The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has stated that the party will not support the proposal for a change in the date for the 2024 elections from December to November.
“We [NDC] do not believe that this is being proposed in good faith,” he maintained.
The NDC flagbearer made the remarks while opening the Minority caucus meeting in Ho on Saturday (February 10).
Mr. Mahama said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) was sensing clear defeat, and had, therefore, begun scheming to undermine the credibility of the elections, such as the sudden interest by the Electoral Commission to shift the date of elections from December 7 to November 7, at a time it had not demonstrated readiness to conduct the general elections.
That lack of preparedness was clearly evident in the District Assembly elections held in December last year when elementary lapses and shocking logistical shortfalls painted a picture of a commission which was simply not able to undertake the task of managing elections, Mr Mahama said.
“All indications point to a resounding victory for the NDC in the 2024 elections and an unmistakable rejection of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government by the people of Ghana upon whom they have heaped very poor governance,” Mr Mahama added.
Further, he said, corruption, maladministration, nepotism, arrogance of power, incompetence, and gleeful waste of state resources by this government are all set to come to an end at the polls later this year, prompting the NPP to look for fraudulent means to twists the elections to favour them.
“Regarding the issue of continuous registration, as canvassed by the Electoral Commission, we demand that the process must necessarily include a system that enables all political parties and relevant stakeholders to possess the capacity to monitor that exercise in real time, to avoid fraud and exploitation to the undue advantage of any party,” the NDC flag bearer insisted.
Mr Mahama commended the Minority in Parliament for living up to expectation by putting in valiant efforts to check the excesses of this government.
“The composition of this eighth Parliament under the Fourth Republic placed you at the centre of history and brought in its wake, a unique responsibility and burden of expectation never witnessed.
Mr Mahama reminded the caucus members not to lose sight of the fact that they, as the Minority in Parliament, had become the last bulwark between an overbearing, desperate and non-performing government, and the people.
“Ghanaians are counting on you to secure them against poor governance and keep this government in check” said Mr Mahama.
He noted that the people of Ghana decided to produce a hung Parliament in which none of the major parties had dominated the house in the recent past, with a clear advantage.
That unprecedented arrangement reflected years of demands by Ghanaians for a strong and assertive legislative arm of government that was truly independent of the excessively powerful executive, Mr Mahama stated.
He said it also reflected a desire for greater scrutiny of the executive and more efficient exercise of your oversight functions.
Meanwhile, the former president said the 24hour economy policy, which had found resonance with the generality of the people, together with the over sixty other policy options he had tabled, so far, would ensure an improvement in the living conditions of the people and bring back the severely damaged economy on track and pave the way for sustained prosperity for all, and not a selected few.
Touching on the Ghana Card, Mr Mahama cautioned the Electoral Commission if it still hankers on it after disenfranchising sections of our population at all costs through a misguided insistence on its use as the only means of identification for registration, then it had better abandon that idea because we in the NDC will offer the stiffest resistance.
At the moment, the Ghana Card was being brandished more as a political tool around which all manner of schemes were being fashioned towards elections, he noted.
Mr Mahama insisted there was the need to allow sufficient time for its full integration into the way of life of Ghanaians before that kind of unhelpful exclusion of all other legitimately acquired, credible and time-tested forms of identification was implemented.
He said Ghana was now so yoked with arguably, the worst government in its history in the shape of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government.
“They have been so bad; their own poster boy is attempting an inexplicable and contriving separation between himself and happenings in the very government he was touted as the brain behind, for purely electoral purposes,” observed Mr Mahama.
He said from a position where they inherited an economy to which stability had been restored after a brief period of turbulence occasioned by unavoidable headwinds, NPP had squandered its way into a ditch from which it had become impossible to emerge without imposing deep suffering on the people.