Senseless: No harm will come to Ghanaians by accommodating terror suspects – Gov’t

The government is assuring Ghanaians that it has taken all the necessary security measures to ensure the safety of citizens and security of the nation despite accommodating two former terror suspects.

Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Ofosu Kwakye gave the assurance after concerns raised by Ghanaians about the propriety of the country’s decision to accept two former Guantanamo Bay detainees of Yemeni origins.

On Wednesday, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration in a statement signed by the sector minister, Hanna Tetteh said Ghana has accepted a request by the US government to accommodate the former detainees.

The statement said: “At the request of the US Government we have also agreed to accept two detainees of Yemeni origin who were detained in Guantanamo but who have been cleared of any involvement in any terrorist activities and are being released. They are 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.”

“The United States is grateful to the government of Ghana for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility,” the New York Times quotes a Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Gary Ross, as saying in a statement.

The two Yemeni men transferred to Ghana are Khalid Mohammed Salih al-Dhuby and Mahmmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef. Both were born in Saudi Arabia but are considered citizens of Yemen based on their family and tribal ties, according to military dossiers leaked by Pvt. Chelsea Manning.

Speaking on the issue in an interview on the Super Morning Show with Kojo Yankson Thursday, Mr Ofosu Kwakye said, “I can assure you, enough has been done to ensure that they don’t pose a threat.”

According to him, no harm will come to Ghanaians by the decision and, “We are confident that the number of arrangements we have put in place; we will be able to handle the situation.”

He said the detainees should be in Ghana by now.

United States government, he noted, will bear the cost of the upkeep of the two former Guantanamo detainees.

The Deputy Communications Minister noted that, although the US itself has refused to accommodate the detainees, Ghana took the decision to welcome them on humanitarian grounds.

“We are [only] helping the United States,” he said.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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'Open-carry' in Texas causing confusion for law enforcement

Gun-rights advocates in Texas had a lot to celebrate with the start of 2016. On Jan. 1, the state’s “open-carry” law went into effect allowing licensed gun owners to visibly carry a handgun in most public places.

“It feels great,” said Christopher Carmen Sr., among the first to take advantage of the new law -- enjoying a cup of coffee outside Austin on New Year’s Day with a pistol strapped to his side for all to see. “I want to say that I have more freedom. I just feel safer.”

But the law also is causing some confusion in the law enforcement community, where officers are unclear how far they can go to check licenses.

“What authority [do] the officers have?” asked Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association. “We need to get that clarified as much as possible so the officers know what’s expected of them going into any given situation.”

Texas is the 45th state to allow open-carry in some form. Thirty states do not require the carrier to have a license, but Texas is among the 15 states that require a permit. Existing gun owners -- those who previously had concealed-carry permits -- are not required to do anything different. New applicants will have to go through updated training, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Lawrence said his organization isn’t an opponent of the law itself, but is concerned about how it’s enforced. He said the wording of the law when it comes to checking licenses is very vague and leaves officers exposed.

“If a citizen calls in, a business calls in, and says there is someone here carrying a firearm that we’re concerned about -- the question then becomes exactly how much authority does that officer have to approach that individual and investigate whether or not they have a license to carry that gun?” Lawrence said.

In other words, Lawrence told Fox News, if an officer can’t legally ask to see a person’s permit then there’s no way of knowing who is carrying legally. TMPA is the largest law enforcement union in Texas, representing more than 23,000 peace officers around the state.

“Ultimately, we’re going to have to get some rulings out of the courts before we know exactly what the rules are,” Lawrence added.

There are some exceptions to the state’s open-carry law as well. People still may not openly carry handguns at schools, sporting events, bars, voting locations, correctional facilities and secure areas of airports. For private businesses, it’s up to the individual owner.

That leaves business owners with a difficult decision.

“It’s pretty tough. As a business owner, you alienate one group and they stop shopping with you. You alienate another group and they stop shopping with you, and it’s a lose-lose,” said Shane Peterson, who works for a hardware store in Grand Prairie, near Dallas, and attended a question-and-answer session with local police to make an informed decision.

If business owners do not want their customers packing heat, they must put up proper signage on the front door.

Source: foxnews.com

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Clinton's private email account exploits FOIA loophole, report says

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton’s unorthodox use of a private email account and personal server for government business exploited a loophole in the State Department's FOIA, or Freedom of Information Act, process, according to the findings of the first Inspector General report to stem from her email scandal. 

Congress asked the Office of Inspector General, the State Department's independent watchdog, to investigate the issue following the revelation that Mrs. Clinton did not use a government email account while secretary of state.

Fox News reviewed the 25-page report and its findings before they were made publicly available.

The report reads in part:

"FOIA neither authorizes nor requires agencies to search for Federal records in personal email accounts maintained on private servers or through commercial providers (for example Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail.)  Furthermore, the FOIA Analyst has no way to independently locate Federal records from such accounts unless employees take steps to preserve official emails in Department record keeping systems.”

The report strongly suggests that it relies on employees at all levels to follow the regulations, and when personal email is used, to forward copies to a State Department account so that it can be captured.

"Under current law and Department policy, employees who use personal email to conduct official business are required to forward or copy email from a personal account to their respective Department accounts within 20 Days.”  

Clinton did not have a State Department email address to which she could forward message traffic from her personal account, and it remains unclear whether she provided all her State Department business emails to the State Department or federal courts, where FOIA lawsuits have been filed.

The report also found that the State Department wait time for Freedom of Information Act Requests far exceeds that of other departments. For example, FOIA requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 working days, and "some requests involving the Office of the Secretary have taken more than 500 days to process."

The State Department is also criticized for practices that "do not consistently meet statutory and regulatory requirements for completeness and rarely meet requirements for timeliness."

Given Clinton's use of a private account, where more than 1,000 classified emails have been identified, including at least two at the Top Secret level, it appeared ironic that the report states employees had not been reminded of their FOIA responsibilities "...since March 2009, when former Secretary Clinton sent a message commemorating Freedom of Information Day."

The OIG report makes four recommendations, including that the Office of the Secretary should fully comply with FOIA requirements. The department said it agreed with the recommendations and changes had been made.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in response late Wednesday, ‎”The Department is committed to transparency, and the issues addressed in this report have the full attention of Secretary Kerry and the Department’s senior staff. While the volume of State Freedom of Information Act requests has tripled since 2008, our resources to respond have not kept pace.

“That said, we know we must continue to improve our FOIA responsiveness and are taking additional steps to do so. That’s why Secretary Kerry asked the State Inspector General to undertake this review in March, and it’s why he appointed a Transparency Coordinator this Fall.”

Source: foxnews.com

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NDC gov’t has lost its way – Akomfrah

General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Nii Armah Akomfrah says the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has lost its way in the management of the country.

According to him, it is unclear how the economy of the country, for instance, is being managed.

Speaking on TV3’s News @10 on Monday, January 4 regarding the withdrawal of the 1 per cent withholding tax by government, Nii Akomfrah said the government appears to be lost in pursuing its own strategy.

The CPP General Secretary mentioned foreign direct investment (FDI) and value-addition in the agricultural sector as two of the many strategies trumpeted by the John Mahama-led government. However, Nii Akomfrah insists, “you begin to tax the very process in adding value to agriculture”.

The former CPP Communications Director recommended to the government to rather tax mining, telecommunication and utility companies, which, he claims, have usurped the country’s wealth.

“We have gone too far in selling our wealth.”

He said the recent taxes introduced by government wil rather serve as a disincentive to many especially those who want to save at the banks.

Source: tv3network.com

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Abu Sakara to contest 2016 election as independent candidate

2012 Presidential Candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster has announced his intention to contest this year’s presidential elections as an independent candidate.

This was contained in a statement issued from his office.

Dated 6th January, 2016, the statement said the agricultural economist wants to give Ghanaians an alternative to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“For the moment the traditional route of political parties will only produce more of the same, lone and weak voices in the wilderness of self righteousness,” the statement emphasised.

Dr Sakara indicated in the statement that his decision comes “after months of contemplation and consultation with my close advisors, supporters and other well meaning Ghanaians from all walks of life”.

It is unclear what might have triggered this move as Dr Sakara was expected to contest the likes of Samia Yaba Nkrumah in the Convention People’s Party (CPP) primaries.

The decision by Dr Sakara is the second fate to befall the CPP regarding a former presidential candidate after its 2008 presidential candidate, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, seceded from the party to form the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in 2012.

Dr Sakara, who run as Dr Nduom’s mate in 2008, may have had similar reasons for his decision.

“During this period I also sought the best cause of action to help build the party to which I belonged around the core principles and values that drew me to it,” he explains.

“Alas the attitudes, conduct and misplaced priorities that still dominate decision making in the party has left me convinced that my resources, energy and talent can be put to more productive purpose as an independent Presidential Candidate.”

He, however, wished the CPP well.

Dr Sakara is expected in the coming days to make known his plans towards the elections.

Source: tv3network.com

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NPP calls for immediate reverse of petroleum prices

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described as “unjustified” the recent hike in petroleum prices, calling for a reverse of the decision.

Following the passing of the Energy Sector Levy bill, petroleum prices saw increases between 18 per cent and 27 per cent from January 1, 2016.

The opposition party in a statement signed by Nana Akomea, the Communications Director, said the move by government is “callous, wicked, insensitive and lazy”.

Find the full unedited statement below:

NPP CALLS FOR URGENT AND IMMEDIATE REVIEW OF THE PETROLEUM PRICE

The New Patriotic  Party  (NPP)  urges the government  to immediately  reverse  or review the imposition of  a 27% hike on petroleum products which has seen the price of petrol increase from ghc 12  to over ghc15 a gallon, effective  January  1st 2016. The 27% increase is completely unjustified.  

There are two main determinants of petrol prices: the cedi exchange rate and the price of crude oil. The price of the  cedi exchange rate has been relatively stable, at Ghc3.85, in the  last few months. The price of crude oil  HAS ACTUALLY FALLEN STEEPLY,  from $110 in mid 2014 to $37 today. 

By operation of the automatic petrol price adjustment formula, petrol should  be  selling  at about ghc9 a gallon. Indeed the trend all over the world, including  in the rich countries) has been drastic falls in petrol prices. It is therefore totally baffling that in Ghana, the ndc government has not seen it fit to reduce the price of petroleum products to bring  much needed  relief to  the Ghanaian consumer,  but has ACTUALLY increased the price of petrol by a whopping  27%,  from Ghc 12 a gallon to  nearly ghc16  a gallon.

In effect, the poor consumer does not get the well deserved relief in petrol price, but is actually punished by the government  of ndc by imposition  of higher prices for petrol.

Furthermore, over the  last month  or so, the NDC government has imposed at once,  a  60% increase in tariffs for electricity,  a 67% rise in water tariffs and a 27% rise in petrol price, on the long suffering Ghanaian. 

All these unbearable increases have come on the  back of only a 10% provision  for increment in workers' wages and salaries.

The increases therefore show a callous, wicked,  insensitive and lazy government which quickly, time and again, resorts to using state power to  financially squeeze the poor  Ghanaian consumer. 
Apart from the poor Ghanaian having to eke out to  pay directly the 60%, 67% and 27% increases, the poor taxpayer will still be confronted to eke out further to pay increases in trotro fares, bus fares, school fees, sachet  water,  kenkey,  rent, and for food etc. Businesses  are going to suffer from increases in operating costs, losses in profit and further limiting their ability to expand and create jobs for the  teeming unemployed youth. 

It must be noted that the ndc government has removed all subsidies on petrol prices  by  its operation of  the automatic petrol pricing formula. So when the prices of oil or the dollar increase,  the effect of petrol price  increase has been passed on without  any cushion to the Ghanaian consumer.  But when the price of oil has fallen to its lowest  level in 7 years , the ndc govt has not allowed  the automatic reduction in petrol  price, as per the formula, but has rather imposed new and increased taxes to rather raise the  price of petrol by this whooping 27%.

These taxes, imposed under a certificate of urgency,  include taxes on Ghanaians for a so called " legacy debt"( or Energy Debt Recovery Levy), another Energy Fund Levy, a Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy, a National  Electrification  Scheme Levy , dramatic increases in the  Road Fund  Levy and the Public Lighting Levy !

The preponderance of these taxes and  levies at this time,  in the face of the steep increases in water and electricity tariffs, portray a very uncaring and wicked government,  whose main policy is to impose higher and new taxes on the  long suffering  Ghanaian,  even in  the  face of poor growth in the economy. These government imposed hardships are unfortunate.  

The NPP urges the govt to revisit this issue,  and review the taxes urgently to relieve  the  poor Ghanaian.  The suffering of the people is too much!

Signed

Nana Akomea

Communications Director

Source: tv3network.com

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Ghana’s Parliament is ‘useless’ – law expert

A constitutional law expert, Professor Henry Kwesi Prempeh has taken a swipe at the country’s legislature over its inability to seek the interest of the people in its work.

Commenting on the latest astronomical fuel price increase in the wake of falling crude oil prices, Prof. Prempeh suggested the country’s parliament has become an appendage of the Executive because it has been reduced to merely approving what is presented to it by the government.

“We don't have a parliament; we have two branches of the executive, one for proposing laws and taxes and loans; the other for dutifully approving them,” he stated in a Facebook post.

Prof. Prempeh was equally not happy about comments made by the Chairman of the Finance committee of Parliament, James Klutse Avedzi, to the effect that those who cannot afford the increment should park their private cars and board commercial cars.

Mr. Avedzi who is the Member of Parliament for Ketu North, said on Tuesday: “In UK, not everyone has a car. Many use public transport. Even if we charge 30% on fuel and you can’t pay just park your car. Once you want to use your private car, then you have to pay,”

But this, Prof. Prempeh finds distasteful. “The Chairman of the Finance committee of Parliament, siding with our tax-and-waste government instead of We the People, has told Ghanaians who think the tax-heavy price of petrol is unbearable to park their cars and walk or get on our non-existent London public transportation,” he adds

That notwithstanding, he said he won't be surprised to see Mr. Avedzi re-elected in this year’s polls, saying “But he is sure to get re-elected; no wonder he has little incentive to use his position as MP to represent the interest and concerns of We the People, rather than of the government”.

Prof. Prempeh said as long as the country’s elected and appointed public officials are provided free petrol “for both their official and their private/household use,” they will continue to not feel the pain of ordinary Ghanaians when it comes to things like petroleum pricing (taxation).

The passage of the Energy Sector Levy (ESL) by Parliament last December has caused petroleum prices to go up between 22 and 27 per cent at the pumps; something that has triggered criticism from the public.

Source: tv3network.com

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US Election 2016: Donald Trump questions whether Cruz can be president

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has questioned whether rival candidate Ted Cruz is eligible to become his party's nominee because he was born in Canada.

Mr Trump called it a "very precarious" issue for the party and said that Mr Cruz's nomination could be challenged in court.

Mr Cruz was born in Calgary to an American mother and a Cuban father.

Most legal experts believe Mr Cruz meets the requirements to be president.

