-state contest, in Iowa on Monday, was won narrowly by Mrs Clinton ahead of Mr Sanders.

Since that vote, they have been exchanging barbs over who boasts the stronger liberal credentials.

Their arguments centre on who can best deliver on policies dear to the left-wing of the party, such as providing universal healthcare access, improving income equality and protecting worker rights.

At a town hall event on Wednesday in which they appeared on stage separately, Vermont Senator Mr Sanders accused his rival of being a part-time liberal.


Analysis - Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, New Hampshire

Just days before the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton finds herself in a new role - that of the underdog. She's trailed Bernie Sanders, senator from neighbouring Vermont, by double-digits in the state's polls for more than a month.

Now, thanks to former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's withdrawal from the Democratic race for president, she's alone on the debate stage with the upstart rival who came fractions of a percentage point from beating her earlier this week in the Iowa caucuses.

Eight years ago, Hillary Clinton was reeling after a sound beating in Iowa at the hands of Barack Obama, and a surprise win in New Hampshire gave her new life - at least temporarily. It was the start of what would be a drawn-out battle for the nomination that lasted for months.

Although Mrs Clinton's nationwide standing is stronger than it was in 2008, a defeat in New Hampshire could mark the start of another long nomination fight.

Consequently the former secretary of state is committing time and resources in New Hampshire to stave off such an embarrassment. Will the Granite State give her yet another boost? A strong performance in tonight's debate could be her best chance for a last-minute reversal of fortune.


He pointed to her vote as a senator to authorise the war in Iraq and the money her campaign receives from Wall Street as evidence.

But she hit back by saying she was a progressive politician who delivered results, and argued she had been fighting liberal causes for decades.

"Good ideas on paper are important, but you've got to be able to translate them into action," she declared.

The debate will be their first without the presence of the former governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley, who quit the race on Monday night.

And it is the last before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary vote, the second state to make its choice.

Mr Sanders holds a big lead in polls in the state - one on Thursday put him 20 percentage points ahead.

Both Republican and Democratic parties will formally name their presidential candidates at conventions in July.

Americans will finally go to the polls to choose the new occupant of the White House in November.

Source: bbc.com

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US election: Winners and losers after Iowa vote

The races for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations are taking shape now that Iowans have had their say.

In some cases, the results confirmed conventional wisdom.

In others, it totally reshaped it.

Here are five things we learned after a remarkable evening in America's heartland.

1. Donald Trump isn't untouchable

Donald Trump

For the past few months it seemed as though the New York real estate mogul had become an unrivalled political savant. Every move he made, no matter how questionable, only strengthened his standing among conservative voters.

That bubble, however, has burst. Despite leading in the Iowa polls for the past several weeks, Mr Trump was bested by rival Ted Cruz on caucus night. In the end Mr Trump's much-heralded cadre of new voters didn't show up in the predicted numbers and Mr Cruz's formidable ground game, backed by strong evangelical support, carried the day.

This hardly means it's the end for Mr Trump. He may well hold onto his large lead in New Hampshire, a state where the conservative voters often embrace the renegade outsider, and find success in the Southern primaries that follow. The notion that the New Yorker could steamroll his way to the Republican nomination, however, has now been firmly dispelled.


2. Marco Rubio has given the establishment hope

Marco Rubio with his family

Florida Senator Marco Rubio's speech in Iowa on Monday night sounded more like a victory celebration than the concession speech of a third-place finisher. By finishing with 23% of the vote, however - a hair's breadth from second-place Trump - Mr Rubio shattered pre-caucus expectations.

Now he's well positioned to gain new support in New Hampshire, as voters looking to stop outsider candidates Cruz and Trump rally to his side.

This is the kind of Iowa result that candidates like New Jersey's Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich were dreading. They have placed all their hopes in New Hampshire, and now they'll have to face off against a man who has the political wind at his back.

The polls for Mr Rubio in the coming states haven't looked particularly encouraging, but that could quickly change. And even if he suffers setbacks in the Southern states that follow New Hampshire, he likely will have the resources to wage a long fight for the nomination.


