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Politics

Abu Sakara predicts accelerated development under Prez Mahama

2012 Presidential Candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Dr Michael Abu Sakara says if the tone of President John Dramani Mahama’s state-of-the-nation address on Friday is anything to go by in the next four years, the country will see “acceleration in our development”.

But he was quick to mention that what is important is how the ‘growth’ in the economy affect the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian.

The agricultural economist was speaking after the president delivered the last state-of-the-nation address of the first term of the National Democratic Congress in the House of Parliament. The late Professor John Evans Atta Mills had delivered the first three addresses.

Dr Sakara noted that President Mahama’s address sought to ensure unity among members of the House.

“I believe the tone of the speech was amicable and also sought to inspire both sides of the House towards partnership rather than partisanship,” he said.

“If indeed this can be a characteristic feature of his tenure of office in the next four years, I believe it will inure to the general advancement of the country and an acceleration in our development,” he stated.

Speaking on the brevity of President Mahama’s address, Dr Sakara said as far as the president delivered within the available time, there was nothing wrong with it.

“After all, we heard about increase in GDP, stabilization and single-digit inflation,” he said.

“What is important is that how does this impact on life?” he quizzed.


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

New Deputy Minority Leader dedicates appointment to the youth

Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla Dominic Nitiwul has welcomed the decision of the parliamentary caucus of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to name him Deputy Minority Leader in the Sixth Parliament.

He said his appointment is a clear message that the NPP believes in the youth of the country.

Speaking with TV3’s Kenneth Osei Ampofo on News @ 10 on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, Mr Nitiwul said his new position is “a privilege, first of all, to the people of the North, the young people of this country and to myself as a person.”

He explained that inasmuch as he is elated at his new role in Parliament, he believes it is a huge responsibility.

“I believe it is a very huge responsibility that the Party has placed on my shoulders and I will do everything possible to ensure that I do not disappoint those who took that decision,” he told Kenneth Osei Ampofo.

“It’s a great decision by the Party and I think that decision will pay off when the time is due.”

He promised that he will seek to achieve what the NPP will want from him though being in “a place like Parliament…you have the opportunity to learn over and over again and then serve in responsible position.”

Mr Nitiwul also pointed out that his appointment should tell the people from the North that “the the party, as a whole, has them at heart.”

Dominic Nitiwul replaces Ambrose Dery, who lost the Lawra-Nandom parliamentary seat to Attorney-General and former Deputy Minister of Health Benjamin Kumbour in last year’s elections.

MP for Suame Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu will continue to be the Minority Leader while Dan Botwe, MP for Okere will be the Minority Chief Whip, reports suggest.

Joe Ghartey, MP for Esikado, will be put forward by the Minority on the Floor of Parliament for endorsement as Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

NPP to boycott Jan 7 swearing-in ceremony

The highest decision-making body of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Council, has thrown its support behind the action of the Party’s 2012 Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and Party Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey to file a petition at the Supreme Court against results of the 2012 Elections.

In a meeting on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, the National Council also decided to boycott the planned inauguration of President-elect John Dramani Mahama and his vice, Papa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, on January 7, 2013.

A statement signed by the Party’s General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie further directed all NPP members including parliamentarians to boycott the ceremony to be held at the Independence Square in Accra.

“We take this important decision in order to underline the critical principle of any democracy that the results of an election should reflect the voice of the majority of voters, not the voice of those who count, collate or declare the results,” the statement read.

“It is our contention that the declaration made by the Electoral Commission did not reflect this principle. Hence, our challenge in the Supreme Court of the validity of the election of John Dramani Mahama as President of the Republic.”

The Party reminded “the general public and our supporters that the scheduled inauguration of John Dramani Mahama as President of the Republic is without prejudice to the outcome of the case in the Supreme Court.”

They urged their supporters to continue to remain calm as the Supreme Court handles the petition.

“The petitioners have put their case before Court, and we leave it for the Court to judge its merits. The NPP, by this case, is seeking to deepen our democracy by strengthening the institutions that are mandated by the Constitution of the Republic to superintend the electoral process: (1) by ensuring that the Electoral Commission is accountable to the people of Ghana, and (2) the Supreme Court is seen by all as the ultimate arbiter of electoral grievances and disputes.”


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Categories
Politics

New Deputy Minority Leader dedicates appointment to the youth

Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla Dominic Nitiwul has welcomed the decision of the parliamentary caucus of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to name him Deputy Minority Leader in the Sixth Parliament.

He said his appointment is a clear message that the NPP believes in the youth of the country.

Speaking with TV3’s Kenneth Osei Ampofo on News @ 10 on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, Mr Nitiwul said his new position is “a privilege, first of all, to the people of the North, the young people of this country and to myself as a person.”

He explained that inasmuch as he is elated at his new role in Parliament, he believes it is a huge responsibility.

“I believe it is a very huge responsibility that the Party has placed on my shoulders and I will do everything possible to ensure that I do not disappoint those who took that decision,” he told Kenneth Osei Ampofo.