The Cruz campaign responded by saying Mr Trump had "jumped the shark" - a pop culture reference to when a TV show or fad has overreached and fallen into decline.

The Texas senator is performing well in polling in the early voting state of Iowa. While Mr Trump leads most polls, several surveys show Mr Cruz is the top choice of likely Republican voters.


Candidates for US president must:

  • be a "natural born citizen" - interpreted as being born in the US or having one parent who is a US citizen
  • be 35 years of age or older
  • live in the US for the past 14 years

Much of Mr Trump's support comes from independents, disillusioned Democrats and people who have never voted before.

Some analysts are predicting that Mr Cruz will win because of how the voting process is structured in Iowa.

The caucus format requires more time and dedication from voters than a typical US primary election.

Before Mr Trump became a presidential candidate, the New York businessman had repeatedly questioned President Barack Obama's citizenship.

Mr Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father.

Authorities in Hawaii and Mr Obama both provided detailed birth records after some conservatives such as Mr Trump questioned where he was born.

Mr Obama's allies have said the "birther" movement was a racist effort to discredit the county's first black president.

Source: bbc.com

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Rejection of new voters’ register: EC must be prepared to bear the heat – NPP

Director of Elections for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, has said the rejection of calls for a new voters’ register by the Electoral Commission (EC) is not surprising because all their actions pointed to the fact they (EC) were not ready for one.

However, he has cautioned the EC to be prepared for the heat that will accompany the decision they’ve taken.

“Deliberately, when you (referring to the Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei) are doing the planned election activities for the year, you managed to think of a possible run-off of the election but the register that you are going to use for the election, you never made room for the budget of a new voters register but you managed to project for a possible a run-off. All these happened three weeks to the final report.”

“Why didn’t you make room for a possible new voters’ register? At no point was the EC ready for a new voters’ register. So, if you look at what has happened so far – both the approach and the actual work and where we are, it is not surprising,” he said in an interview with Fiifi Banson on Kasapa 102.3 FM Monday.

The EC on the eve of the New Year, announced the outright rejection of the call for a new voters’ register, noting that the argument for the call was not convincing.

Instead, the Commission said it “will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general elections through an inclusive and collaborative audit process.”

But Mr. Korsah said what is more worrying was the failure on the part of the EC to give details as to how they are going to clean the current voters’ register which the NPP and some other political parties as well as civil society organizations are contending is bloated.

“So, how are you going to do the so called cleaning that you are talking about ten months to elections, you are joking. You want to take this country for a ride and if we are not careful, you will take us into a ditch and nobody returns.”

“This is very dangerous. If this is the very voters register that they have decided to use for the general elections – then they will get what they want. I don’t see the point.”

He said the party would in the coming days announce to Ghanaians about their stance on the position taken by the EC as far as the call for a new voters’ register is concerned.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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Mahama will lose 2016 elections with or without new voters register – PPP

The Progressive People’s Party(PPP) is contending that the ruling National Democratic Congress(NDC) cannot succeed in suppressing the will of the people ahead of the 2016 elections by dismissing the call for a new voters register.

“It was a predetermined committee formed by the EC, no wonder they came up with such decision. But the point is when the people say they don’t need you, there is nothing you can do to change that;John Mahama will lose the 2016 elections with or without a new voters register, a member of the Communications team of the Party, Charles Owusu told Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.3 FM Monday.

The Electoral Commission has shot down the NPP’s demand for a new voters register ahead of the 2016 general elections, describing as unconvincing the arguments put for the claim of a fresh register.

It said given the problems highlighted by the opposition NPP regarding the current register,it will be preferable to continue engaging stakeholders to ensure a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general elections through an inclusive and collaborative audit process.

But Charles Owusu maintained that the EC’s posture before hand, suggested that they were in bed with the ruling government, insisting that the Electoral body’s position taken won’t make a difference in what Ghanaians have decided on, come November 2016.

The Electoral Commission can even decide to open the borders during election period and allow Togolese and Burkinabes to vote,… John Mahama will still lose 2016 elections”

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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Tetegu elders angry at NPP’s Tina Mensah

The traditional elders of old Tetegu in the Weija-Gbawe constituency are angry at the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary candidate for the area, Tina Mensah, for throwing tantrums on radio about their needs.

The Obuobia Foundation and the African Toilette Foundation last month cut the sod for the construction of a 20-seater water closet toilet facility for the people of Tetegu which is expected to be completed by February, 2016.

However, speaking on Kasapa FM’s afternoon political program ‘Si Me So’, Madam Tina Mensah asserted the people of Tetegu do not need a toilet facility but rather a water project.

Her comment has therefore infuriated  the elders and youth of the town claiming they already have a water project in existence and needed a toilet facility to halt the open defecation exhibited by the inhabitants.

In an interview with Kasapa FM’s Maame Broni, the linguist of old Tetegu, Livingston Atukpa noted that, the elders have had no meeting with Tina Mensah concerning their needs neither do they know the said NPP candidate.

“I was scandalized when she propagated such an untruth on radio and want her to spill out which of the elders she spoke to about our needs. Has she ever met any of us? We don’t even know who the Tina Mensah is though we have heard her name.” he said.

On behalf of the youth, Mawoenyega Atukpa sounded a warning to Tina Mensah not to stampede their development if she wouldn’t help the town.
Checks by Kasapa FM’s Maame Broni show the over 2000 populated town has only one toilet facility belonging to an individual and the citizenry not able to pay for its usage have resorted to open defecation. Right behind the linguist’s house is an illegal refuse dump which also serves as toilet in the open for the people and demands a careful walking style to avoid one stepping into a fecal matter.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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I won’t be the cause of violence in Ghana – Mahama pledges

President John Dramani Mahama has assured Ghanaians of his government’s commitment to ensure credible and peaceful elections to consolidate the country’s democratic credentials.

He has therefore pledged not to be the cause of any political violence in the country.

“Nobody – none of us politicians is greater than Ghana. And so, none of us has the right to weed violence on this country and I hope that is the pledge all of us in the political circles will adapt”, he noted.

President Mahama was speaking at this year’s celebration of ‘Mawulid’ to commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed at Fadama, a suburb of Accra last Sunday.

The event was under the theme “Democracy in a Peaceful Atmosphere”.

Commenting further, he entreated the youth to be wary of the use of the internet and avoid extremist groups that are using to the facility to train and radicalize the vulnerable in society.

“Some of the doctrinal face that preaches violence against fellow human beings are suing the internet as a means of radicalizing young growing minds to accept that doctrine of violence. And so, it is our duty to look out for the signs of radicalization”.

He told the gathering that he is for peace and will forever remain committed to the peace that he has been preaching about over the years.

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Nuhu Ousman Shaributu in his address called on political leaders to practice democracy in a peaceful atmosphere.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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NPP’s claims on voters register untenable – CODEC

Pressure group, Coalition for the Defence of Equal Citizenship (CODEC) has hailed the Electoral Commission for its decision not to compile a fresh voters register ahead of the 2016 elections.

A statement issued and signed by Godwin Edudzi Tameklo, Convener of CODEC said “we at CODEC were very convinced from the very beginning that the allegations made by the NPP through its surrogates groups and other civil society groups definitely did not warrant the complete overhaul of the electoral register.”

It said: “the NPP was fraudulent in its attempt at presenting what it calls evidence to the Electoral Commission. Information reaching us indicates that Burkina Faso’s Electoral Register had no photos and therefore it is impossible to use any facial recognition software to cross-reference subjects.”

It commended the EC for remaining resolute in the pressure by the opposition NPP regarding the voter register brouhaha, and ensuring that facts and proper logical thinking were made to stand at the long run.

The Electoral Commission last week shot down the NPP’s demand for a new voters register ahead of the 2016 general elections, describing as unconvincing the arguments put for the claim of a fresh register.

It said given the problems highlighted by the opposition NPP regarding the current register,it will be preferable to continue engaging stakeholders to ensure a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general elections through an inclusive and collaborative audit process.

Read the full statement by CODEC

CODEC CONGRATULATES THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION FOR ITS CONDUCT IN THE YEAR 2015 AND CALLS FOR THE SUPPORT OF NATIONAL INTEREST OVER PAROCHIAL POLITICAL POLEMICS

CODEC will like to take this unique occasion of the celebration of the New Year to congratulate the Electoral Commission for a good job done in the year 2015 and to wish all Ghanaians a Happy and Prosperous 2016.

On the democratic front, the rash and unjustified attempt to undermine the democratic institutions that form the pillars of the 1992 constitution increased its crescendo to a very alarming degree in the year 2015 and that is quite worrying.

This manifested in hasty attempts by some political activists and civil society groups to literally wash away the reputation of our Electoral Commission and its commitment towards organizing free and fair elections.

From unjustified attacks of the Commission’s performance right down to our current Electoral Register which was biometrically generated we saw the dark hand of destruction at work.

An attempt was made to hoodwink the Electoral Commission and swindle a good number of Ghanaians in the court of public opinion but once again just as the electoral petition presented to the Supreme Court in 2013, the arguments were finally deemed as baseless and highly untenable.

In all these the EC had stayed resolute ensuring that facts and proper logical thinking reigned supreme over emotional outbursts and illogical conclusions which could derail our democratic process and lead to needless expenditure on the limited resourced obtained from the taxpayer.

We at CODEC were very convinced from the very beginning that the allegations made by the NPP through its surrogates groups and other civil society groups definitely did not warrant the complete overhaul of the electoral register.

We also believe as many other Ghanaians and right-thinking civil society groups that the mechanisms inherent within the provisions of the Electoral Law and operations of the EC has the cleansing effect to continuously clean our register.

We would also like to posit that the NPP was fraudulent in its attempt at presenting what it calls evidence to the Electoral Commission. Information reaching us indicates that Burkina Faso’s Electoral Register had no photos and therefore it is impossible to use any facial recognition software to cross-reference subjects.

Their Togo register argument was also very erroneous. We would therefore want to ask the EC to publish copies of their petition with its addenda to prove otherwise.

We would however want to advice those who have made it their duty to attack the EC and weaken its resolve to be independent to remember that our national interest must not be made to pander to the parochial interest of one group or another.

With these few words we will like to set the tone in 2016 towards ensuring our National Security is made steadfast in the year 2016. We will also want to call on all other institutions to perform their mandated constitutional roles even as we approach the crucial time of the 2016 General Elections.

There is no need to fear, or panic; Ghana truly being the shining example on the African continent will definitely have a very uneventful political campaigning period and peaceful elections. We just have to do our part as citizens and governing institutions.

May the new year bring in its wake a sense of national pride and commitment towards protecting our democratic institutions and may all Ghanaians put Ghana first before everything else.
Happy New Year.

Signed.
Godwin Edudzi Kudzo Tameklo
(Convener –
4th January, 2016.

Ali Dawud
(Director of Operations

Jude Atuahene
(Education Coordinator –

 

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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Voters’ register: NPP must accept EC decision – NDC

The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress Koku Anyidoho has urged the largest opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to accept the decision of the Electoral Commission on the call for a new voters’ register.

The NPP has led the course for the compilation of a new voters’ register claiming that the register used for the 2012 election was fraught with anomalies which renders the electoral roll not credible.

The EC constituted an Independent Panel to look into the concerns of the NPP and other like-minded groups on the Voters’ Register but the panel shot down the NPP’s proposal.

In a statement the EC said “The Electoral Commission will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general elections through an inclusive and collaborative audit process.”

“The Panel finds the arguments for a new register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters’ register,” the statement added.

Speaking to Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa Monday, Koku Anyidoho commended the EC for making such a bold decision to decline calls for a new voters’ register.

“We all know that what the NPP were doing was much ado about nothing… the EC has spoken and we respect the decision. We all saw Mac Manu at the EC forum, he failed to make a convincing presentation on why there should be a new register. We thank God that this decision has come very early in the year, it will allow us to focus on other issues”

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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Voter’s Register: EC leading Ghana into a ditch – NPP

The Director of Elections of the New Patriotic Party Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah has accused the Electoral Commission of leading Ghana into a ditch following its decision on the voters register.

He said though the EC has rejected suggestions for a new register and instead opted for an audit, the electoral body has no idea how to clean the register.

The Electoral Commission has declined requests for a new voters’ register based on the recommendations of a five-member panel put together to review concerns raised against the register the New Patriotic Party.

However speaking to Fiifi Banson on Kasapa FM Monday in response to the matter, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah stated that the EC by its actions may foment trouble going into the elections.

“If we are not careful they (EC) will take us into a ditch where we cannot return…whatever they want, they will have it”.

“They are claiming that we rather clean the register but did not indicate how to go about it. Clearly, they have no idea how that cleaning is going to be done. I challenge Charlotte Osei to tell Ghanaians how they’re going to do this. We’re not surprised about the stance taken by the EC as we knew they were not going to do differently from what they have done.”

He, nonetheless, noted that the NPP will come out with its official position on the matter as the party is still studying the response submitted by the EC.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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FULL TEXT: What the NPP wrote to the EC on Voters Register & Their Reply

December 30, 2015
The General-Secretary
The New Patriotic Party
Head office, Accra.

Dear Sir,

REQUESTS FROM THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY FOR A NEW REGISTER

Please find below a recap of the main points made in your letters and submissions; the chronology of relevant events since the receipt of the first letter; and the responses of the Electoral Commission to each of the issues raised by your Party. On the 25th of July, 2015 your Party supported her request for a new voters’ register with the following allegations:

1. That the case of Abu Ramadan and Another vs Electoral Commission and Attorney General disallowed the use of National Health
Insurance Authority (NHIA) Identification Cards as proof of qualification to register, making the use of same for that purpose unconstitutional, void and of no effect.
2. That the EC has refused to undertake proper auditing and comprehensive de-duplication of the 2012 biometric register with the required transparency which stakeholders demanded.

3. That there is disparity in the total number of registered voters provided by the EC at different times during the 2012 election cycle.
4. That analysis of the 2010 population census and the 2012 biometric registration reveal several districts where the number of registered voters is in excess of the total population census figure for those districts.

5. That the 2012 register has a voter population that is 56.2% of the total population of Ghana, which is exceedingly high and unrealistic compared to other African countries.
6. That there are several calls by CSOs and FBOs raising doubts about the credibility of the register used for the 2012 national polls.
A further Petition received on August 18, 2015 contained the
following additional allegations:

1. That there are 76,000 Togolese nationals onGhana’s voters’ register.
2. That the Register contains pictures that have been edited.
3. That about 900 names on an entire polling station contain pictures scanned into system as evidenced by staple marks.
At an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on August 21, 2015, it was agreed by all parties that due to District Level Elections scheduled for September 1, 2015 and the need to hear all stakeholders on the voters’ Register, all interested Parties were to submit their position on the Register by September 22, 2015. Petitions were received from thirty-four stakeholders (including sixteen political parties and many CSOs and citizens of Ghana) and were duly considered and circulated subsequently at the Forum.
On the September 22, 2015 another petition was received from your Party with the following further and additional
allegations:
1. That there are 2096 multiple registrations on the Register, involving:
a. cases of double and multiple registrations with multiple photographs;
b. double and multiple registrations with multiple voter ID numbers;
c. same registration details and photographs in different Polling Stations. On September 22, 2015 the EC announced the setting up of an Independent Panel of Eminent Ghanaians to evaluate all submissions received and examine all allegations arising
therefrom.