3. The Democrats are in a dogfight

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

At this point it comes as little surprise that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finished in a virtual tie in Iowa - polls had been indicating such a result was likely.

Nevertheless, the outcome marks a significant achievement for Mr Sanders, who was polling in single digits in Iowa six months ago.

Mrs Clinton is simply not going to be able to deliver the knockout punch to her rival the way she once had hoped. Instead, she faces a likely defeat in New Hampshire - where the Vermonter is strong - and then a protracted fight across the country that could last at least through March.

She still has the greater financial resources and a much more developed campaign infrastructure, but she had those advantages in Iowa as well. The electorate will change, however - becoming more moderate and more ethnically diverse. There is more hospitable ground ahead for Mrs Clinton - but a nomination victory, if it comes, will take time to realise.


4. Ted Cruz is built to last

Ted Cruz kissing his wife

If Mr Cruz had been defeated in Iowa it would have been a devastating blow to his campaign. He had raised expectations of a victory in the caucuses and heralded it as proof that he could build a coalition of evangelical, grass-roots Tea Party and libertarian voters.

As it turns out, that coalition exists - and it will likely re-emerge after New Hampshire, as South Carolina and other Southern states hold their primary contests.

Mr Cruz has nearly $20m in campaign cash on hand and supporting political committees with even greater resources. He's built a political machine that can operate through the entire primary calendar and, if necessary, wage a two-front battle with Mr Trump and an establishment-backed candidate like Mr Rubio.

In his victory speech on Monday night, Mr Cruz credited his grass-roots organisation - as he should - but he also gave Republicans a look at a more moderate, general-election version of himself. He'll need to convince his party that he is a candidate who can beat the Democrats in November. This was his first step toward making that pitch.


5. The field is about to thin dramatically

Martin O'Malley

Democrat Martin O'Malley is gone, as is Republican Mike Huckabee and - in all likelihood, Rick Santorum.

On Monday night rumours abounded that Ben Carson was poised to exit. Although his camp quickly denied this, the retired surgeon's 9% performance in a state that once viewed him as a front-runner likely means the end is near.

Carly Fiorina's bid is on life support, and Rand Paul - at one point thought to be a contender for the nomination - garnered less than 5%, a far cry from his father's 21% in Iowa just four years ago.

New Hampshire will likely cull the herd even further, threatening the future of candidates like Mr Bush, Mr Christie and Mr Kasich if they can't slow Mr Rubio's momentum.

The Republican race for the nomination isn't likely to end anytime soon, but there are about to be a lot fewer candidates on the debate stage in the coming weeks.

Source: bbc.com

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Monies from external forces caused my defeat – Samia

The defeated Flag bearer aspirant of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) Samia Yaaba Nkrumah is blaming monies from external forces that were pumped into the party’s recent Flag bearer contest as the cause of her defeat.

According to her, the unprecedented huge amount of monies that exchanged hands at the congress grounds was mind boggling and changed certain dynamics that saw her losing the elections.

Samia, the party’s immediate past chairperson who was tipped by political watchers as the favourite among the contestants lost to Ivor Kobina Greenstreet who is the former General Secretary of the party.

Greenstreet garnered 1288 votes as against closest contender Samia Nkrumah 579.

The two other contenders Bright Akwetey and Joseph Agyapong polled 42 and 83 votes respectively.

Speaking to Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.3 FM, Samia was emphatic that the victory of Mr Greenstreet couldn’t have come if the electorates were influenced monetarily.

“There was clear vote buying, the heavy money that obviously came from external forces into the system that day changed the dynamics. GHC 1,000 per delegate has never happened in the history of our party’s internal elections. Forces against the independence of the CPP came together to ensure my defeat. It is important that we are discussing this issue because it affects our national politics”

She has nonetheless expressed her desire to serve the CPP in any capacity to ensure that the party becomes more stronger to and wins the 2016 election.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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Laurent Gbagbo: Ivory Coast ex-leader denies war crimes

Ivory Coast's ex-President Laurent Gbagbo has denied charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as his landmark trial began at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The charges relate to the country's civil conflict that erupted after Mr Gbagbo lost elections in 2010.