“It’s a great decision by the Party and I think that decision will pay off when the time is due.”

He promised that he will seek to achieve what the NPP will want from him though being in “a place like Parliament…you have the opportunity to learn over and over again and then serve in responsible position.”

Mr Nitiwul also pointed out that his appointment should tell the people from the North that “the the party, as a whole, has them at heart.”

Dominic Nitiwul replaces Ambrose Dery, who lost the Lawra-Nandom parliamentary seat to Attorney-General and former Deputy Minister of Health Benjamin Kumbour in last year’s elections.

MP for Suame Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu will continue to be the Minority Leader while Dan Botwe, MP for Okere will be the Minority Chief Whip, reports suggest.

Joe Ghartey, MP for Esikado, will be put forward by the Minority on the Floor of Parliament for endorsement as Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Italy’s Monti opens election campaign with tax pledge

The Italian caretaker Prime Minister, Mario Monti, has promised to cut labour taxes in an interview seen as the launch of his election campaign.

Mr Monti, who leads a centrist coalition while not standing as a candidate himself, also attacked conservative rival Silvio Berlusconi.

In office he vowed to restore market confidence in Italy’s finances.

Wednesday saw him achieve his aim of halving the difference between Italy’s and Germany’s bond yields.

These indicate a country’s cost of borrowing and reflect how nervous investors feel about lending to them. Germany is used as a benchmark as it is considered the safest bet in the eurozone.

The difference between Italy and Germany’s yields dipped below 2.87 percentage points on Wednesday.

When Mr Monti took office as head of a technocratic government in November 2011, the spread had stood at 5.74 percentage points.

Mr Monti’s centrist allies are in a three-way race with Mr Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party on the right and the Democratic Party on the left.

‘No comment’

Speaking on radio, Mr Monti pledged to take measures to redistribute wealth in the country.

“We need to reduce taxes on the labour force, both on workers and companies, by cutting spending,” he said.

He defended his administration’s record, saying that the “light at the end of the tunnel” was “much nearer”.

Since withdrawing his party’s support for the government in December, Mr Berlusconi has repeatedly launched attacks against the former European commissioner.

“Berlusconi has made improper attacks against me – on areas like family values,” Mr Monti said on Wednesday.

“I think I need make no further comment,” he added, in an apparent reference to the string of sex scandals involving the veteran billionaire politician.

Mr Monti, a former economics professor, was chosen to impose financial rigour on the economy, after Mr Berlusconi quit the prime minister’s job.

In power, Mr Monti made some progress early on, including raising the retirement age and structural reforms.

However ordinary Italians have been hard hit by the combination of tax rises and spending cuts he imposed to repair Italy’s public finances.

Italians are due to go to the polls over the weekend of 24-25 February.


Source: BBC

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Politics

CPP exhorts youth to embrace “virtues”

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has advised the youth of Ghana to embrace virtues that can help in the development of the country “and make it a prosperous and happy place to live.”

According to the Party, it still aspires to seeing a better healthcare system, a better access to quality education and easier and equal access to opportunities in Ghana.

In a statement signed by Chairperson of the Party Samia Yaba Nkrumah to wish Ghanaians well in the New Year, the CPP reminded the youth, in particular, to support it in fighting against a system in the world that sees 10% of the population live in luxury on the labours of the other 90%.

They affirmed their role to defend the defenceless.

“In or out of parliament we will continue to be the voice of the voiceless, champion the cause of the weakest and disadvantaged in our society. We will continue to be the Social Conscience of the nation.”

The CPP did not hide its frustrations with the 2012 Elections, which saw their candidate, Dr Abu Sakara, poll 0.18% of the total valid votes cast.

“Though we have had the all-important sixth election of our Fourth Republic, some challenges remain for our democracy,” the statement pointed out.

“By all standards, however, we have every reason to be thankful for good fortune in many homes, in many respects and for the continuing peace of our nation,” it added.

“We must use lessons learnt from Election 2012 to ensure that our country is taken on a path of self-reliance, self-sufficiency and away from dependency.”

They called on the youth to cultivate virtues that will help them play key roles in the building of Ghana.

“The youth [must] be strong, of good character, of great moral courage, humble, hardworking, polite, responsible, reliable and scrupulously honest, for these are the virtues on which we can build Ghana.”

They said the next four years should be used to “hold government truly accountable, as a new opportunity to restore hope and optimism.”

“This is the time for everyone who loves this country to reject apathy, indecision and mismanagement and help shape in our country, an age of delivery, delivery on the basics of life.”


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Ghana has a bright future – Akufo-Addo

2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed confidence in the future of the country.

He says his party “remains strong in its commitment to a free, democratic Ghana, where the rule of law reigns and where institutions work properly.”

In a New Year’s message to Ghanaians, Nana Akufo-Addo wished all and sundry happiness “in all you do, success in all your endeavours and prosperity in all your undertakings.”

He said the NPP’s dream of building a free and fair society of opportunities and prosperity for every Ghanaian is very much alive and certainly within our reach.