On September 30, 2015 the IPAC meeting agreed to hold a public forum on the 29th and 30th October, 2015 in order to
publicly address the issues concerning the Register. The Public Forum, held in the form of a public hearing, was successfully undertaken on those dates.
At the Forum, and on October 29, 2015, your Party made the following additional allegations:
1. That there are Minors, with age zero on the Register; and
2. That there are no residential addresses provided on the Register.
In addition, on October 3, 2015, with donor support, the Electoral Commission procured the services of an independent consultant to examine the Biometric Voters Register. October 19, 2015 the Commission wrote to the NPP to request for a copy of the Togolese register and the Shikakope Register used in the analysis contained in their petition of August 18,2015.
Again, on 6 November 2015, the Commission received a response from the NPP submitting a soft copy of the Togo register and the Shikakope register dated September 1, 2015. The Commission again wrote to the Togolese EC on November 10, 2015, requesting a copy of the Togolese register for examination.

The Commission again on November 11, 2015 wrote to the NPP seeking clarification from the NPP on the Shikakope Register dated September 1, 2015 which was the basis for the petition of 18 August, 2015 and further requested for an update on the analysis of Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso registers as stated in the NPP petition of August 18, 2015. In a meeting on November 18, 2015 with officials of the NPP, the party clarified the register used for the Shikakope analysis and further confirmed that there was no further update on theanalysis on the Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire registers.

On November 21, 2015, a second version of the Shikakope register was submitted by the NPP. The EC on November 24, 2015 submitted another request to the Togolese EC for verification of the Togolese register
provided by the NPP.

On November 27, 2015, the EC received a response from the Togo EC stating that they were unable to confirm the authenticity of the register submitted by the NPP as the Togolese register is a security document containing the private
information of Togolese citizens. Finally, on December 15, 2015, the EC received the final report from the Consultant on the Independent Review of the Biometric Voters’ Register and on December 21, 2015, the final report from the independent panel of Eminent Ghanaians set up to look into the issue.
Following the receipt of the report of the Panel, the EC informed IPAC on December 22, 2015 of the receipt of the
report and requested time to study the report and revert to IPAC and the general public on the Commission’s position
and the contents of the Panel’s report.

EC RESPONSE AND OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATIONS INTO CLAIMS AND ALLEGATIONS MADE BY THE NPP
Allegation 1: Abu Ramadan and Anor vs Electoral Commission & Attorney General disallowed the use of NHIA cards as proof of qualification to register making the use of same for that purpose unconstitutional, void and of no effect.
EC position:
In the Abu Ramadan case, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of NHIA cards, in their current form, was insufficient as proof of citizenship and consequently, the Electoral Commission (EC) was directed to stop accepting same as proof of citizenship for voter registration exercises. Nowhere in the ruling did the Supreme court nullify all registrations by voters who presented NHIA cards as proof of citizenship. The Court in the course of the proceedings, declined the plaintiff’s request to cancel all such registrations. The EC shares the view of the SC that it would be fair and proper for all such persons to also be heard prior to the invalidation of their registration. The view of the EC is therefore that the Abu Ramadan ruling cannot be the basis for the creation of a new register. The
current challenge procedures under CI 72 are sufficient to deal with all registered voters who presented NHIA cards as proof of citizenship. Such voters must also be given the opportunity to present additional proof of citizenship if available, before
they are struck off the register.

Allegation 2: EC has refused to undertake proper auditing and comprehensive de-duplication of the 2012 biometric register with the required transparency which stakeholders demanded.
EC position:
Guided by the need for stakeholder cooperation and support, the EC compiled the Biometric Register with extensive interactions with the political parties. Discussions covered issues of procurement, field operations and the exhibition of the register throughout 2011 and 2012. Political parties provided representation on the technical and legal committees that considered and drafted the appropriate laws for the registration and the verification of voters. The EC displayed the Provisional Voters Register (PVR) in all registration centers after the mass registration in 2012 and in 2014 after the limited registration, to offer voters and persons qualified to be registered the opportunity to:
• Verify particulars
• Object to ineligible names in the PVR.
Additional to the verification of voters, Stakeholders (Politica lParties)
• participated in adjudication of registration challenges through the district registration review committee
• participated in adjudication of suspected cases of multiple registrations after de-duplication
• objected against inclusion of names in the register during exhibition of the PVR.
After the 2012 elections, the software has also been upgraded to ensure de-duplication using the biometric data as well as biographic data of voters. Accordingly, it is the view of the EC, that working with the political parties, the register has been progressively updated and de-duplicated since 2012. Over 150,000 names have been removed and the EC will continue to work with the political parties and all stakeholders to clean the register and undertake further de-duplication. The allegation by the NPP is therefore inaccurate.
Allegation 3: Disparity in the total number of registered voters provided by the EC at different times during the 2012 election cycle.
EC position:

The process of compiling the voters’ register is divided into 4 stages;
• Stage 1: Collection of biographic data (using polling stations as registration centers)
• Stage 2: Compilation of the Provisional Voters Register (PVR) from collected data
• Stage 3: Exhibition of the PVR (for scrutiny, correction of personal details, inclusions and objections)
• Stage 4: Production of the Final Voters Register (after corrections arising from the exhibition). This clearly means that until all the stages have been completed, all figures related to the register are provisional. In many cases the stages overlap due to the duration of adjudication of challenges and objections after registration (stage 1) and Exhibition (stage3). Indeed in a few cases requests are made for inclusion just before the production of the PVR and being mindful of the ruling of the Tehn Addy case, the Commission usually takes action on requests when possible. The practice is to provide information on the voter numbers, as the EC goes through the various stages, to the political parties. In the case of the compilation of the 2012 Biometric Voter Register the process was as follows;
Stage 1:
In a briefing to Parliament after collecting the biographic data of applicants’ in the mass registration, the Chairman of the EC reported the results of the registration as follows;
i) Mass registration (4 phases) 24th March – 5th
May 2012
PHASE TOTAL
1 4,817,561
2 3,710,076
3 2,871,530
4 2,229,650
Total 13,628,817
ii) Registration of Prisoners
REGION      # of INMATES               REGISTERED
Western          1,268                              28
Central              1,687                           35
Greater Accra      352                            36
Volta                 879                              2
Eastern             4415                            201
Ashanti             2612                            88
Brong Ahafo     1093                             24
Northern          497                               30
Upper East       229                               28
Upper West        199                             4
Total               13,231                         476
iii) Mop –up Registration
REGION                                   CENTERS VOTERS
Western                                        4,660
Greater Accra                                1,555
Volta                                             237
Eastern                                         149
Ashanti                                         1,185
Northern                                       6,178
Upper East                                    2,506
Upper West                                   342
Total                                           16,812
He further stated that he expected the total figures to go up because of wrongly coded entries and planned late
registrations that was to cover:
• Ghanaians abroad who were eligible for registration (Security Personnel on peace-keeping duties, diplomats and students on government scholarship)
• Persons whose registrations were challenged and were under review

Stages 2 and 3

Following de-duplication and correction of the several wrongly coded entries recorded during registration, a PVR with total registered Voters of14,060,573 was displayed at all
registration centers. During the Exhibition 8,955,882 voters representing63.7% visited their centers to check their personal details in the register. The addition of late registrations and receipt of substantial returns from the adjudication of registration challenges and exhibition objections increased the number of registered voters on the PVR to 14,158,890.
Stage 4;
The total number of registered Voters for the FVR was 14,031,793. This outcome was as a result of the final decisions to recommend inclusions/deletions from the various adjudication committees across the country. Consequently, only one register was used by the EC for the 2012 elections and the EC did not present different registers to political parties during the election cycle.
Allegation 4: Analysis of the 2010 population census and the 2012 biometric registration reveal several districts where number of registered voters are in excess of the total population census figure for those districts.
EC position:
The general connection of a Population Census to Biometric Voters’ Registration is the usefulness of the census results in providing a basis for the planning decisions in a voter registration exercise.
Questions such as:
• Where to locate registration centers?
• What are the number of applicants to expect at the various centers?
• What quantity of materials to distribute to the various centers? are usually answered by checking with the latest Housing and Population census figures. The projections calculated from these base figures help in the planning effort. A simple comparison of registration numbers and census figures at the district and constituency level even in the same year may not result in the same outcomes. In the case of the 2010 Census and the 2012 Biometric Registration, the difference in figures in all the districts in Ghana may be on account of the following;
• Population growth (estimated annual growth rate for Ghana is 2.5%)
• Tendency of voters and candidates to go to their home towns and districts to register
• Draw of new economic activities
• Non-comprehensive nature of census (based on estimates)
• Transfers and postings of Public Officers, teachers, security personnel, etc.

The EC is therefore of the view that this allegation cannot be the basis for the creation of a new register.

 

Allegation 5: 2012 register has a voter population that is 56.2% of the total population of Ghana, which is
exceedingly high and unrealistic compared to other African countries

EC position:
The measure of Voter Population of a country depends usually on the following factors; voting age, demography of country,
political environment and coverage, laws guiding Voter registration exercises and other socio-economic factors. These determinants differ from country to country and as such simply comparing voter populations without situating the figures properly within context, does not provide a clear picture of the situation.
In comparing 2015 figures from Ghana, South Africa and Kenya, the voter populations of the countries were measured
as follows:

EC npp response-31-12-15.docx
The reasons for Ghana’s relatively high score are:
• Processes for challenging registration of prospective voters in other jurisdictions are more effective.
• The voter ID card is the de-facto national ID card in Ghana, hence the higher numbers due to enhanced demand for it as a means of identification.
• The existence of a compulsory national ID system in most comparative countries.
• No automatic linkages of voter registration to the births and deaths registry in Ghana, hence a high number of deceased persons still on the register. Consequently, an alleged high percentage of voters on Ghana’s register simpliciter cannot be the basis for the creation of a new register.
Allegation 6: Calls by CSOs and FBOs for a new Register raising doubts about the credibility of the Register used for the 2012 polls.
EC position:
CSOs and FBOs who raised doubts about the register, based their calls largely on the submissions and allegations made in the media by the NPP and other affiliate groups. Indeed at the Voters’ Register Forum, most of the political parties and CSOs were inclined towards a cleaning of the current register rather than the creation of a new register. Further, whilst acknowledging the immense contribution of CSOs and FBOs to our national governance, the Commission is of the view that critical decisions to be made by the Commission should be based on the national interest and sound bases and not merely public calls by CSOs and FBOs
for particular outcomes, however well intentioned they may be. It is the considered view of the Commission, that allegations made by all stakeholders must be examined and subjected to requisite analysis, and so mere allegations and doubts on the credibility of the Register should not be the basis for the creation of a new register.
Allegation 7: 76,000 Togolese on Ghana’s voter register
EC position:
In examining the identity and status of the 76,000 Togolese alleged to be on Ghana’s Register, the EC found that they were all duly registered during the mass registration period in 2012. Most of the voters were registered in districts in the Volta and Northern Regions. These districts include Keta, Ketu South, Ketu North, Akatsi South, Akatsi North, Adaklu, Agotime Ziope, Ho Municipality, Kpando Municipality and Tatale/Sanguli. Our conclusion from this examination is that the voters are duly qualified under the laws of Ghana to be on Ghana’s Register. The NPP did not provide any proof of the citizenship status of these persons and did not show any proof that they were not entitled to be registered in Ghana. Registration on the register of another country, under the current laws of Ghana, does not take away one’s eligibility to be on the Ghanaian Register.

The Commission was also unable to confirm the authenticity of the Togolese Register used by the NPP in their analysis as the Electoral Commission of Togo declined to provide the EC with a copy of its register or confirm the authenticity of the soft copy of the register used by the NPP. It is important to observe that in the petition of the NPP dated August 18, 2015, the party claimed to have based its analysis on copies of the register displayed in Togo prior to their elections. However, upon request from the EC for the register used in the analysis, the NPP presented a soft copy of the Togo Register which the Togolese Electoral Commission says it had not given out to any third parties.
Finally, Ghana’s Constitution permits dual nationality and admits the possibility of acquiring citizenship through many modes such as naturalization, adoption, and marriage. It would therefore be improper and unconstitutional to simply remove the names of persons on the register on the mere allegation that they appear on the register of another country without giving them the opportunity to provide proof of their citizenship of Ghana. Seeking to remove names of persons who appear on the registers of Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire in our view, would be an arbitrary and discriminatory application of the law. Would the Commission therefore be required to obtain the registers of all countries of the world and remove the names of persons who appear on such registers as well as Ghana’s? Further, at a subsequent meeting between the Commission and the NPP on November 18 2015, the NPP stated that it could not provide an update on the analysis of the Togolese register (which in the party’s petition of August 18, 2015 the party claimed only ten percent of the analysis had been completed). At the said meeting, the NPP also informed the Commission that it had discontinued the analyses of the Burkinabe and Ivorian Voter Registers. It is the view of the EC that the allegation by the NPP regarding the presence of 76,000 Togolese on Ghana’s Register is therefore unsubstantiated and not supported by the citizenship laws of Ghana.
Allegation 8: Edited pictures on register
EC position:
The Biometric Register has multiple layers of data protection and integrity assurance and does not permit the possibility of pictures on the register being edited. The consultant’s report on the Independent Review of the Biometric Voters Register also supports the position that this is not possible and that the system has adequate integrity and has not been compromised. We would be happy to share the Consultant’s report with the NPP.

Allegation 9: About 900 names on an entire polling station with pictures scanned into system as evidenced by staple marks .
EC position:
It is untrue that all the registrations at the Shikakope- Apekuitome Polling Station are fictitious. It is further untrue that there are staple marks on the pictures and that these pictures were scanned into the system. Two holes in the Red background cloth used for capturing photos during the mass registration period in 2012 have been mistaken or alleged by the NPP to be staple pin marks
observed in the register of Shikakope- Apekuitome Polling Station(D020902) in the Ketu South district. An enlargement of the pictures clearly shows the holes in the red cloth used as background for the photos during the registration exercise. Further checks in the voter registration database confirm the voters were properly and legally registered. Their forms 1A and 1C are available for inspection. The NPP also had agents at the registration centres during the registration exercise. Further, their full biometric and biographic information are available on the system, as well as the dates and times of registration. A few samples from the register are inserted below (names have been removed to protect privacy of voters).
In addition, the independent BVR expert brought in by theCommission has confirmed the validity of these registrations, the integrity of the BVR system and that further, photos cannot be scanned into the system to create a voter registration. All registrations must be generated via the BVR kits, with live pictures.