Prosecutors accuse him of orchestrating a "campaign of violence".

Mr Gbagbo, 70, and ex-militia leader Charles Ble Goude, 44, deny murder, rape, attempted murder and persecution.

The trial at the court in The Hague, in the Netherlands, could last three or four years.


Day one at the ICC: By Anna Holligan, BBC News, The Hague

Inside the courtroom, Laurent Gbagbo seemed unsteady, leaning on his desk as he pleaded not guilty. His co-accused, Charles Ble Goude, gave a more defiant response, telling the judges: "I do not recognise the charges."

Prosecutors said Mr Ble Goude had acted as a spin doctor. He called himself the "street general". Archive footage played in court showed him comparing himself to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's media adviser Alastair Campbell.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda used her opening statement to focus on the victims. She spoke of one woman who was arrested during a peaceful march in Abidjan and detained for three days. During that time, Ms Bensouda said, the woman was gang-raped by police officers - the very people who were supposed to protect her.

Outside protesters playing on bongo drums complained of "victor's justice". To date none of President Alassane Ouattara's supporters have been charged by the ICC.


Mr Gbagbo sparked a crisis in Ivory Coast after he refused to step down following his loss to Alassane Ouattara in the 2010 presidential vote.

There were bloody clashes between rival forces over five months in 2010 and 2011.

Some 3,000 people were killed, with Mr Gbagbo basing himself in the presidential palace.

Gbagbo supporters at the ICC to back the former president, 28 Jan

Gbagbo supporters arrive at the ICC to back the former president at the start of the trial

Supporters of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo watch his trial in Abidjan

He also continues to have support in Ivory Coast, like here in Abidjan

A composite image showing former Ivory Coast militia leader Charles Ble Goude and ex-President Laurent Gbagbo

Former militia leader Charles Ble Goude (L) is being tried alongside Mr Gbagbo on the same charges

He was arrested in April 2011 by forces loyal to President Ouattara, backed by troops from former colonial power France, and later that year was extradited to The Hague.

It will be the highest-profile trial yet for the ICC, which has only convicted two Congolese warlords since its establishment in 2002.

Reading out the charges, prosecutors cited cases including the alleged rape of 38 women at a pro-Ouattara rally and alleged killing of 10 people by shelling at a market.

The prosecution said it currently planned to bring forward 138 witnesses.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that when Mr Gbagbo "understood that the presidency was going to escape him... he began a campaign of violence orchestrated against those considered opponents".

"Nothing would be allowed to defeat Mr Gbagbo, and if politics failed, violence was seen as politics by other means," she said.

Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser said neither Ivory Coast nor its people were on trial, and that he would not allow the court to be used as a "political instrument".

Dozens of Gbagbo supporters gathered outside the ICC on Thursday to back the ex-president, sparking some scuffles with police.

"Our dream to see our president walk free starts today," said one supporter, Marius Boue. "He is truly a man of the Ivorian people."

Gbagbo: From professor to president

  • Born in 1945, Mr Gbagbo's first career was in academia as a history professor
  • He was jailed for two years in 1971 for "subversive" teaching
  • By the 1980s, he was heavily involved in trade union activities
  • After years in exile, he returned to Ivory Coast to attend the founding congress of the Ivorian Popular Front in 1988
  • Mr Gbagbo was one of the first to challenge Ivory Coast's founding President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, after multi-party politics were permitted
  • Became president with the Ivorian Popular Front in 2000

Campaign group Human Rights Watch warned that by only prosecuting one side of Ivory Coast's conflict the ICC gave a "perception of victor's justice".

But ahead of the trial Ms Bensouda said investigations into the pro-Ouattara camp had been "intensified".

Mr Gbagbo is the first ex-head of state to appear at the ICC, although Liberia's former President Charles Taylor also stood trial at The Hague.

Mr Taylor appeared before the Special Court for Sierra Leone and was given a 50-year jail sentence in 2012 on charges of aiding and abetting war crimes during the civil war in Sierra Leone, which neighbours Liberia.

The ICC has been accused by some in Africa of unfairly targeting the continent.

