General News of Monday, 13 June 2016
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) wants the noise about its decision to delay the release of its manifesto ahead of the crucial November 7 polls to end.
The party has urged that the excitement about the unknown contents of its manifesto should instead be focused on more important national issues.
Deputy General Secretary of the party, Nana Obiri Boahen, says the deafening comments about why the party is silent about the details of its campaign messages makes no sense.
“I don’t see why people are making ugly and unnecessary noise ‘you don’t have the manifesto’ and all sort of things,” he said.
Mr Boahen says the ordinary Ghanaian is more concerned about how to satisfy their basic needs.
“People are yearning for daily bread. What they will eat in the morning and what they will eat in the evening; how to pay for electricity bills, how to get employment. These are some of the basic necessities of life people are yearning for,” he said on Top Story on Joy FM, Monday.
His comments follow similar ones by NPP’s 2016 campaign manager, Peter Mac Manu, who said the opposition party plans to hold details of its manifesto to the chest as long as possible over fears they would be stolen by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NPP has accused the NDC of stealing its free senior high school (SHS) policy during the 2012 election campaign, a claim the NDC denies.
However, at an anniversary to mark the 24th year of the NDC, President John Mahama taunted the opposition party when he said the NPP should not be afraid to launch its manifesto because the ruling party has no intention to steal any party’s manifesto.
“We as a party are not going to say we won’t launch our manifesto because we are afraid somebody will steal it. Our ideas are original, and we will launch our manifesto and if anybody wants they can copy,” said President Mahama.
Pressure on the NPP to unveil its manifesto has also intensified following indications by the NDC, the All People’s Party (APC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) that they are set to launch their manifestos in the coming weeks.
The NDC says it will make agriculture a focus of its manifesto, while the CPP says its close-knit policy document will focus on reducing unemployment. APC says its manifesto will reflect the expectations of Ghanaians from all sectors.
But NPP’s Obiri Boahen says his party is not perturbed by the rush to launch a policy document that may only seek to deceive electorates.
“No political party can pressurise us to launch our manifesto. NPP is a political party which came into existence as far back as 1992. We have the men; we have the women to come out with our political manifesto. So I am surprised that some people are making unnecessary noise and ugly noise about why we have not launched our manifesto,” said Nana Obiri Boahen.
Manifesto launches have formed a critical campaign strategy for the parties in the run up to elections in Ghana. They have formed the basis of debates between the competing parties, and they signify the ability of the parties to solve the country’s problems if given the nod to rule.