 

Voter ID: 9592014428
REGISTRATION DATE: 05-05-2012 7:49:17 AM
Full Name: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Polling Station Code : D020902

EC npp response-31-12-15.docx

Allegation 10: Cases of double and multiple registrations with multiple photographs.
EC position:
It has been demonstrated that the system was capable of removing over 150,000 multiple registrations from the register. It was further demonstrated that there is a clear, multi-level transparent procedure of Adjudication when humans check the machines’ findings. It was also demonstrated that there are very few cases of multiple registrations which resulted from either: Human error, system allowed error margin or insufficient biometric data (no fingerprints were captured or low quality fingerprints). The magnitude of multiple registrations in the current Register is very acceptable by any standard (estimated at hundreds in the entire register of 14.8 million people). The register does not have the multiple registration challenge that is being alleged. As stated in several fora by the Commission, there are a few cases of multiple registrations still in the register. These duplicates are in the register for the following reasons:
• Accuracy level of AFIS (the biometric software) engine is 99.98% (as per specifications)
• Insufficient Biometric data (Voters who registered with less than 6 fingers)
• Low quality fingerprints
• Human error during Adjudication processes The EC has introduced programmes to eliminate these multiple registrations. These include:
• Installation of a De-duplication system that matches biometric and biographic data. This ensures that duplicates of Voters with no (or insufficient) biometric data are detected during exhibition of the register.
• Upgrading of AFIS (software) and Voter Registration systems
• Establishing a better adjudication process with the assistance of political parties at IPAC. In our view, 2,096 alleged multiple registrations out of over 14 million entries are in line with duplicates expected to pass through the system. A percentage of less than 0.02% should not be the basis for the replacement of the entire Register.
Allegation 11: Double and multiple registrations with multiple voter ID numbers;
EC position:
This is a false allegation as shown below. And cases of multiple registrations, have been explained in the preceding Allegation.

EC npp response-31-12-15.docx

 

EC npp response-31-12-15.docx

EC npp response-31-12-15.docx

Allegation 12: Same registration details and photographs in different Polling Stations.
EC position:
This is a clear case of multiple registration with systems in place and appropriate facilities to detect and expunge

.
Allegation 13: Minors with age zero on register
EC position:
A software bug in the voter registration program caused the system to produce these incorrect entries. The error affected 120 entries. The bug has been found and fixed. A software bug affecting 120 entries in a register with over 14 million entries cannot in our view be the basis for the creation of a new register.
Allegation 14: No residential addresses on register
EC position:
The EC collects residential addresses of all applicants during registration. The aim for collecting this data is to make it available to political parties and the public for purposes of campaigning and cleaning of the roll. Concerns about handing over addresses of every adult Ghanaian to third parties have stalled its publication. The Commission is studying the issues of privacy as against its desire to have it published as expressed in law to make a

EC npp response-31-12-15.docx

determination that will be satisfactory to all parties.
CONCLUSION
It is the considered view of the Electoral Commission that a good case for the need for a new Register has not been made
by the NPP. The Commission further wishes to point out that the 2012 Register was created with the active collaboration of all political stakeholders in Ghana. Indeed, the NPP contested the 2012 general elections on the basis of the same register and filed a Supreme Court petition against the outcome of the presidential election as declared by the EC. In that petition, the NPP sought for its candidate be declared the winner of the 2012 presidential elections contested on the very same Register. The NPP as well as other political parties collaborated with the EC in the process of updating the Register during the 2014 limited registration and exhibition process. That process essentially updated the 2012 Biometric register which the NPP now alleges to be flawed. In addition, the NPP and other political parties contested the recent Talensi and Amenfi-West by-elections and expressed confidence in the outcomes of both elections, based on the current Register. Further, 19,527 citizens of Ghana contested the 2015 district assembly elections, and 39,682 candidates contested the 2015 unit committee elections based on the current register. The Commission received no complaints on the quality of the Register during these by-elections and the District Assembly Elections.
Finally, the request for a new Register makes no recommendations on the process to be adopted in creating a new Register to ensure that the results to be produced would be different from the current Register. In addition, preparing a new register implies that the existing Voters ID and the attestation of new registers by existing voters would be unacceptable as this would essentially import
the alleged flaws of the existing register on to the new Register. It would therefore be important to ensure that citizens who intend to register and do not have valid Ghanaian passports, drivers’ licenses and National Identity cards have a means of identifying themselves. The NPP has not made any recommendations that would ensure that many citizens of Ghana are not unduly disenfranchised in the process of creating a new Register. From all the foregoing, the Electoral Commission is of the view that the current Biometric cannot therefore by any measure be said to be “incurably flawed” and not fit for purpose. The Commission posits further that a case for the need for a new Register has not been convincingly made. The Commission welcomes the opportunity to work with all stakeholders, including the NPP, to ensure that an even more credible Register is available for the 2016 elections and
towards a peaceful, transparent and inclusive electoral process in 2016.
DATED IN ACCRA, 30th DECEMBER, 2015

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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I would have kicked against Nyaho Tamakloe’s suspension if …- John Boadu

The Acting National Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) John Boadu has said the suspension of Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, a founding member of the party, came to him as a surprise.

According to him, he would have kicked against the suspension if he had earlier gotten wind of the intended punitive measure.

The decision to suspend Dr Tamakloe was taken by the Regional Chairman of the party Ishmael Ashitey following a petition brought before the party by a member in the Ayawaso Constituency.

The petitioner, Stephen Asante, accused Dr Tamakloe of conducting himself in a way that undermined the peace and unity within the party.

Dr Tamakloe is alleged to have attacked the party’s flagbearer of not doing enough to resolve the crisis in the party which has led to the suspension of three national officers including the Chairman, Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong.

The Regional Chairman Ishmael Ashitey wrote to Dr Tamakloe, announcing his suspension from the party. The Regional executives are however yet to hear the side of Dr Nyaho Tamakloe.

The suspension letter in part, says a committee has been set up by the Regional Executive which will investigate the matter and give Dr Tamakloe an opportunity to respond to the claims made against him.

But speaking to Fiifi Banson on Kasapa FM, Mr John Boadu stated that though he supports maintaining discipline in the party at all times, it is important that the party takes a look at the punitive measures being taken against indisciplined members of the party.

“The suspension of Nyaho Tamakloe took me by surprise, if I had known about it earlier; I wouldn’t have advised that considering the timing. We had taken some of these disciplinary measures against some members who misconducted themselves just before last year ended.”

He added: “I have asked all the regional executives across the country to furnish us with the status of all disciplinary cases before them so that going forward the party will know how handle these  matters.”

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana

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NPP Adopts Room-To-Room Campaign At Manhyia South

Executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Manhyia South Constituency in Kumasi have launched an election campaign dubbed, ‘Room-to-Room geared towards increasing the party’s votes in the area.

Announcing the new campaign, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the NPP MP for Manhyia South, said the ‘house-to-house’ campaign of the party in his constituency during the 2012 electioneering season could not help the NPP to win the polls.

He stated that the NPP therefore decided to launch the ‘room-to-room’ campaign in 2016 because it has the potential of helping the party to attract more votes for Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP presidential candidate, to become president of Ghana in this year’s general elections.

As part of the new campaign strategy, the Manhyia South MP, popularly known as ‘Napo’, said the constituency executives would be divided into groups and assigned various areas.

According to him, each group would be given a number of households where they would enter rooms of the inhabitants and thoroughly explain the plans of Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP to transform Ghana in the coming years.

“In 2012, we adopted house-to-house campaign and even though it was effective then, the NPP could not win the presidential elections to implement better programmes to expedite Ghana’s development.

“In 2016, we are going for what I term as ‘room-to-room’ campaign, whereby party executives, including myself, are supposed to enter rooms of individuals to market the NPP to the electorate so that we will win the elections massively.”

Napo made the statement at Dichemso Electoral Area during his famous ‘Meet Your MP’, programme, which has so far led him to most electoral areas in Manhyia South Constituency to interact with his constituents.

Ghana is on its way into the abyss due to bad governing style of the NDC administration and NPP members across the country should take the impending election very seriously by campaigning vigorously for Nana Akufo-Addo.

According to him, Nana Akufo-Addo is the only hope for Ghana therefore the citizenry, notably NPP members, should support Nana Addo with their resources, energy and time so that he would win the polls and restore hope to Ghanaians.

Source: Daily Guide

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The Noise Makers Should Shut Up - Says Wereko-Brobby

Suspended member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby has described as 'needless' the decision by some political parties and pressure groups to compel the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voter’s register for this year’s general elections.

According to him, any attempt to resort to the law court to force the Commission to compile a new electoral roll will be an exercise in futility.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby's comment is in reaction to a threat by pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) to seek legal redress if the Commission fails to heed to their call.

The EC’s decision to keep the current register is consistent with a report by a five-member committee it set up to deliberate proposals for a new voters’ register.

The committee among other things says it "finds the arguments for a new register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters’ register."

But National Coordinator of the pressure group, David Asante insists the current register is flawed hence will use all legal means to have it changed.

Speaking on Asempa FM Monday, Dr. Wereko-Brobby said the pressure group has no locus to demand the EC change the register.

In his view, the Commission is an independent body therefore no group or political party can compel it to do its bidden.

“All the people making noise for a new voters register have no locus; they should shut up” he fumed.

Tarzan as he is popularly called opined that not even the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) can put pressure on the EC to change the register.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby urged pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) pressure groups like Let My Vote Count Alliance to stop the "empty noise" and concentrate on helping the party win power.

Source: adomonline.com

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Political Parties Divided Over EC's Decision Not To Compile New Voters' Register

Political parties are divided over the EC's decision not to compile a new voters' register following the recommendations of the five member Committee headed by Justice VCRAC Crabbe to look into allegations of a bloated register.

The NPP had alleged that there are over 75,000 foreign names in the Voters' register and called for a new one to be compiled for this year’s elections.

This prompted the Electoral Commission to set up a five member Committee to receive and compile submissions by political parties, Civil Society groups and individuals.

According to the Electoral Commission, the Committee found the arguments for a new voters' register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters' register.

The Commission says it accepts the five member committee recommendations and will engage stakeholders to rather audit the voters' register.

According to the NDC who were against getting a new voters’ register, they have been vindicated.

But the Progressive Peoples Party's General Secretary, Kofi Asamoah Siaw says the decision by the EC may affect the credibility of this year's elections.

The Flagbearer of the PNC, Dr Edward Mahama says the PNC will meet to take a decision on the outcome of the EC's position to come out with an audited voters' register.

Dr Mahama told Radio Ghana that he thought the EC would have come out with a new voters' register which would be acceptable to all parties involved in the 2016 general elections.

On what he is doing to bring party faithful together, Dr Mahama said a general meeting is being planned to discuss how to unite the party.

Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee of the NPP is meeting on the EC's decision not to compile a new voter's register for this year's elections.

A source at the party's headquarters told Radio Ghana that the NPP will soon organize a media briefing or issue a statement on its position after Monday's meeting.

The EC last year issued a statement that was based on the recommendation of the five member committee that supervised the public forum on the call for a new voters' register.

The EC says it is not going to compile a new one but rather audit the old register.

In a related development, Pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance says it rejects the five member committee report that recommended that the EC should not compile a new voters’ register but to audit the old one.

The convener and leader of the Let My Vote Count Alliance, David Asante says the group is going to stage a number of protests and finally head to the court to compel the EC to rescind its decision.

Source: GBC

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Let Ghanaians Know What EC Told You – Ben Ephson Uges NPP

Pollster Ben Ephson has commended the Electoral Commission(EC) for duly replying the opposition New Patriotic Party in its 25 page report to the party regarding the contention on the current voters register.

Ephson said the commission did a good job by handing such document that contains detailed response of why a decision that dismisses the call for a new voters roll was taken at the long run.

The EC has announced that arguments for a new register were unconvincing, and cannot be accepted.

 
The committee set up by the Electoral Commission to look into proposals for a new voters’ register shot down the arguments for a new register, and emphasised that such arguments does not sound convincing and won’t be a better course for the country.

Commenting on the EC’s position taken on the voters register in an interaction with Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.3 FM Monday, Ephson believes due diligence was done in the decision taken on the voters register.

“I’m not surprised at all the decision taken by the EC on the voters register. And even more revealing is the 25 page report to the NPP by the EC. The EC did a professional job by replying to the NPP, along side the press release to the public.

“I’m just hoping the NPP will be fair to all Ghanaians and those who supported their decision, and disseminate the reply with the same vigour and alacrity it has had in its campaign for a new voters register.”

Source: kasapafmonline.com

 

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Turkey urges calm in Saudi-Iran dispute

Turkey's government has urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to calm their diplomatic row, saying the dispute will only worsen regional tensions.

Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus said the Middle East was "already a powder keg".

He criticised attacks on Saudi missions in Iran but also Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shia Muslim cleric, which triggered the dispute.

Saudi Arabia has broken off diplomatic relations with Iran and is cutting trade and air links.

On Monday, some of Riyadh's allies joined diplomatic action against Iran.

The US has also called on both countries to calm the escalating row.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are respectively the key Sunni Muslim and Shia powers in the region and back opposing sides in Syria and Yemen.

Great rivalry explained: Why don't Iran and Saudi Arabia get along?

Spiralling tensions: Why crisis is 'most dangerous for decades'

How row is playing out: Iran and Saudi media reaction

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr: Who was leading Saudi Shia cleric?

"We want both countries to immediately move away from the situation of tension that will obviously only add to the already severe tensions existing in the Middle East," Mr Kurtulmus was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

"The region is already a powder keg. Enough is enough. We need peace in the region."

He called on Iran to protect all diplomatic missions and said that Turkey was against "all instances of capital punishment especially when it is politically motivated".

"For us it is not possible to support capital punishment by any country," he added.

"Saudi Arabia and Iran are our friends and we don't want them fighting because that's the last thing this region needs."


Sunni-Shia divide

  • The split arises from a dispute soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 over who should lead the Muslim community
  • Sunnis are estimated to make up between 85% and 90% of Muslims
  • Though the two branches have co-existed for centuries and share many fundamental beliefs and practices, differences lie in the fields of doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organisation

Sunnis and Shia: Islam's ancient schism


On Saturday, Saudi Arabia executed cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others after they were convicted of terror-related offences.

The move prompted an angry reaction from Iran. Protesters set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran and a consulate in the city of Mashhad before being driven back by police.

Riot police outside Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 3 Jan 2016

Saudi Arabia announced late on Sunday that it was cutting diplomatic relations with Iran after the storming of the embassy in Tehran.

It said all commercial and air traffic links were being cut and that Saudi citizens were banned from travelling to Iran.

Saudi UN ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi said on Monday that the dispute could be resolved if Iran stopped "interfering in the affairs of other countries, including our own".

Riyadh has previously accused Iran of interfering in Arab affairs.

Speaking in New York, Mr Mouallimi said peace efforts in Syria and Yemen should not be affected by the spat but criticised Iran's contribution to the process.

"The Iranians even before the break of diplomatic relations have not been very supportive, not very positive in these peace efforts," he said.

"They have been taking provocative and negative positions... and I don't think the break in relations is going to dissuade them from such behaviour."

Bahrain and Sudan also severed relations with Iran on Monday, and the UAE has downgraded its diplomatic team.

Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni monarchy but has a majority Shia population, gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the country.