An attempt to prosecute Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta over post-election violence failed amid allegations witnesses had been intimidated.

Why did Ivory Coast descend into civil war?

The country had been divided since 2002, with rebels in control of the mainly Muslim north. They mostly supported Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim whose family originate in neighbouring Burkina Faso. So when Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat to Mr Ouattara in the 2010 election, fighting soon broke out.

Was the conflict about religion?

Not really - more about identity. Mr Gbagbo and other southern, Christian politicians portrayed themselves as "true Ivorians", in contrast to northern Muslims, many of whom had foreign origins. Under Mr Gbagbo, many northerners were not allowed to vote, while Mr Ouattara was banned from standing for election until 2010. In western Ivory Coast, the conflict also took on ethnic lines.

What happened during the conflict?

In the worst cases, Ivorian security forces loyal to Mr Gbagbo shelled areas of the main city Abidjan, where many northerners lived. The ICC also accuses pro-Gbagbo militias of attacking members of ethnic groups believed to support Mr Ouattara. But pro-Ouattara forces were also accused of similar atrocities and these have not been prosecuted.


Source: bbc.com

 

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Sudan's Bashir orders border with South Sudan to reopen

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the opening of his country's border with South Sudan for the first time since the latter seceded in 2011.

The move comes days after reports that South Sudan had ordered its troops to withdraw a short way from the border.

Disputes over the border remain unresolved and the two countries fought over the Heglig oilfield in 2012.

South Sudan gained independence as the outcome of a 2005 agreement that ended a 22-year civil war.

A shattered dream

The city that vanished

Men of dishonour

Why does South Sudan matter to the US?

Mr Bashir has asked the Sudanese authorities to "take all measures" for the reopening, state news agency Suna reported.

Last week Mr Bashir also agreed to consider lowering the fees paid by South Sudan for the use of Sudanese infrastructure to export oil.

South Sudan contains most of the oilfields that belonged to Sudan before 2011.

The new country descended into civil war in 2013 when fighting broke out between forces loyal to Mr Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar, splitting the country down ethnic lines.

Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries including Sudan.

Source: bbc.com

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Laurent Gbagbo: Former Ivory Coast leader's trial to begin

The trial of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo for crimes against humanity is set to begin at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He faces charges relating to the country's civil conflict that erupted after he lost elections in 2010.

The trial aims to "uncover the truth", ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told reporters at The Hague.

Both Mr Gbagbo and his co-accused, former militia leader Charles Ble Goude, say they are innocent.

"The trial is an opportunity for reconciliation," Mr Gbagbo's lawyer Emmanuel Altit said. "It is for this reason that he awaits it with confidence."

A lawyer for Mr Ble Goude, who is accused of organising attacks on opposition supporters, described his client as a "man of peace".


A key test, by Anna Holligan, BBC News, the Hague

This may prove to be the most important trial in the ICC's history. The international court was established to end impunity and bring the most powerful leaders to justice. The first appearance of a former head of state is testament to the prosecutor's reach. And yet, despite casualties on both sides, not one of President Alassane Ouattara's supporters has been charged, leading to accusations of victor's justice.

During the pre-trial press briefing the victims' representative was asked how she could represent the victims when only half of those who suffered would have their voices heard.

This high-profile trial will test the ability of the ICC to obtain reliable evidence from a country in which the government has a political interest in securing a guilty verdict.

Can the suspects expect a fair trial if much of the evidence comes from their enemy?


Mr Gbagbo sparked a crisis in Ivory Coast after he refused to step down following his loss to Alassane Ouattara in the 2010 presidential vote.

Some 3,000 people were killed in the civil conflict that ensued, with Mr Gbagbo holing up in the presidential palace.

He was arrested in April 2011, by forces loyal to President Ouattara backed by French troops, and later in that year extradited to The Hague.

It will be the highest-profile trial yet for the ICC, which has only convicted two Congolese warlords since its establishment in 2002.

Mr Gbagbo is accused of four charges - murder, rape, attempted murder and persecution.

His supporters accuse the ICC of overlooking alleged crimes by Mr Gbagbo's opponents, many of whom are now in power.