“In the coming year, we will continue in our bid to ensure that the sovereign will of the majority of Ghanaians is respected and allowed to determine the future direction of our country.”

He hoped the year will see Ghana’s democratic credentials deepened.

He prayed for God’s blessings for all Ghanaians.

“Let us all pray for the blessings of the Almighty to continue to be showered on us so that the richness of our land shall reach the doorsteps of every family.”

Source: tv3network.com|Ghana

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Politics

‘May the coming year be our best ever yet’ – Prez Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama says 2013 could be the best ever year for Ghana.He has, as a result, sent a special challenge to the youth to join in the building of the nation by contributing with a marked quota.

In a special address to the nation on New Year’s Day, President Mahama admitted the past year was a mixed one for Ghana.

“The year we are leaving behind will be remembered as one of the most eventful in the history of our nation,” he said.

“2012 was a year of several trials and tribulations; it was also a year of many victories.”

He admitted the loss of President John Evans Atta Mills and former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama constitute sad and grievous moments for Ghana in the year.

“But Ghana also experienced a level of patriotism and unity that has not been seen since the days of our independence. 2012 was the year in which we rediscovered hope. Ghana displayed strong economic growth, one that attracted the world’s attention.”

President Mahama pointed out that Ghana’s unity in the face of difficulty and pain was “the most impressive growth”.

Hard-fought elections

President Mahama made special reference to the 2012 Elections as proof that Ghana’s democracy is flourishing.

He said it moves the nation “closer and closer to the perfection of its democratic system.”

He admitted the December 7/8 Elections was one which was closely-fought.

“Like most elections the world over, this was a hard-fought contest yet by and large,” he stressed.

“All the debates, disputes and differences of opinion were handled peacefully, and with a respect for the rights of others, and the rule of law,” he added.

‘Blank page’

Speaking of expectations in the coming year, President Mahama affirmed his confidence in Ghanaians calling on all to join in the development of the country.

He said: “As we welcome this New Year, with its infinite promises and possibilities, we also welcome the now blank page that it offers us.”

He threw a special challenge to the youth to “join in the authorship of its story, our story. I call on you to leave your mark on that page.”

“Let us, together—one people, one nation—write a chapter that future generations will consider the most pivotal and inspirational of them all,” he added.

“May God continue to bless Ghana, and may our coming years be our best ever yet,” he concluded.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

North Korean leader, in rare address, seeks end to confrontation with South

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for an end to confrontation between the two Koreas, technically still at war in the absence of a peace treaty to end their 1950-53 conflict, in a surprise New Year’s broadcast on state media.

The address by Kim, who took power in the reclusive state after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in 2011, appeared to take the place of the policy-setting New Year’s editorial published annually in the past in leading state newspapers.

But North Korea has offered olive branches before and Kim’s speech does not necessarily signify a change in tack from a country which vilifies the United States and U.S. ally South Korea at every chance.

Impoverished North Korea raised tensions in the region by launching a long-range rocket in December it said was aimed at putting a scientific satellite in orbit, drawing international condemnation.

North Korea, which considers the North and South one country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is banned from testing missile or nuclear technology under U.N. sanctions imposed after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear weapons tests.

“An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontation between the north and the south,” Kim said in an address that appeared to be pre-recorded.

“Past records of inter-Korean relations show that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war,” he said, speaking from an undisclosed location.

The New Year’s address was the first in 19 years by a North Korean leader, following the death of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather. Kim Jong-il rarely spoke in public and disclosed his national policy agenda in editorials in state newspapers.

MAY BE LINKED TO CALL FOR AID

Kim’s statement “apparently contains a message that he has an intention to dispel the current face-off (between the two Koreas), which could eventually be linked with the North’s call for aid” from the South, said Kim Tae-woo, a North Korea expert at the state-funded Korea Institute for National Unification.

“But such a move does not necessarily mean any substantive change in the North Korean regime’s policy towards the South.”

There was no immediate reaction from Washington.

Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, said, “Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s message was different in format but not in content.” It offered further evidence the young leader is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, rather than his father, he said.

While the younger Kim’s public diplomacy resonates well with the North Korean public, “the new North Korean leader’s impact on the outside world is undermined by North Korea’s continued provocations and bombastic rhetoric,” Klingner said.

The two Koreas have seen tensions rise to the highest level in decades after the North bombed a Southern island in 2010, killing two civilians and two soldiers.

The sinking of a South Korean navy ship earlier that year was blamed on the North but Pyongyang has denied it and accused Seoul of waging a smear campaign against its leadership.

Last month, South Korea elected as president Park Geun-hye, a conservative daughter of assassinated military ruler Park Chung-hee, whom Kim Il-sung had tried to kill at the height of their Cold War confrontation.

Park has vowed to pursue engagement with the North and called for dialogue to build confidence but has demanded that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions, something it is unlikely to do.

Conspicuously absent from Kim’s speech was any mention of North Korea’s nuclear arms program

Source: Reuters