Youths in western Shia village of Karzakan, Bahrain. block streets during protests against Saudi Arabia's execution of Shia cleric. 4 Jan 2016

The Sudanese foreign ministry said its action was on response to "the barbaric attacks on the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad".

On Monday, a White House spokesman called on both countries to "show some restraint and to not further inflame tensions that are on quite vivid display in the region".

But Iran's foreign ministry accused the Saudis of "continuing the policy of increasing tension and clashes in the region".

The row also affected global markets, sending oil and gold prices higher on Monday.

Source: bbc.com

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Barack Obama takes action over US gun laws

US President Barack Obama is to widen background checks on buyers of firearms, in a series of measures to address gun violence.

The plans will be announced on Tuesday by the president, despite opposition from Congress to new gun laws.

All sellers who operate online or at gun shows will be forced to conduct background checks on potential buyers.

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said he would fight the executive actions "tooth and nail".

But Mr Obama says his new measures will be within his legal authority and consistent with the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to bear arms.

And while they will not solve every violent crime in the US, he said they will potentially "save lives and spare families the pain" of loss.

Under the plan announced on Monday evening by the White House:

  • All sellers must be licensed and conduct background checks, overturning current exemptions to some online and gun show sellers
  • States must provide information on people disqualified due to mental illness or domestic violence
  • FBI will increase workforce processing background checks by 50%, hiring more than 230 new examiners
  • Congress will be asked to invest $500m (£339m) to improve access to mental healthcare
  • The departments of defence, justice and homeland security will explore "smart gun technology" to improve gun safety

Earlier on Monday, the president heard recommendations from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and other top law enforcement officials.

He told the BBC last year his failure to pass effective gun laws was his biggest regret.


At a gun show - North America editor Jon Sopel

One charming man I spoke to had a stall of fine old pieces, including a Remington rifle from the 1970s. Because he wasn't registered, all I had to do was show him a driver's licence - and answer this question: am I a felon or mad?

Say no to that, and all I had to do was hand over the cash and the gun was mine with as much ammunition as I could carry. And as he pointed out to me, if I lied, how would he know?

There were also individuals walking around the show carrying rifles and revolvers, with flags coming out of the muzzle saying "for sale" - again no restrictions at all for people who just wanted to flog their old firearm.

These are some of the issues that the president wants to address with his executive action.

Read Jon's piece in full


More on US gun debate

Why Obama is powerless - the roadblock at Congress

Are you mad or criminal? - the question a gun seller asks

Texas women and their firearms - a photographer taught to shoot at an early age

Do tighter gun laws work? - a state where guns are a way of life

Guns at home - the question parents hate to ask before a playdate

Source: bbc.com

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What for? Ghana needs more than 275 MPs in Parliament – Madina MP

Member of Parliament for Madina, Alhaji Amadu Sorogo has described as needless, calls for the current 275 membership of parliament to be cut to 150.

According to him, the increasing population needs to corroborate with the number of legislators.

The Ablekuma South MP, Fritz Baffour, had earlier suggested Ghana required only 150 legislators to make laws, explaining that the membership of the House is too high for a country like Ghana.

The Madina legislator, Alhaji Amadu Sorogo, however disagreed with Mr Baffour in an interview with Citi News, saying an increase in the number of seats was rather needed due to population increase.

“Ideally, one MP must be able to take care of about 50,000,” Mr Sorogo argued.

On the question of the effectiveness of MPs, Mr Sorogo said the availability of the Job 600 complex providing the MPs with offices will now help in establishing the effectiveness of parliamentarians.

He also pointed out the MPs didn’t have to be overly vocal to be perceived as doing their work.

“There fact that a lot of parliamentarians are in parliament and you don’t hear them talk does not mean they are not working because the work of parliament does not lie only on the floor of the house.”

Mr Sorogo further stated, “Now that we now have offices, you can now measure the effectiveness of the members of parliament. Formerly you could hind behind ad say there were no offices… but now we have office so let us move ahead and with time it will become clear I we have to reduce it or we still maintain it.”


Source: citifmonline.com

Member of Parliament for Madina, Alhaji Amadu Sorogo has described as needless, calls for the current 275 membership of parliament to be cut to 150.

According to him, the increasing population needs to corroborate with the number of legislators.

The Ablekuma South MP, Fritz Baffour, had earlier suggested Ghana required only 150 legislators to make laws, explaining that the membership of the House is too high for a country like Ghana.

The Madina legislator, Alhaji Amadu Sorogo, however disagreed with Mr Baffour in an interview with Citi News, saying an increase in the number of seats was rather needed due to population increase.

“Ideally, one MP must be able to take care of about 50,000,” Mr Sorogo argued.

On the question of the effectiveness of MPs, Mr Sorogo said the availability of the Job 600 complex providing the MPs with offices will now help in establishing the effectiveness of parliamentarians.

- See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2016/01/02/ghana-needs-more-than-275-mps-in-parliament-madina-mp/#sthash.uYSSm4nX.dpuf
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Finally: Gov’t to deal with corruption allegations by NPP

The Deputy Chief of Staff says a plan to tackle accusations of inflated figures for development projects and other perceived corruption in Government will soon be set in motion.

Johnny Osei Kofi says government has begun compiling responses to set the records straight on corruption issues raised by the opposition New Patriotic Party in 2015.

Although he would not mention the specifics, he told Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor the defence would be detailed.

“What we have not done is to take centre stage and let the people know the huge, huge positives that we have. But the little things that the opposition would pick, they want to blow it up. Even those that are untrue,” the Deputy Chief of Staff said.

He was speaking to Luv News during a cleanup exercise at Ayigya in Kumasi.

“We are cataloguing all these things and very soon would come up then show where the lies are,” he said.

Johnny Osei Kofi said although NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, falsely accused government of inflating cost for the Kasoa Interchange project the opposition leader has not come to apologise even though facts that emerged later prove he was wrong.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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LMVCA mulls court action to force EC to compile new electoral roll

Pro-NPP pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA), says it may turn to the courts to compel the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voter’s register.

The pressure group’s decision is in reaction to the EC’s refusal to change the current electoral roll.

National Coordinator of the pressure group, David Asante, says the group is bent on pushing their demands until they hear something favourable.

The pressure group held a huge protest last year to get the EC to change the current register.

David Asante says the courts will be the group’s next resort.

The EC rejected the call for a new register, saying the pro-NPP group has not provided enough evidence that the current register is not credible.

The EC’s decision to keep the current register is consistent with a report by a five-member committee it set up to deliberate proposals for a new voters’ register.

The committee among other things says it "finds the arguments for a new register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters’ register."

The Commission in a statement signed by Christian Owusu-Parry, Acting Director of Public Affairs at the EC, said it “accepts the recommendations of the panel and will progressively implement the recommendations made therein.”


Source: myjoyonline.com

The pressure group held a huge protest last year to get the EC to change the current register.

David Asante says the courts will be the group’s next resort.

The EC rejected the call for a new register, saying the pro-NPP group has not provided enough evidence that the current register is not credible.

The EC’s decision to keep the current register is consistent with a report by a five-member committee it set up to deliberate proposals for a new voters’ register.

The committee among other things says it "finds the arguments for a new register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters’ register."

The Commission in a statement signed by Christian Owusu-Parry, Acting Director of Public Affairs at the EC, said it “accepts the recommendations of the panel and will progressively implement the recommendations made therein.”

- See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2016/January-4th/lmvca-mulls-court-action-to-force-ec-to-compile-new-electoral-roll.php#sthash.wlfYPRsw.dpuf
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EC defends decision to keep names of alleged Togo nationals on voters’ register

The Electoral Commission (EC) says the New Patriotic Party’s push for removal of over 76,000 names of alleged Togolese nationals from the electoral roll would be inappropriate.

The EC says it would be “an arbitrary and discriminatory application of the law”, if the NPP's request is granted.

The EC says, “in examining the identity and status of the 76,000 Togolese alleged to be on Ghana’s Register, the EC found that they were all duly registered during the mass registration period in 2012.”

The opposition party has been courting the support of other political parties and civil societies for a new register ahead of elections later this year.

The party says the current electoral roll lacks credibility, citing a deliberate inclusion of aliens in the register.

The removal of the alleged 76,000 alleged foreign nationals was a key point in the NPP’s push for a new voters’ register.

The EC holds that the NPP did not provide any proof of the citizenship status of the alleged foreign nationals and did not show any proof that they were not entitled to be registered in Ghana.

The EC’s response was contained in 33-page document written to the NPP.

“From the document presented by the NPP, the commission was unable to confirm the authenticity of the Togolese Register used by the NPP in their analysis as the Electoral Commission of Togo declined to provide the EC with a copy of its register or confirm the authenticity of the soft copy of the register used by the NPP.

“Seeking to remove names of persons who appear on the registers of Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire in the EC’s view, would be an arbitrary and discriminatory application of the law. The EC asks, would the Commission therefore be required to obtain the registers of all countries of the world and remove the names of persons who appear on such registers as well as Ghana’s?” the EC quizzed.

The opposition party also raised a Supreme Court ruling on the use of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) cards for registration and called for the removal of persons who have been registered with the card from the register.

However, the EC says the party is misinterpreting the Supreme Court ruling.

According to the EC, in the Abu Ramadan case, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of NHIA cards, in their current form, was insufficient as proof of citizenship and consequently.

The EC says it was directed to stop accepting that as proof of citizenship for voter registration exercises.

“Nowhere in the ruling did the Supreme court nullify all registrations by voters who presented NHIA cards as proof of Citizenship,” the EC says.

On NPP's claims that there were edited pictures on the current electoral register, the EC holds that claim is unfounded.

According to EC, the Biometric Register has multiple layers of data protection and integrity assurance and does not permit the possibility of pictures on the register being edited.

“The consultant’s report on the Independent Review of the Biometric Voters Register also supports the position that this is not possible and that the system has adequate integrity and has not been compromised. We would be happy to share the consultant’s report with the NPP,” the elections ombudsman said.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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NDC Will Win 2016 Elections -Abuja Prophet

The General Overseer of Champions Royal Assembly, Prophet Joshua Iginla, has predicted a win for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Among a list of prophecies he released for the new year, Prophet Iginla who is one of the most popular men of God in Abuja said: "I see a robust economy and the Democrats still holding on to the seat in the election. The ruling party will retain the power. Ghana should pray against place crash. It looks like an helicopter. I see a famous footballer packing his bag and saying goodbye. He is already having a kidney problem. He needs prayers between the month of April till October. The president should watch and pray because there are more enemies than friends".

Find the rest of the prophecies below:

1-Nigeria will rise again and the future of Nigeria will be restored. And her image n dignity shall be restored. In my vision, I saw a group of young men wearing boots preparing and when I asked God he said it’s the future of the next generation that are coming to take over 2024.

2-Many politicians will go to jail in 2016 due to the anti corrupt campaign by the president. It will gain more ground and a lot of money recovered and a lot of mystery unveiled.

3-The Senate president should pray because there will be an attempt over his life. I see a strong plot to remove him and a strong plot to poison him.

4-I see a commercial bank having a major problem that will affect it’s capacity and output. The policy of the regulatory body will be too much for her and it will fold down.

5-I see the issue of Ebola resurfacing in some other African company. We should pray.

6-I see the CBN governor facing a hard time and I see him being removed..
I see a former Minister who held a sensitive position struggling for survival. We should pray for her because her candle light is almost off. It will take a miracle for her to survive. While she is battling corruption battle, I see the owner of her life knocking the door of her soul.

7-The Inspector General of Police should pray because I see a plot and an attempt to discredit him which will happen. I see his seat shaking and might not go down well.

8-I see a governor in the seat of Akwa Ibom. His seat will shake but I see him still maintaining it.

9-Bayelsa! The incumbent governor should pray well to retain it because what I see is a mystery beyond explanation.
The Lord said I should warn the powers that be to be sensitive over the issue of Bayelsa because I see blood and restlessness. The person on the seat should pray because I see three legs of a stool and two are taking away. Can you sit properly when two out of three legs are taking away?

10-Rivers State. I see strong battle and contest with Inconclusive result. I see violence and tension. I see property burnt and protest and name calling but the person on the seat shall retain it.

11-Edo. I see the ruling party still retaining power. I see a strong contest but the ruling party will swallow the opponent.

12-There will be a strong shake in the cabinet in 2016. One of the Ministers will lose his seat as a result of displeasure of the President with him

13-I see same sex marriage entering into one of the African countries and it will become very strong.

14-In 2016, the economy of the country will be very tasking and quite challenging. If care is not taking it will navigate into serious recession. I see strong hardship in terms of the economy.

15-I see fuel price rising and the masses helpless over it. Attempt will be made to curb the price but it will not work.

16-I see series of protests, strikes which will affect the economy.

17-The Biafra agitation will become very strong if the government don’t handle it with wisdom. It will give the government of the day a bad name before the international committee and observers. It might be stronger than the issue of Boko Haram. Wisdom is needed. That’s what the Lord says. Else, it can bring the government of the day to her kneels.

18-I see a strong agitation and people sponsoring it from all angles.

19-The military reputation under the present administration will be restored and performed brilliantly. In my vision, I see them silencing the issue of Boko Haram upto 85%. Boko Haram issue will die a natural death but I see another battle wish this present government should pray

20-I see a new party coming out of the old party. They will rebrand and become a strong opposition force challenging the government of the day and discrediting it. . This new government should pray.

21-The government of Buhari will do well but due to too much enemies than friend, it will slow the wheel of progress and tension will rise up in several areas. But that will not stop the result the government will have.

22-We should pray for one of our ex-president because I see him packing his bag and leaving us. Don’t forget I said it last year but God is giving him grace but am seeing it again.

23-The president should pray because there will be an attempt over his life. I see serious health issue. He should pray to finish his tenure.

24-There are a lot of Judases around Mr President. I see a plot to poison him. He should pray to finish it.
Take good care of yourself and spend more time to watch your enemies that are around you than those afar. That’s the message for the president. There are Judases around him and are ready to finish their assignments. Watch your house because the enemy is too close than he thinks.

25-The issue of armed robbery will increase and banks will be robbed. High way robbers will be on the rise. Ondo, Lagos, kano and Abia, in the month of July, August, October April and March the security operatives should be alert in those states.

26- I see a sitting governor whose seats becomes vacant for the vice to take over. I don’t understand of its as a result of DEATH, impeachment or court order.
27-Zambia. The economy will improve but not as expected. The election in Zambia will be will be like two lions fighting. The president should pray in terms of the election because I see betrayals from his camp and so called faithfuls. But in my vision, I see someone trying to pull him from his seat, yet he remain in the seat.

28-I see fire outbreak in sensitive government establishment. They should watch out

29-Mega churches will rise up in the nation of Zambia. God said he is raising up strong prophets in Zambia. I see a great prophet rising up in the kitwe pray against mass protest that will be sponsored by distractors against the government of the day.

30-The glory of Zambia will be restored naturally. I see the person on the seat of power retaining it.

31-Zimbabwe. There will be a great revival that will flow through out Africa – West, East and South.