But this was rejected by Ms Bensouda, who said investigations into the pro-Ouattara camp had been "intensified".

Gbagbo: From professor to president

  • Born in 1945, Mr Gbagbo's first career was in academia as a history professor
  • He was jailed for two years in 1971 for "subversive" teaching
  • By the 1980s, he was heavily involved in trade union activities
  • After years in exile, he returned to Ivory Coast to attend the founding congress of the Ivorian Popular Front in 1988
  • Mr Gbagbo was one of the first to challenge Ivory Coast's founding President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, after multi-party politics were permitted
  • Became president with the Ivorian Popular Front in 2000

Profile: Laurent Gbagbo


The ICC has been accused by some in Africa of unfairly targeting the continent.

An attempt to prosecute Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta over post-election violence failed amid allegations witnesses had been intimidated.

This week however the ICC authorised an investigation into possible war crimes committed during the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia - the first inquiry into a conflict outside Africa.

Source: bbc.com

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MPs will soon improve using the tablets – Majority Chief whip

Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak has said despite the difficulty of the Members of Parliament using a newly installed digitised system for proceedings in the house, the MPs are likely to improve handling the device in the coming days.

There were scathing reports of major difficulties as the MPs tried their hands on the tablet computers fixed for usage in the chamber when parliament reconvened Tuesday, January 26.

Many have argued that this could frustrate the efforts being made to make the house paperless, as parliament complains the cost of stationery and printing is high offlate.

In an interaction with Accra-based Citi FM, the Asawase lawmaker said “ it’s not easy for the MPs to easily adopt the use of the device” the house nonetheless is pursuing it vigorously until they can be comfortable using it.

According to him, close to 80% were following it after most of them initially struggled to follow through the proceedings, which were conducted by the Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho.

“Since the installation, I’ve been one of those who has been pushing for us to use these gadgets and I’m happy the speaker has accepted and is pursuing it vigorously. Our expectation is that out of the 275, we should be able to get about 150 having to use it the first day…but believe me by the time we got to public business, I could say close to 80% of the members in the chamber were following easily from the tab in front of us.”

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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Ghanaian MPs fumble with tablet usage in Parliament

Some members of Ghana’s Parliament who clearly seemed handicapped in their ability to handle modern electronic gadgets, fumbled  helplessly on Tuesday in their attempt to access legislative materials which were installed on tablets for them.

Parliament in 2014 fixed digital devices on the desk of each MP to be used effectively this year.

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho while welcoming the MPs to the house after they resumed sittings on Tuesday from the Christmas and new year break, explained that the devices will enable Parliament to reduce the cost of printing parliamentary materials which usually takes a toll on their budget.

"You will recall that at the end of the last meeting last year, I informed you that in order to make optimum use of the legislative software installed in the computer rooms on your respective tables which enables you access to parliamentary papers, the table office will from today produce and circulate only limited copies of the Order Paper and votes and proceedings of the house. This measure is aimed at reducing to the barest minimum the cost of stationery and printing items,” he added.

After his welcome address, the MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah, drew the attention of the speaker to the challenges they encountered in operating the gadgets.

“I believe today being the first day, we are experiencing some challenges, I’ve tried and they say webpage is not available,” he said.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, Majority Chief Whip of Parliament, admitted MPs clearly needed to be schooled on the usage of the devices to help the work of parliament.


Source: citifmonline.com

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NPP fundraising: We never donated cash – Kayayei Association

The National Association of Head Potters popularly known as Kayayei, has denied making a cash donation to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during its recent fund–raising event at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi – Ashanti Region.

According to the association’s Ashanti Regional Secretary Dauda Ibrahim, the group is apolitical; hence finds it mischievous for anybody to use its name for political gains.

The largest opposition NPP, held its first national fundraising programme a fortnight ago where an undisclosed amount of money was realized. It was attended by the party’s flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo and his running mate, Dr. Bawumia.

Among the highlights of activities that caught the attention of the media and raised eyebrows among section of the public was the announcement that some “kayayes” in the Ashanti Region; the stronghold of the opposition group, contributed GHc5, 000 to support the NPP’s campaign to unseat the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).

