Participants in a project inception meeting on “Promoting issues-based campaign on fisheries, mining, oil and gas governance for election 2020” have kicked against the development of political manifestos independent of State Policy and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
They argued that the practice over the years had resulted in the obvious slow pace of national development, abandoned projects on the part of successive governments and the winner-takes-all phenomenon that was becoming entrenched in the body politic.
The inception project, organised by the Friends of the Nation with funding from STAR Ghana, is a 15-month programme to increase citizen’s action to influence the manifestos of political parties to address issues in fishing, extractives and prioritise citizens’ needs and aspirations in line with state policies.
The Coordinator for Natural Resources at Friends of the Nation, Mr Solomon Ampofo, stressed the need for proper analysis of the extractive industry to inform policy direction.
He said the project would be jointly executed with partners such as the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Electoral Commission (EC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minerals Commission to develop a citizen’s priority charter from which the political parties could adopt.
The Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Director of the NCCE, Mr Kwame Lan Tugbenu, pointed out that, it was imperative for the citizenry to enlighten themselves with the Constitution in order to hold political parties and governments accountable.
He said the 1992 Constitution provided the springboard for every state activity and wondered why the interest of political parties were gradually superseding the interest of the state.
Mr Tugbenu therefore entreated political parties to go by the dictates of the Constitution as a reformative step in the upcoming general election in doing what was constitutional for the development of the country.
The Deputy Director of the Western Regional Electoral Commission, Mr Asare Boafo-Gyan, said the EC was committed to peaceful elections to enhance the democratic credentials of the state.
He said elections were usually won at the polling stations, “and that is why it is important for parties to provide intelligent and enlightened agents to monitor the process”. – GNA