32-God said I should warn some people trying to thwart the wheel of progress in Zimbabwe because their own time will come naturally. It’s not yet their time and there is nothing they can do about it.

33-I see a rain fall spiritually non stop in the nation of Zimbabwe and something like ice block in form of a star and God said it’s a sign of continuous blessing and flow of revival both economically and spiritually.

34-I see a major stampede in a major program that will be held by a major man of God in the country of Zambia. It will claim lives. The prophetic advise is that the prophet should work on his crowd control unit so that he won’t be accused of using people for rituals while his hands are clean.

35-Tanzania.. The Lord said their season has come I see the new leader maximising the resources and changing the destiny of the country. I see the economy blossoming and I see a lot of corrupt leaders and people who have been a distraction to the government being brought to book.

36-They should pray for their air space especially their aviation industry. I see a plane which is of medium size, not too big nor small, crashing and it happened during the raining season. They should watch and pray.

37-Cameroon – I see the bombing and battle against Boko Haram being conquered. I see a revolution and agitation against the current government taking place the government should be sensitive. I see restlessness among the youth. I was taking in the realm of the spirit and I see a fire outbreak in one of the major sensitive markets in Cameroon. God is raising four major prophets in Cameroon in Duala , Limbe, kumba. The president should pray for his health.
38-Ethiopia. I see the agricultural sector experiencing boom. They should pray for sufficient rainfall. They should pray against poor rainfall because I see drought. There will be strong economic challenge an important figure who has handled an important position in the nation will pack his bag and say good bye to the country. He is already struggling with his health. I see a massive revival that will spring up in the country of Ethiopia.

39-Russia I see them under pressure as a result of the policies and attack that is currently going on. And it will affect their economy strongly. I see them trying to make peace with the country they are not willing to make peace with in order to free themselves from pressure. I see a big Bird flying out of Russia defecating where they ought not to and it caused a lot of confusion. It’s like plane throwing bombs. I see the nation of Russia going to war with another nation and they have to pray to avert it.
I see America accusing Russia over the use of a particular weapon. In the midst of all types, Russia will wax stronger.

40-USA: I see an adjustment in the election time table and this will lead to accusations of the government of the day After Obama’s tenure, it will be 2044 before another black man can ascend the seat of presidency. I see terrorist attack that will be carry out. I see sporadic shooting and ISIS claiming responsibility. This will happen just like it did in France. I see three people who are at the center of this and I see them being captured while two will be killed. But lives will be lost. I see a popular celebrity that will pass on in the country of America. This person’s name has to do with O and W. I see an important personality committing suicide as a result of frustration. The election of America in 2016 will be tough. I see the Democrat holding ground stronger and stronger.

41-Ghana: I see a robust economy and the Democrats still holding on to the seat in the election. The ruling party will retain the power. Ghana should pray against place crash. It looks like an helicopter. I see a famous footballer packing his bag and saying goodbye. He is already having a kidney problem. He needs prayers between the month of April till October. The president should watch and pray because there are more enemies than friends.

42-Puerto rico. I see a major earthquake between April and September. I see a famous celebrity saying goodbye in the month of June. It a female. The ruling party will hold on to power in the election.

43-South Africa. The president will so much go through a lot of persecution m I see trials and accusations. The economy will be so much attack and won’t go well as it used to be. But the hands of God is upon them because a great revival will sail through the land. They have to pray about their water because I see scarcity of water withing the specific month. A major king will die. The church in south africa should pray because I see string attack and persecution against the church. It will be so strong.

44-The queen of England should pray for her health. I see strong challenge and should pray to see the end of the year.

45-The Catholic movement will do strongly but see the Pope being attacked. I see him doing a lot in reconciling a lot of countries that are in dispute. He will visit a lot of Islamic countries and bring peace to a lot of areas in conflicts. He should pray for his health.

46- UGANDA. I see protests and a movement led by young men. I see a coalition of political parties that will unseat the incumbent party in power. I See a major struggle and fight but at the end the country will rise up strongly.

47. Peru. The economy will grow stronger. I see a key politician being poisoned before the election. And I see the ruling power still holding on to power in the election.
 

Source: ghanapoliticsonline.com

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2016 Polls Will Consolidate Our Democratic Credentials - Prez Mahama

President John Mahama has assured the world that Ghana will this year consolidate its democratic credentials through a peaceful poll to elect people to lead the country.

“I believe and I’m sure all of us have faith that this democratic journey that Ghana is on will continue successfully. We will have an election; there will be no violence. We will go and make our decision known,” he said.

Speaking at a 31st watch night service at the Living Streams Ministries in Accra to usher in 2016, he said Ghana continues to be an island of peace courtesy the intercessory prayers of its religious leaders.

The President said Ghana, unlike other countries in the region, has enjoyed the peace and stability; something he said the people should appreciate and thank God for.

“The fact that we sleep and wake up and we don’t have to run away from our country and be displaced because of acts of violence is something that we must appreciate and pray for,” he stated.

He added: “2016 is an election year, may God continue to grant us peace. Let’s learn to count our blessings” considering what war has done to some countries in the sub region.

President Mahama also said he believes in Ghana’s future and that the country will be great and strong, hence urged the people to shun pessimism and be pessimistic about the future.

He used the workings of ants to illustrate how the contribution of each and every Ghanaian matters in developing the nation, saying “Every single person matters. Everybody has a role in this country. From the President right down to whoever you consider the lowest denominator”.

He said often, people look at other countries and wonder why Ghana cannot be develop like those countries to the extent that some people even say, “as for Ghana, nothing can happen here. We should even have remained under the colonialists.”

To those people, the President said: “We can be like that country only if we believe that our country can be like them… If all of us believe we can do it this nation will get there.”

“All the nations that have reached where we admire and we think are advanced started from where we also started. Some of those nations are 300 years old. Ghana is 58 years. I’m sure when they were 58 years if you went and saw the conditions in those countries they will not be similar to what it is in Ghana. Ghana probably has made more progress in 58 than they made in 58 years of their lives,” he pointed out.

Source: tv3network.com

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Central African Republic ex-PM Touadera ahead after election

Early results from the Central African Republic's presidential election show ex-Prime Minister Faustin Archange Touadera taking a surprise lead.

Thirty candidates contested the poll, which is likely to go to a run-off between the top two on 31 January. Mr Touadera was not seen as a favourite.

He was prime minister in the government of ex-President Francois Bozize, ousted in 2013 by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.

Voting took place on 30 December, with UN troops guarding polling stations.

Thirty candidates vied to replace interim leader Catherine Samba-Panza in the former French colony.

CAR has been torn by sectarian violence since the Seleka rebels seized power in March 2013.

A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-Balaka, then took up arms against the Seleka.

Strong lead

Mr Touadera, 58, was a university maths lecturer before entering politics. He ran as an independent in the election.

With most votes counted in the capital Bangui, he is well ahead of his nearest rival, Anicet Georges Dologuele, another former prime minister.

Besides Bangui, many votes remain to be counted in CAR's provinces, as well as those of refugees and other CAR citizens abroad.

Mr Touadera has more than 120,000 votes, while Mr Dologuele has just over 68,500.

In third place is Desire Kolingba, son of a former president, the national electoral authority says.

Will elections end the fighting in CAR?

More about the Central African Republic

The interim government and international donors pushed for the poll, believing that an elected president and parliament would help CAR recover from years of unrest.

CAR is one of the world's poorest countries - yet it is rich in natural resources.

Elections also took place for the 149-seat National Assembly.

After seizing power, the Seleka rebels installed Michel Djotodia as the first Muslim leader of the majority Christian country.

But under pressure from regional leaders and former colonial power France, Mr Djotodia stood down and was succeeded by Ms Samba-Panza.

About 1.8 million people were registered to vote, out of a population of roughly five million.

More than one million people fled their homes during the intercommunal fighting.

Source: bbc.com

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Shift the destiny of Ghana from NDC, NPP - CPP urges

The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) has called for electoral paradigm shift as Ghana prepares to hold Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on November 7.

“The alternation of power under the forth republic between the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party has failed to dramatically transform the fortunes of the country in spite of the huge resources under their disposal.

“Elections 2016 therefore offers Ghanaians a new opportunity to shift from voting for any of these two parties and vote for both Presidential and Parliamentary candidates of the third force CPP to transform the country,” Professor Edmund N. Delle, CPP Chairman and Leader stated in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

“The CPP calls for a social-political paradigm shift in 2016, as we enter into an electoral year; we must all as Ghanaians acknowledge that we have a role to play in shaping the destiny of this nation.

“We must build on positive structures and break down old unproductive systems and mechanism which are inimical to national development.

“The CPP calls on Ghanaians to exhibit high sense of patriotism, and work hard across the national divide in the best interest of the country,” he said.

Prof Delle tasked the security agencies, public servants, media practitioners, politicians, private sector, traditional and religious leaders, as well as civil society activists to join a national campaign to ensure a peaceful, free, fair and transparent election.

“We all have a role to play in the democratic dispensation, no one should sit on the fence, we must join hands together irrespective of our political affiliations, ethnic background, religious inclinations and social-political status.”

Prof Delle noted that as we head into an election year, “I want to assure you all that a CPP Government will grow the economy, create more jobs, strengthen all class of citizens in the country, curb corruption to its maximum limit and give proper accountability to the people of Ghana”.

On CPP internal political activities, Prof Delle said the party has set in motion electoral machinery to revamp its structures and make it more visible and appealing to the teaming youth.

The party is going through internal transformation to ensure that “we offer Ghanaians dynamic, transformational and bold leadership”.

He called on the rank and file to begin the process of mobilisation to building the party structures at the ward, constituency, regional and national levels.

Prof Delle also appealed to aspiring Presidential Candidates of the party to conduct their campaign within the spirit of comradeship, respect for each other, and focus on the bigger picture of winning Elections 2016.

“Today, as Ghanaians, especially my comrades across the country and in the Diaspora gather with family and friends, I want to wish everyone a happy and a healthy New Year.

“This is always a hopeful time, as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another,” he said.

He observed that while 2015 was difficult for many Ghanaians, “we must also look back on this year with the knowledge that brighter days are ahead of us – that although our challenges are great, each of us has the courage and determination to rise up and meet them”.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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Nyaho Tamakloe suspended by NPP; but vows to fight pound for pound

The New Patriotic Party has begun the year 2016, pretty much the way ended 2015 with a wave of suspension of key members,  a move the party says is to instill discipline in the party.

The next to be suspended is a leading member of the party, Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe.

The decision to suspend Dr Tamakloe was taken by the Regional Chairman of the party Ishmael Ashitey following a petition brought before the party by a member in the Ayawaso Constituency.

The petitioner, Stephen Asante, accused Dr Tamakloe of conducting himself in a way that undermined the peace and unity within the party.

Dr Tamakloe is alleged to have attacked the party's flagbearer of not doing enough to resolve the crisis in the party which has led to the suspension of three national officers including the Chairman, Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong.

The petition was filed at the national office but checks by Joy News' Kwakye Afreh Nuamah indicate the petition was sent to the Greater Accra Branch of the party to consider the petition and take appropriate measures.

The Regional Chairman Ishmael Ashitey wrote to Dr Tamakloe, announcing his suspension from the party. The Regional executives are however yet to hear the side of Dr Nyaho Tamakloe.

The suspension letter in part, says a committee has been set up by the Regional Executive which will investigate the matter and give Dr Tamakloe an opportunity to respond to the claims made against him.

But Nyaho Tamakloe has described the letter and its author as the work of "gaping sycophant."

In a strongly worded statement, Dr Tamakloe said he will treat the letter of suspension with all the contempt it deserves and is ready to fight any executive pound-for-pound.

" As a statesman, in recent times, I have heeded counsel not to speak on party matters. However,  I have never retreated from a fight so I will respond pound for pound," the statement said.

Dr Tamakloe referred to what he believes are selectivities in the punitive measures being meted out to some members of the party.

Ask my detractors what the party has done to members who, among other things:

a) violently disrupted party parliamentary primaries leasing to criminal prosecution;

b) advocated that only Akans are worthy of ruling Ghana;

c) falsely attacking His Excellency J. A. Kufuor and other leading members of the Party without basis;

d) violently disrupted public functions organised by other party members including senior citizens Attoh-Quarshie;

e) violently prevented elected Party officials from entering the Party headquarters;

f) have been caught on tape planning to mount dubious court cases against financial institutions to make money for their own pockets".

"all of these people want to prove their allegiance to our flag bearer by running others down. They are counting their chickens before they are hatched. Instead of focusing on the 2016 elections, they are pursuing an agenda of rumour mongering" he said.

Dr Tamakloe said he would not listen to fascist within the party but would rather heed to the call from former president JA Kufuor and other leading members of the party and these "ignoramuses."

"Even the Greater Accra Regional chairman - who knows him in Greater Accra?" he fired.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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I'm Poised To Organise A Credible Election Come Nov. 7– Says EC Boss Charlotte Osei

The chairperson of the Electoral Commission has advised Ghanaians to “put Ghana first” in everything they do in 2016, which is an election year.

Mrs Charlotte Osei admonished Ghanaians to safeguard the peace and stability Ghana is enjoying now, and must not allow politics to derail it.

“We have only one country - Ghana - and in everything we do we must put Ghana first,” Mrs Osei, who is the first woman electoral commissioner in Ghana, told sit-in host Nana Aba Anamoah on the Morning Starr.

She emphasised her outfit is poised to organise a credible election come November 7 as incumbent President John Mahama go head to head with his main contender and opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo once again.

Mahama is eyeing a second term, having beaten the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer in the 2012 general elections.

Mrs Osei noted elections are just “a contest” hence voters and politicians must not see it as a life and death affair. Likening elections to football, she said “there will always be losers and winners” hence advised all sides to accept the outcome of the 2016 polls.

“We come to realisation that peace and stability is more important to us. We can’t separate our peace to that of the nation. We must all pray for this nation and put it first and realise that an election is just a contest and no point in throwing away our peace and stability. We have to get to that realisation and I know that when it comes to the crunch we’ll do what is right. We are committed to a peaceful election,” Mrs Osei assured Ghanaians.

She added: “Everyone has a role to play and we’ll engage everyone including women and political parties and the media. We hope to call on all to collaborate.”

Ghana is going into its seventh general polls under the Fourth Republic on November 7, 2016.

Source: Starr FM

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Obama to meet Monday with AG Lynch about 'options' to tighten gun laws

President Obama said on Friday he’ll meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch next week to discuss how to use White House powers to reduce gun violence, lamenting that Congress has “done nothing” and declaring he has “unfinished business.”

“I get too many letters from parents and teachers and kids to sit around and do nothing,” said Obama, who will meet with Lynch on Monday, after he returns from his Hawaii family vacation.

Obama directed his White House team a few months ago to explore ways he could reduce gun violence. And he is now expected to focus on using executive actions to tighten regulations on small-scale gun sellers, according to Politico.

Such a change would result in more sellers having to conduct background checks but wouldn’t completely close the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows for firearm purchases at such venues without a check.