A lady known Adiza Zongo Pioneer, who claims to be the National President of the National Association of Head Potters aka Kayayei made the donation on behalf of the group.

Speaking to Fiiifi Banson on Kasapa FM Monday, the Ashanti Regional Secretary Dauda Ibrahim denied that Adiza Zongo Pioneer and further stated that the association could not have donated that huge amount of money as the group is not that resourceful.

He noted that this claim of a donation by the Kayayei Association to a political party has the tendency of negatively affecting the financial assistance the group gets from donor institutions.

“We don’t have that kind of money that is being reported we donated to the NPP. It is well known that we Kayayes are vulnerable and poor. We are sometimes funded by NGO’s and other faith based organizations; and now our benefactors will hear that a whopping amount of GHC 5,000 has been donated to a political party. We are neutral…not affiliated to any political party. What signals are we sending to the public, will we continue to have such financial support after this false news out there” He asked?

But Adiza Zongo Pioneer insisted that she was the President of the National Association of Head Potters and that the group willingly donated that amount to the NPP because the current government had taken them for a ride for far too long a time.

She claimed that Dauda Ibrahim, has come up to discredit her because he was being motivated by some bigwigs in the ruling party to muddy the waters.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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NDC to suspend Klottey Korle MP Nii Armah Ashietey

Kasapafmonline.com is reliably informed that the National Council of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is set to suspend the party’s Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle Nii Armah Ashietey for engaging in acts that are causing tension and division in the constituency.

The NDC is of the view that the veteran politician’s conduct if not immediately checked, could cause the party’s defeat in the upcoming November Parliamentary elections.

Nii Armah Ashietey who is a two term MP, and another member Nii John Coleman have filed a joint suit at an Accra High Court against the Electoral Commission and the Parliamentary Candidate for the area, Dr Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, challenging the latter’s legitimacy to contest for a parliamentary seat under the 1992 constitution.

The two who contested the NDC’s constituency Parliamentary election and lost to Dr Zanetor on November 21, 2015, are of view that her election was unlawful as she is not a registered voter in the National Voters register.

The case is expected to be heard on Friday January 29.

An Accra High Court had earlier on Friday January 15 dismissed a similar suit against Dr Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings clearing her to contest the upcoming November Parliamentary election.

Some aggrieved members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and supporters of Nii Armah Ashietey had sued Zanetor challenging her election.

They prayed the court to nullify her election as she was not qualified to be elected as Parliamentary Candidate of the party because she is not a registered voter in Ghana.However the court dismissed the case.

When the party thought Klottey Korle was eventually going to see peace as finality had been brought to the case, the incumbent MP has quickly ran to court also challenging Dr Zanetor’s eligibility.

The NDC hierarchy Kasapafmonline.com understands has taken a serious view of Nii Armah Ashietey’s conduct which is causing disunity among party members in the area, and has considered taking punitive measures against the ‘troublesome’ MP.

The Party is also not happy that the MP failed to exhaust the party’s laid down internal mechanism to address such issues before he proceeded to court.

The ruling party post its Parliamentary primaries in November 21, has warned that it will not hesitate to punish any member whose waywardness has a tendency of causing the NDC’s electoral defeat.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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No one should be complacent – British High Commissioner on Gitmo saga

The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin has cautioned that even though Ghana’s resolve in sheltering the two former detainees from Guantanamo bay is purely based on bilateral relations with its counterpart, the Ghanaian government should not be complacent on the security threats to its decision.

“…It only takes very few people to create complete carnage…so  no one should be complacent

“… We should be very vigilant because it’s a real threat to us all,” Benjamin told Jay Foley and Jeremie on the LBC Morning Show on Live 91.9 FM Thursday.

He said lessons should be drawn from the incident in Burkina Faso that led to the killing of some 29 people, insisting that austere measures must be taken by the Ghanaian government to forestall any untoward event in relation to the two Yemeni guests.

The opposition party’s leader, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday told a large crowd of party faithful in Wa that President Mahama acted in breach of Section 35 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2008, (Act 762).