Obama on Friday pointed out his new efforts follow the third anniversary of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, in Newtown, Conn., in which a deranged gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

However, the Obama-driven effort in the aftermath of the massacre failed to get enough support for passage from Senate Democrats and Republicans.

“All across America, survivors of gun violence and those who lost a child, a parent, a spouse to gun violence are forced to mark such awful anniversaries every single day,” Obama said Friday. “Yet Congress still hasn’t done anything to prevent what happened to them from happening to other families.”  

The president’s renewed efforts also follow a recent flurry of gun violence including a June 2015 incident in which nine people were shot inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, S.C., and a Muslim husband-wife couple last month fatally shooting 14 people during a terror attack at a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif.

Politico reported Obama was trying to make changes before his presidency ends in January 2017 and before the 2016 White House race further dominates the news and Americans’ attention.

The president also reportedly plans to tighten the definition of being “engaged in the business” of selling guns and impose tighter rules for reporting guns that get lost or stolen on their way to a buyer.

"President Obama failed to pass his anti-gun agenda though congress because the majority of Americans oppose more gun-control. Now he is doing what he always does when he doesn't get his way, which is defy the will of the people and issue an executive order," said NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker.

"This is nothing more than a political stunt to appease anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg and will do nothing to increase public safety. The plain truth is that President Obama's gun-control agenda will only make it harder for law-aiding citizens to exercise their constitutional right to self-protection. It will not stop criminals."

Existing law states those who sell guns with the “principal objective of livelihood and profit” have to get a dealer’s license through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That means they also have to conduct a background check on buyers no matter where they sell, including online or at a gun show.

In 2014, the ATF proposed that federal officials be notified about lost firearms, but the gun industry successfully argued that voluntary reporting was sufficient.

Source: foxnews.com

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CONFIRMED: Kwabena Donkor Resigns Over 'Dumsor' Controversy

The Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor has tendered in his resignation to the Presidency. He submitted the resignation on Thursday December 31, 2015 sources at the Presidency has confirmed to Graphic Online.

It followed a series of discussions at the Presidency on Wednesday over how he had handled the four-year-old power crisis, one year after his appointment as sector Minister.
Sources within the energy sector also told Graphic Online that the Presidency was not happy about the Minister’s performance and therefore asked him to resign or be sacked by close of work on Thursday December 31, 2015.

Dr Donkor himself had earlier stated he would resign by end of 2015 if he was unable to solve the load shedding problem.

Graphic Online gathered that when Dr Donkor heard he was going to be sacked, he quickly asked the Public Relations outfit of the Power Ministry to issue a statement on Wednesday announcing that load shedding was over.

An official communication on his resignation was yet to be put out.

Meanwhile the Load Management Committee has in a statement announced that load shedding was not over despite the significant gains made.

Source: graphic.com.gh

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Re-ignite Corruption, Greed Fighting Spirit – Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has stressed on the need to re-ignite the spirit of fighting corruption, containing greed and selfishness amongst Ghanaians.

He said it was only through such a move that Ghana could be able to reach its destination.

Speaking at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Revolution Square in Accra Thursday morning to mark the 34th anniversary of the 31st December Revolution, the former President said corruption, greed and selfishness was the order of the day in present day Ghana.

“From what I can see, it appears that, the colour of this democracy is very different from the power of democracy we knew from 1982 to 1992 and also very different from the colour of the democracy we knew from the constitutional period of 1992 to 2000.”

According to the former President, “the colour of the democracy especially from the year 2000 appears to lack the will, the capacity and the ability to fight corruption.”

Former President Rawlings who was speaking after lighting the perpetual flame at the yearly ritual and comparing the June 4th and December 31st revolts and revolutions to present day Ghana said, “the colour of those revolutions contained a strong sense of justice, truthfulness and freedom and the spirit of defiance.”

“It seems a little too different from what we used to know from the spirit of defiance that could contain, the greed, selfishness, that has given rise to so much corruption and pain in this country.”

“I keep reminding ourselves of the colours of the revolution. It’s extremely important that we do everything possible to recapture that spirit before it becomes too late.”

“I keep saying the people of this country are peace loving people and it is important that we do not take a peace loving nature of Ghanaians for granted.”

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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Kwabena Donkor shown the exit?

Impeccable information reaching Joy News says President John Mahama has relieved Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor of his post.

This is coming at a time the minister has been touting his ability to put an end to a bedeviling four-year load shedding.

The load shedding which was nicknamed “dumsor” was an albatross on the neck of the government forcing the president to create a new ministry to tackle issues in the power sector.

Days after his appointment, Dr. Kwabena Donkor made a bold declaration, promising Ghanaians he will end the load shedding by the end of the year. He promised to resign if that was not achieved.

On Wednesday, December 30, 2015, his ministry issued a statement to announce an end to the load shedding.

“The Ministry of Power wishes inform the public that its Load Shedding programme in respect of electricity supply has been brought to an end,” the statement said.

The pronouncement was received with caution by some consumers and civil society groups notably the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).

It appears the presidency is itself not convinced by the statement announcing an end to load shedding.

Joy News has learnt that Dr. Donkor has been asked to vacate his ministry, most likely, on January 1, 2016.

However sources at the Power Ministry say the Minister has not received any communication with regards to any dismissal.

more soon


Source: myjoyonline.com

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2016: Vote on track records and manifestoes - Kufuor

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has called for peaceful elections in 2016.

A statement signed by Mr Frank Agyekum, the Spokesperson/Special Aide to the former President and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday said, “My wish for our nation and all of us into the coming year, is a reprieve from the many and seemingly endless challenges that have beset us through the just ending year, 2015.”

The statement said scandals and perceived corruption in governance and the society generally, socio-economic hardships such as unstable currency, unstable power supplies underme both industrial and domestic ventures.

It also mentioned executive bureaucratic delays in the public sector, especially at the ports, many industrial actions, protest demonstrations throughout the economy, sudden and high tariff increases for utilities, and ever-bloating national debt stock, have hall-marked the out-going year.

It said the incoming year, 2016, must be a year of decision for the nation to arrest this dangerous slump of the society and economy.

The statement said people must decide for good, efficient and accountable governance at all levels of government.

It said civil society organizations, traditional leaders and religious groups must assume responsible guidance within their remits to ensure that the entire citizenry of the nation live up to the spirit and letter of the national constitution which enshrines inclusive democracy as the way of life for all of us.

It said 2016 is significant because it is the year of Election for both the Presidency and the Legislature.

“The people must show through their conduct and choices that they understand the uses of the vote.

“Sustained transformation of society will not come through short-sighted and short-term inducements.

“We must examine critically the track records and manifestoes of the contending parties before we make our choices in the election,” it said.

It said the Electoral Commission must be resolute in its independence and impartiality as enjoined by the national constitution, in officiating the elections.

The statement said the security agencies of the nation must uphold the integrity and security of the national constitution and the state which are above all institutions, parties and individuals of the land.

“We must all resolve to enter and live through this New Year with this determination so that the outcome of the elections will ensure us with the government we can all accept and work with in good faith and in peace.

“This is how to give our nation and its citizenry the sustained peace and direction to real development and dignity that we must have,” it said.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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Appointees who fail to deliver on promises will be sacked- Mahama

President John Mahama has given his unwavering assurance to sack all appointees who fail to deliver on their promises to the people.

In a short new year's message delivered on 31st night the president said he and his appointees will uphold the promises made to the people and at any point any one falls short of those promises he will not hesitate to sack them.

"I assure you once again as your president that each and every member of this government is listening to your concerns and is committed to working towards the greater good of Ghana and for the welfare of its people.

"Each and every member of this government will uphold the promises that have been made to you, the people whose interest we serve.

"Those who fall short of that commitment have been and will continue to be asked to tender in their resignation and relieved of their responsibilities.

"Ghana is not for one person or one political party. Ghana is not for some select group of people. Ghana is for all of us and for all our children," he said.

His statement comes in the wake of reports that the Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor has been forced to resign or be sacked after failing to honour his promise to the load shedding regime by close of 31st December 2015.

The president also admitted that the year 2015 was particularly a challenging year and applauded Ghanaians for their patience.

"We are closer now than ever before to realising the fruits of our patience. So let us not surrender or perseverance and the pride of nationalism to negativity and pessimism," he pleaded.

The president pledged to serve the country with diligence and with the hall mark of communicating with the people and listening to their concerns.

He was hopeful 2016 will be a better year.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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No new voters register- EC tells NPP, others

The five-member panel reviewing proposals for and against demands for a new voters register says arguments for a new register are unconvincing.

The EC, a month ago organized a two-day forum for political parties, Civil Society organisations and individuals to collate views on the credibility or otherwise of the register.

The EC decided to hold the forum following heated national debate over the register after the opposition New Patriotic Party claimed it had evidence suggesting the register had been compromised with as many as 76,000 non-Ghanaian voters on it.

There were a number of demonstrations some of which turned violent.

A panel was therefore constituted to solicit opinions from stakeholders on whether or not to compile a new register.

Weeks after the two day forum, the panel has submitted its report to the EC.

Chair of the Panel Justice VCRAC Crabbe is recommending that EC should not replace the current voters’ register. The panel however stated that it will still continue to monitor events relating to the register.

The following is the full statement from the Electoral Commission

ELECTORAL COMMISSION’S POSITION ON THE VOTERS’ REGISTER

The Electoral Commission is pleased to inform the general public that it has received the report submitted by the Independent Panel set up by the Commission and tasked to look into the concerns and views of stakeholders on the Voters’ Register. Following the receipt of the report on December 21, 2015, the Commission has concluded its study of the report submitted by the Panel and wishes to advise the public as follows:

1. The Panel finds the arguments for a new register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters’ register;
2. The Panel is of the view that the responsibility for having a clean and credible register is the shared responsibility of all citizens of Ghana;
3. The Electoral Commission accepts the recommendations of the Panel and will progressively implement the recommendations made therein;
4. The Electoral Commission will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general elections through an inclusive and collaborative audit process;
5. The Commission will publish the full report of the Panel on its website- www.ec.gov.gh by 7th January 2016 for the benefit of the public.
The Commission further wishes to inform the public that it has examined all the allegations and complaints made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the voters’ register and has responded appropriately to the party. A copy of the findings of the Commission into the claims made by the NPP will also be made available to the Public on the Commission’s website.
The Commission takes the opportunity to thank the members of the Panel led by His Lordship VCRAC Crabbe, the Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and all stakeholders for the support and cooperation shown to the Commission during the engagements on the Voters’ Register.

The Commission reiterates its commitment to ensuring transparent, inclusive and credible general elections in 2016 and to ensuring democratic growth and stability in Ghana and takes the opportunity to wish all citizens of Ghana a blessed, peaceful and prosperous 2016.

SIGNED
CHRISTIAN OWUSU-PARRY
ACTING DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS


Source: myjoyonline.com

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US Election 2016: Donald Trump 'to spend $2m a week on campaign'

US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump says he is planning to spend $2m (£1.3m) a week on campaign advertising.

Mr Trump said he would bring out "substantial" adverts in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina ahead of primary elections in February.

Meanwhile, former New York Governor George Pataki has pulled out of the race for the Republican nomination.

Correspondents say he has failed to make any impact in the polls.

Mr Trump, a property tycoon, has previously said that he is funding his campaign himself and wouldn't be in the pocket of lobbyists or powerful corporate entities. He has also insisted that he has spent very little on his campaign so far, and yet is the frontrunner.

"I'll be spending a minimum of $2m a week and perhaps substantially more," Mr Trump said in a video broadcast on CNN.

"I'm going to be doing big ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and they're going to be very substantial."


More on Donald Trump and his 2016 chances

Could Trump actually win? - he's ahead in the polls but is that enough?

22 things that Trump believes - Muslims, Mexicans and Putin

Is Trump a Democratic secret agent? - the conspiracy theories that he's a Republican wrecking ball

The true cost of his deportation plan - Trump wants to kick out every undocumented migrant, but how?


Mr Trump's campaign so far has been marked by a series of controversial statements.

Earlier this month, he said Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton had been "schlonged" by Barack Obama in 2008, using a vulgar Yiddish term that means a penis.

He said he was referring to Mrs Clinton's defeat to then Senator Obama in the primary contests that year.

He has also called for Muslims to be banned from entering the US following a deadly attack in California carried out by a radicalised Muslim couple.

The billionaire, who has no political experience, leads the polls nationally among Republican voters, and is also ahead in some key states.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Mr Pataki said he was suspending his campaign but was "confident we can elect the right person".

He launched his campaign in May, positioning himself as a moderate in a heavily conservative field.

However, he has barely registered in state or national polls and was not eligible to take part in televised debates involving the high-profile candidates.

Bruce Breton, a member of Mr Pataki's New Hampshire steering committee, said the former governor had told him on Tuesday that he would be leaving the race.

He said Mr Pataki's campaign had struggled to win media attention or to raise funds.

"He said he couldn't get any traction. He worked hard, it's just a different type of year,'' Mr Breton said.

The primary contests begin at the start of February and the presidential election is in November.

Source: bbc.com

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Central African Republic elections: Long queues in Bangui

Long queues formed at polling stations in the Central African Republic's capital as presidential and parliamentary elections were held to end years of conflict.

UN troops patrolled Bangui to stop a repeat of the clashes during a recent referendum on a new constitution.

Thirty candidates vied to replace interim leader Catherine Samba-Panza.

CAR has been torn by sectarian violence since a largely Muslim Seleka rebel group seized power in March 2013.

A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-Balaka, then took up arms against the Seleka.

In January 2014, a transitional government was formed but elections have been postponed four times since February 2015 due to insecurity and logistical challenges.

Will elections end the fighting in CAR?

Can Pope tackle religious divide in Central African Republic?

More about the Central African Republic

'We want to be free'

Three candidates are considered frontrunners for the presidency.

Two of them - Martin Ziguele and Anicet Dologuele - were prime ministers under late President Ange-Felix Patasse. The third, Karim Meckassoua, is a Muslim who served as a minister under President Francois Bozize until he was ousted in 2013 by Seleka rebels.

UN peacekeepers staged patrols and positioned armoured personnel carriers at polling stations in Bangui.

"I've been dreaming of this election for two years since the day armed men killed my father and my brother in Bangui. I voted for peace," said Ahmat Abouna, who fled to the Cameroon border town of Garoua-Boulai and voted along with thousands of other refugees, Reuters news agency reports.

Businessman Gradias Vara said: "We came to vote because we want to be free to get back to our professions. We want to put an end to the conflict."

Voting was extended at numerous polling stations where logistical problems had delayed voting, including in Bangui's flashpoint PK5 district, the AFP news agency reports.

The new head of the 11,000-strong UN force, General Bala Keita, said the atmosphere was "good-natured", and there had only been a few "administrative issues".

"It won't be like last time [the referendum vote]. We have learned, the people have learned, the saboteurs have learned. So we have all have learned. So today, God willing, all will go well," he told journalists in Bangui.

Analysis: Abdourahmane Dia, BBC Afrique

Judging by the long queues in Bangui, it seemed that people were determined to turn the page on violence and division which they blame on rotten politicians driven by their own interests.

The same determination was seen during the 13 December referendum when many voters in Bangui's mainly Muslim PK5 district defied armed men who tried, and partly succeeded, to disrupt voting.

General Keita promised that troops would be more aggressive during the election, and said it was unacceptable that they could not help citizens fulfil their duty of voting when there were so many of them in CAR.

So the election is likely to be peaceful compared with the referendum, especially after a powerful Seleka leader, Nourredine Adam, backpedalled on his threat to disrupt voting in areas under his control following pressure from Muslim leaders.

The interim government and international donors pushed for the poll, believing that an elected president and parliament would help CAR, where most people are poor despite the fact that it is rich in resources, move forward.

But it is not going to be a perfect election, and if the poll is marred by widespread logistical problems and claims of vote-rigging, the post-election period will be difficult to manage.


Pope Francis ignored safety fears to visit CAR last month, and said Muslims and Christians were brothers and sisters who should live in peace.

Results are not expected for a few days. Observers say a second round is likely and could be held by the end of January.

Elections also took place for the 149-seat National Assembly.

After seizing power, the Seleka rebels installed Michel Djotodia as the first Muslim leader of the majority Christian country.

But under pressure from regional leaders and former colonial power France, Mr Djotodia stood down and was succeeded by Ms Samba-Panza.

All three former presidents were barred from contesting the election.

Mr Djotodia and Mr Bozize are both in exile and face UN and US sanctions over violence in the country.

Mr Bozize described the Constitutional Court's decision to reject his candidacy as "shameful".

About 1.8 million people are registered to vote, out of a population of roughly five million.

More than one million people have been forced to flee their homes because of the fighting.

Source: bbc.com

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Hurray! Gov't announces end to load shedding

Government has announced an official end to the four-year long load shedding exercise which plagued the country.

In a statement signed by the head of Public Affairs of the Ministry of Power Kweku Sersah-Johnson, Wednesday, government thanked Ghanaians for their patience during the difficult times.

The announcement comes two days before the January 1 2016 deadline given by the Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor.

He had vowed to resign if the perennial power crisis continued after the end of the year. 

It appears however that government has resolved the crisis.

The following is the full statement;

END OF LOAD SHEDDING

The Ministry of Power wishes inform the public that its Load Shedding programme in respect of electricity supply has been brought to an end. 

The Ministry takes this opportunity to express its profound gratitude and appreciation to the entire citizenry and residents of Ghana for their forbearance and understanding during those difficult times. 


The Ministry and its Agencies wish to assure the public that it shall continue to pursue policies and programs to consolidate the gains so far made in the generation and transmission of Electricity for the country. 

Source: myjoyonline.com

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Once train crash: Argentine ex-ministers jailed

A court in Buenos Aires has given jail sentences to two former Argentine transport ministers for a train crash which killed 51 people in 2012.

Ricardo Jaime and Pablo Schiavi were given six- and eight-year sentences for negligence.

The accident, which injured 789 people, happened when a morning rush hour train hit the buffers at the Once rail station in the capital.

t was one of the worst train accidents in Argentina in decades.

The train driver received a three-year prison sentence.

Two of the directors of the company Trenes de Buenos Aires (TBA), which operated the rail line concession at the time, received sentences of between five and nine years.

The train hit the barrier at about 12mph (20km/h), destroying the front of the engine and crushing the carriages into it from behind.

One of the carriages was driven nearly 6m (20ft) into the next.

The train hit the barrier at about 12mph (20km/h)

The Buenos Aires rail system transports about four billion passengers a year, making it the biggest in South America.

In the 1990s most of it was privatised in the hope of boosting investment in infrastructure.

But little investment in the network happened since the companies were not obliged by contract to invest, and they had little incentive because they continued to receive income from state subsidies.

Source: bbc.com

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North Korea says top official Kim Yang-gon killed in car crash

A top aide to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has died in a car crash, state news agency KCNA has said.

Kim Yang-gon, 73, was a secretary of the ruling Workers' Party and was in charge of ties with South Korea.

He was part of a high-level delegation from North Korea that helped ease a stand-off with the South in August, after an exchange of artillery fire.

The state news agency called him Kim Jong-un's "closest comrade and a solid revolutionary partner".

"Comrade Kim Yang-gon, a Workers' Party secretary and member of the party Central Committee Politbureau... died in a traffic accident at 6:15am, Tuesday, at age 73," KCNA said, without giving details.

It added that Kim Jong-un would lead an 80-member state funeral for Mr Kim on Thursday.

Tension between North and South Korea increased in August when a border blast injured two South Korean soldiers.

Meetings at that time eventually led to the two countries stepping away from a military confrontation.

Source: bbc.com

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UK floods: David Cameron defends flood investment

David Cameron has defended the government's spending on flood defences following widespread devastation across parts of northern England.

The prime minister dismissed suggestions of a "north-south divide" in investment, saying more per head was spent on flood defences in the north.

Parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester were flooded after several rivers burst their banks.

The Environment Agency has called for a "complete rethink" of flood defences.

The Met Office says areas of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire have seen record December levels of rainfall.

'Real anger'

A thousand homes have flooded in Leeds, but the leader of the city council, Judith Blake, said the flooding had been a "preventable disaster".

She said the North had not received "anywhere near the support that we saw going into Somerset" - which flooded in 2014 - and there was now a "real anger growing across the North".

But speaking while visiting communities affected in York, Mr Cameron rejected the accusation.

He said ministers needed to assess "what we are planning to build, what we are planning to spend and see if more can be done".

The government has ordered a major review of flood prevention strategy.

But the prime minister insisted the government had spent "more per head of the population on flood defences in the north than we do in the south".

"We are going to spend £2.3bn on flood defences in this parliament but we will look at what's happened here and see what needs to be done," he added.

In Pictures: UK flooding continues

Christmas flooding: Your pictures

How do you stop flooding?

The Environment Agency has nine severe flood warnings - meaning danger to life - in place in north-east and north-west England, and more than 100 other flood alerts across England and Wales.

It comes as a fresh storm - which has officially been named Storm Frank - is set to bring further heavy rain late on Tuesday into Wednesday.

Many places in northern England have seen record river levels over the past 24 hours, including the River Aire in Leeds, and the rivers Calder and Ribble, affecting places such as Whalley, Hebden Bridge and Ribchester.

The River Ouse is now thought to have stabilised in York, where hundreds of people had to leave flooded homes following the torrential rain over Christmas, but water levels are still believed to be rising in the town of Selby.

In developments elsewhere:

  • The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) says Storm Frank could bring further flooding to Scotland
  • Wales is also bracing itself for more rain
  • Analysts estimate the cost of flooding across northern England could exceed £1.5bn
  • People affected in Yorkshire and Lancashire will have access to the support package announced earlier in the month for those hit by Storm Desmond in Cumbria.
  • The Department for Transport is also to provide £40m to help repair and rebuild flood-damaged roads and bridges
  • Electricity North West says about 350 properties remain without power in Greater Manchester and Lancashire
  • The Archbishop of York has praised the "tremendous spirit" of people responding to the floods

The Environment Agency deputy chief executive David Rooke said the UK was moving from a period of "known extremes" of weather to one of "unknown extremes".

"I think we will need to have that complete rethink and I think we will need to move from not just providing better defences... but also looking at increasing resilience," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued yellow (be aware) warnings for rain on Wednesday in areas of northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland, bringing the threat of further flooding.

Amber (be prepared) warnings for rain are also in place for parts of Scotland on Wednesday. There are currently no flood warnings in Scotland.

People can access information from council websites and the Environment Agency Floodline.

The agency is also operating a phone line - 0345 988 1188 - which will be staffed rather than offering recorded information.

Source; bbc.com

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Peace, stability not guaranteed under NPP – Veep

Vice president, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has justified the need for Ghanaians to retain the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) in power ahead of the 2016 general elections.

According to him, in spite of the socio-economic challenges, government has been able to maintain the peace and stability of the country.

Mr. Amissah-Arthur addressing the University of Cape Coast branch of Tertiary Educational Institutions Network (TEIN) was skeptical about the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) ability to maintain the stability of the country should it win the 2016 general elections.

In his view, an opposition party characterized by violence which has led to the death of its members is not worthy of leading a peaceful nation like Ghana.

“If they can with their own people like this, how much more the NDC” he quizzed.

The vice president maintained that “John Mahama guarantees the stability and the peace of this country [which] allows us all to progress rather than the other side [NPP]”.

He charged the youth is work assiduously to make the NDC attractive to the over 50 percent of Ghanaians who have not decided who to vote for in 2016.

“More than half of the Ghanaian people have not decided yet who they want to vote for. It means that we need to do well to convince them to vote for NDC”.

Kwesi Amissah-Arthur is confident with hard work and determination; the Mahama-led government will surmount the challenges.

source: myjoyonline.com

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My 2016 resolution is to be President- Akufo-Addo

Flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his 2016 resolution is to assume the highest office of the land.

The NPP leader says he wants to become President to give Ghana the government it deserves.

“A government that will deal with the problems facing the people of Ghana; problems of unemployment, jobs for youth, how to sustain our economy, grow our economy, bring prosperity to the ordinary man and the people of Ghana. That’s the new year resolution,” Akufo-Addo said.

Akufo-Addo was speaking to Joy News’ Latiff Idrissu after a thanksgiving service at the Resurrection Power and New Generation Church at Kasoa in the Central Region.

The flagbearer was joined at the service by the Acting General Secretary of the party, John Boadu, Chairman of the party’s Council of Elders, C.K. Tedam, former MP Sheik IC Quaye and some members of parliament and parliamentary candidates.

Nana Akufo-Addo said he has the solution to the country’s troubled economy and lack of opportunity for the youth in Ghana.

According to him, winning the 2016 elections will give him the chance to put the economy back on track for recovery.

He said he was in church to give thanks to God for steering the NPP through turbulent times which have seen three national officers suspended.

Chairman Paul Afoko, General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong and Second Vice-Chairman, Sammy Crabbe have all been suspended for allegedly acting in ways that vitiate from the party's goal of capturing political power next year.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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‘Attivor’s Resignation Is A Good Sign For Democracy’- Batidam

The President’s Special Advisor on Governance and Corruption, Daniel Batidam has indicated that the Transport Minister Dzifa Attivor’s resignation involving the rebranded Metro mass transit buses is a good sign for the country’s democracy and the fight against corruption.

‘For me, it’s a good sign for our governance, for our democracy and our fight against corruption. Now this Minister’s action I believe is an example that it does not always has to be the ultimate authority of the president to sack people who are involved in corruption,’ he remarked.

He indicated that this is the first bold decision taken by a state official directly or indirectly involved in corruption.

‘This is another test in terms of governance in our country Ghana, as you do know hardly does a public official or Minister of state step down or aside from his/her office or position as a matter of principles, or taking responsibility,’ he observed.

Mr. Batidam admitted that this rarely happens in Africa, urging Ghanaians to look at the progress made so far than looking at it from political angle.

‘Let us not look at it as though as if this is a feel of guilt, all over in the world, especially in the most advanced countries it is almost a natural thing for people with whom the back normally stops to take responsibility for any actions, commissions or omissions that happens under their supervision, and normally in those highly democratic environment people don’t even have to call on you before you step down, but you and I know that in Africa this a rarely case,’ he maintained.

Speaking on Ultimate breakfast hosted by Prince Minkah, he encouraged state officials to own up to their responsibilities.

‘In terms of governance and principles it does not always have to be that one is guilty or has done something wrong, there are certain standards or principles that must be upheld by duty- bearers at a certain level, whenever failure happens under their watch. In real democratic world, they should take responsibility even if they were not necessarily involved,’ he entreated.

The President’s Special Advisor on Governance and Corruption advised Ghanaians especially politicians to examine accountability in its broader framework.

‘Mind you corruption is a very complex thing, sometimes because of our emphasis on corruption itself. We make people look at it more as to who is corrupt and who is not corrupt. We have to look at it in the broader framework of accountability, and in accountability, we have answerability, who is answerable, who takes the ultimate responsibility. When we move from just the talk about corruption which then makes us reduce it to finger pointing and look at the broader issue of accountability, corruption is the absence of accountability, who is to be held accountable,’ he stated.

He further entreated people to own up to their responsibilities wherever they find themselves.

‘When we develop up to a point when our ethical standards are high enough, we should be having people in positions taking responsibilities of anything that go on. It does not only has to be about resignation but by accepting the consequences of what has gone wrong, this boost democracy, Ghanaians should be proud about it,’ he said.

Source: peacefmonline.com

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Your take: Parliament partly responsible for corruption – Ato Dadzie

A member of the legal team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ato Dadzie, says Parliament’s failure to properly scrutinize projects presented for approval is partly to blame for recurrent reports of bloated expenditure.

Ato Dadzie says being a key part of government’s machinery, Parliament needs to be strengthened to appropriately check facts and figures contained in the motions presented to the House.

“We have a constitutional order, and the oversight responsibility for financial disbursement and all that is in Parliament. Parliament must do more in terms of investigating and examining documents placed before them,” Ato Dadzie said.

The NDC lawyer was speaking on a special edition of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, hosted by New Patriotic Party (NPP) member, Gabby Otchere-Darko.

Ato Dadzie was reacting to views that corruption has steeped under the current administration.

Citing the controversial 3.6 million Ghana cedis bus branding deal and the over 500 million Ghana cedis AMERI power plant contract, Gabby Otchere-Darko suggested that the current administration has done a poor job at fighting corruption.

Some analysts say Ghana could have gotten the 235MW power plants that AMERI has provided at a lesser cost.

A Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, K.T. Hammond the committee said he was misled to approve the controversial AMERI power project contract.

According to him, the Power Ministry failed to provide full details of the transaction to the Committee members.

Also, the Chief of Staff has ordered the Attorney General, to recover GHC1.9 million the company that branded the buses.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show Thursday, Ato Dadzie said Parliament and other government institutions need to be strengthened.

 “You shouldn’t come and tell us that you were misled. That is why we put you there. That oversight responsibility is that of Parliament.” Ato Dadzie said.

He said Parliament and state instutions that have the mandate to check graft must invest in capacity building to enable them deliver on their objectives.

Source: myjoyonline.com

A member of the legal team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ato Dadzie, says Parliament’s failure to properly scrutinize projects presented for approval is partly to blame for recurrent reports of bloated expenditure.

Ato Dadzie says being a key part of government’s machinery, Parliament needs to be strengthened to appropriately check facts and figures contained in the motions presented to the House.

“We have a constitutional order, and the oversight responsibility for financial disbursement and all that is in Parliament. Parliament must do more in terms of investigating and examining documents placed before them,” Ato Dadzie said.

The NDC lawyer was speaking on a special edition of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, hosted by New Patriotic Party (NPP) member, Gabby Otchere-Darko.

- See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2015/December-24th/parliament-partly-responsible-for-corruption-ato-dadzie.php#sthash.v9xkn9vP.dpuf
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