That aside, he said the President’s decision not to consult the relevant stakeholders concerning the stay of the two in Ghana, has resulted in heightened levels of fear amongst the citizenry.

A lot of Civil Society Organizations and Faith Based Organisations in Ghana have waded into the unpopular conversation demanding that government return the ex-Gitmo detainees to their home country, as this they fear could threaten the security of the country.

However, speaking on Live 91.9 FM Thursday ,the British High Commissioner said the British government will remain completely neutral on the issue, saying he won’t be allowed to be tricked into making arguments that could have dire consequences on the volatile issue on the ground.

“This is essentially a bilateral issue between US, and Ghana. Here we are in January, the election here is 7th November , we are already in election season in some sense. What I won’t be doing is allowing anyone to drag us to make party political points on either side.”

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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Akufo-Addo not fit to talk about Guantanamo detainees – Gov’t

The Government of the Republic of Ghana has rebuffed claims by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that its acceptance of the Guantanamo Bay cleared terrorists who are currently residing in Ghana is a “sad example of Mahama’s failure of leadership”.

The opposition party’s leader, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday told a large crowd of party faithful in Wa that President Mahama acted in breach of Section 35 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2008, (Act 762).

That aside, he said the President’s decision not to consult the relevant stakeholders in the country to assuage the fears of Ghanaians, has resulted in heightened levels of fear amongst the citizenry.

“Had President Mahama done the needed consultations the Ghanaian people may well have been spared the disquieting anxiety, in this time of justifiably heightened fear of global terrorism that we are being led by a President who, ostensibly in the name of compassion, prefers to ignore laws designed to defend the most sensitive area of all, our nation’s security.”

The NPP Presidential candidate was delivering a tribute in honour of the late Alhaji Alhassan Bin Salih.

But the Minister of Communications, Edward K. Omane Boamah in a statement released in Accra Wednesday said the opposition leader’s claims lacked basis and is even not fit to talk about the issue at stake.

Besides, he said the Anti-Terrorism Act the opposition leader quoted to buttress his argument in criticizing President Mahama for accepting the Gitmo cleared terrorists who are undergoing rehabilitation in Ghana is a complete misrepresentation of the facts.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Government wishes to place on record that at all times it has acted strictly within the law. Any claims, therefore, by Mr Akufo-Addo and his assigns to the contrary are false and a complete misinterpretation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (Act 762).”

“By section 35(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2008 (Act 762), the Director of Immigration or an officer authorised by him shall not grant a person entry into the country if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person: a) Is involved in the commission of a terrorist act, b) Will be involved in a terrorist act, or, c) Has been involved in a terrorist act”.

“We note that Mr Akufo Addo did not provide any proof of the “reasonable grounds” on which he claims the two ex-detainees should have been denied entry into Ghana. It would appear that he merely channelled claims in sections of the media- that an allegedly leaked 2007 report classifies the two detainees as “terrorists”,” the statement in part read.

It added “Furthermore, we wish to draw attention to a 2010 report of an Executive Order Task Force (EOTF) prepared on the basis of a unanimous agreement of six US government agencies which repudiates claims made in earlier reports.”

“We wish to stress that the EOTF’s 2010 interagency assessment supersedes any prior assessment and reflects the US Government’s most comprehensive and authoritative view of each Guantanamo detainee and does not classify the two individuals as “terrorists”.”

“It is also a matter of fact that no formal process(es) has/have been used to bring charges of terrorism against the two individuals. Neither have they been found guilty of any terrorism-related offences by any court of competent jurisdiction.”

It said Akufo-Addo’s stance on the Gitmo detainees defeats his defence of human rights, a track record of which the opposition leader is well known of.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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Court orders NPP Klottey Korle Parliamentary primary re-run

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is expected to soon hold a re-run of Parliamentary primary for the Klottey Korle constituency, after an Accra High Court on Tuesday dismissed an application filed by the disputed Parliamentary Candidate, Nii Noi Nortey, which sought to set aside a default judgment.

Counsel for the petitioners in the 2012 Presidential petition, Phillip Addison, who was a defeated aspirant in the primary, sued the NPP at the High Court, demanding annulment of the results.

Mr. Addison and another, Nii Adjei Tawiah insisted the election on August 2 which was won by Valentino Nii Noi Nortey was illegal.

According to them, more than half of the delegates were disenfranchised, and that the organization of the election was in violation of the tenets of democratic principles that are supposed to govern the elections.

They also claimed there was no accreditation and that the register that was used was not certified.

The elections they said violated article 55 of the New Patriotic Party’s constitution. consequently they asked the court to declare that the election was an illegality.

The NPP’s late entry of appearance in the case resulted in the court awarding default judgment against the party late last year. But Noi Noi Nortey later filed to join the case and wanted the judgment set aside.

The party however then took steps to settle the matter when the NPP through its counsel Dr Opoku Adusei asked for the impasse to be settled using the parties internal mechanisms. The court subsequently granted the request.

However in an attempt to settle the matter at a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, the party proposed a re-run of the election, which Valentino Nii Noi Nortey strongly objected to, a development which left the party with no option than to wash its hands from the case and allow the court to determine which way to go.

When the case was called today (Tuesday) the Presiding Judge Patience Mills Tetteh in ruling on the matter dismissed Nii Noi Nortey application of setting the judgment aside, paving the way for a re-run of the election which promises to be keenly contested.

Source: kasapafmonline.com

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Sammy Crabbe sues NPP for wrongfully suspending him

The suspended 2nd National Vice-Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammy Crabbe, has filed a suit against the elephant family at the High Court, seeking among other things a relief that the court overturns the decision and reinstate him.

The aggrieved party stalwart has described his suspension by the Disciplinary Committee of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition as illegal since the action infringes on the party’s constitution.

He therefore, wants the Human Rights Division of the High Court to annul the decision of the party which was taken on December 10, 2015, after receiving petitions from two party faithful over his conduct.

The suit, which was filed by Counsel of the Plaintiff, Ekow S. Ampah Korsah argued that the entire process leading to the suspension of Mr. Crabbe was fraught with illegalities and therefore wants the court to intervene in the matter.

Counsel Korsah buttressed his claim with Article 10 of the NPP Constitution which sets the tone for the removal and suspension of officers from the level of constituency, regional and national officers.

Article 10 of the NPP constitution states that: 1 (a) Whenever forty percent (40%) of the delegates that elect Constituency, Regional or National Officers as the case may be, give written notice to the Constituency, Regional or National Executives as the case may be, of the demand for the removal of any elected officer the Executive Committee which receives such notice shall within one (1) week of receipt of the notice circulate such notice to all delegates affected.

(b) The petition for the removal of an officer shall be on stated grounds, a copy of which shall be given to the affected officer who shall be given the opportunity to be heard by a body constituted by the Executive Committee.

2. Within one (1) month of the circulation of such notice referred to in clause (1), the said Executive Committee shall summon an Extraordinary Delegates Conference to deliberate and decide on the matter.

3. In the case of the demand for the removal of any Member of the Constituency Executive Committee, the written notice shall be given to the Regional Executive Committee. With respect to the removal of Regional Officers, the written notice shall be submitted to the National Executive Committee while in the case of the removal of National Executive Officers, the written notice shall be to the National Council.

4. Upon receipt of the written notice, the Constituency, Regional, National Executive Committee or National Council as the case may be, may suspend the officer from acting in his or her office pending the holding of the Emergency Delegates Conference.

According to the statement of claim, it is based on the above stated provision that the Plaintiff feels that he had been handed a raw deal, hence, the court action for a review.

Counsel further argued that since there was no written notice for the suspension of Mr. Crabbe from office, in consonance with Article 10(4) of the NPP Constitution, the DC lacked jurisdiction to have taken a decision over the matter.

It added that the National Executive Committee (NEC) also lacked the jurisdiction to have upheld the indefinite suspension decision by the Disciplinary Committee.

The motion for hearing, Kasapafmonine.com learnt, will be moved on January 27, 2016.

Source: Kasapafmonine.com

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