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Politics

Irish PM’s party set for by-election win, junior partner suffers

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael party was on course to retain its seat in a by-election on Thursday, but its junior partner in government Labor was beaten into fifth place in a humiliating defeat.

Labor went into government for the first time since the late 1990s two years ago on a promise to end the previous administration’s adherence to “Frankfurt’s Way,” an austerity plan the party said was dictated by the European Central Bank.

However the centre-left party has angered supporters by continuing with the tough austerity required under the country’s EU/IMF bailout and its vote in the Meath East constituency collapsed to 4.6 percent from 21 percent last time out.

On 38.5 percent after the first count, Fine Gael’s Helen McEntee looked set to win the seat left vacant when her father committed suicide, softening the blow for the coalition which would keep its record parliamentary majority even if she loses.

“I voted for Labor last time out but will never vote for them again,” fumed Abigail Flores, a mother-of-two living in Ashbourne, a town 20 km north of Dublin where so-called “ghost estates” lie unfinished after a spectacular property crash. She had no interest in voting this time around

“I would have always voted for Labor and so would my parents and sisters but they’ve shown in the last two years that they’re just spineless and are no different from Fine Gael or Fianna Fail. They don’t actually stand for anything.”

The centre-right Fianna Fail, which dominated Irish politics before losing three-quarters of its seats in humbling elections held after it signed up to the bailout, saw its support jump to 32.9 percent from 19 percent two years ago.

A rise of just four percentage points to 13 percent for Sinn Fein, the only major party rallying against austerity, showed the limited Irish appetite for the type of populist political movements making inroads elsewhere in Europe.

A lack of opposition to deep tax hikes and spending cuts has helped Ireland hit the targets set under its bailout and close in on getting off emergency EU and IMF assistance, a move cemented last month by a landmark 10-year bond sale.

But that has meant little to Labor’s traditional support base of working class socialists and heavily unionized middle-class state workers. On Thursday, it even fell behind Direct Democracy Ireland, a party launched just four months ago.

“It’s a difficult day for Labor, people are very angry out there and clearly the Labor Party has been singled out for the brunt of responsibility,” Pat Rabbitte, a senior Labor minister, told the Today FM radio station.

“There’s little point in trying to explain to the individual voter that bond prices are cheaper, that butters no parsnips as far as they’re concerned.”

Analysts said the loss poses little threat to the coalition and its austerity push as Labor, which has already seen five of its 38 MPs defect from the party, would be unlikely to leave government and force an election with support so low.

“It will make life a bit more uncomfortable for the Labor leadership but I can’t really see what they can do to stem to flow other than to steady the nerves and hope that the economy turns around,” said Eoin O’Malley, politics lecturer at Dublin City University.

“The problem for Labor is that if that happens, Fine Gael are likely to get the benefit and Labor will get the blame for anything that goes wrong. They’re in a bad position but they should have know that when entering government in 2011.”

A final result is expected at around 1900 GMT.


Source: Reuters

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Politics

Nana Addo and NPP must apologize to Prez Mahama and Ghanaians – Inside Ghana

A pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) group, Inside Ghana, has asked the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and their 2012 flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to render an unqualified apology to President John Dramani Mahama and all Ghanaians over post-Election 2012 allegations that President Mahama rigged the elections.

“Nana Addo and the NPP went on a violent rampage destroying lives and properties in the name of electoral fraud perpetrated by the President and NDC faithful,” a statement signed by George Spencer Quaye said.

Inside Ghana noted that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s admission during the dying embers of Tony Lihtur’s cross-examination of him that the petitioners have no problem with the president and rather it is the Electoral Commission that they have a problem with is evidence that the president “played no role in the alleged electoral irregularities and malpractices and therefore did not steal any vote.”

Below is the unedited statement from Inside Ghana:

NANA ADDO AND NPP MUST APOLOGISE TO PRESIDENT MAHAMA AND ALL GHANAIANS

Following the exclusive revelation by the petitioners’ star witness or witness in-Chief, Dr. Mahamudou Bawumia during cross-examination by Mr. Tony Lithur, Inside Ghana calls on Nana Addo and the NPP leadership including minority members of parliament to render an unqualified apology to H.E President John Dramani Mahama and all Ghanaians. During the final stages of Mr. Lithur’s cross-examination of Dr. Bawumia, the witness In-Chief stated unequivocally that H.E the President played no role in the alleged electoral irregularities and malpractices and therefore did not steal any vote.

In a response to a question Dr. Bawumia said; “we don’t have any problem with the President. It is the second respondent”. And when it was further suggested to him that the 1st respondent, President Mahama won the elections resoundingly, he responded; “YES”.

This proclamation or epiphany is in sharp contrast to earlier comments and statements made by the NPP leadership which has denigrated the Presidency and NDC faithful as well as other institutions such as STL Ghana and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Nana Addo and the NPP went on a violent rampage destroying lives and properties in the name of electoral fraud perpetrated by the President and NDC faithfuls.   They also subjected the premises of STL Ghana and NADMO to a mob attack accusing them of changing election results being transmitted via fax from coalition centres to the EC’s strongroom. This was led by no mean a person than Osafo Marfo, a former minister of Finance and Education who was also in the running for the position of Chief of Staff in Nana Addo’s shadow cabinet.

We would also recall how minority members of parliament flashed cards with “stealers” written on them in protest to the President just before he delivered the State of the Nation address in parliament on the 21st of February 2013.

The NPP also used various platforms to cast all sort of derogatory insinuations on the President and NDC members such as the “Let My Vote Count Alliance”. In some instances leading members like Ursula Owusu have denigrated the President with unprintable words.

Inside Ghana is therefore calling on Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP leadership to render an unqualified apology to the President, STL Ghana, NADMO, NDC members and the good people of Ghana. We believe that this call is imperative as it puts to rest the involvement of the President and NDC in the alleged electoral malpractices and irregularities. It will also demonstrate commitment on the part of Nana Akufo-Addo to righting the wrongs of the past and open window of opportunity for a new relationship between the NDC and NPP based on mutual respect and mutual responsibility which will simmer down the political tension and chart a new a course of responsible politicking in the country. An apology we believe will also douse the negative effect we risk from the international community.

Signed

George Spencer Quaye

Convener


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Categories
Politics

Nana Addo and NPP must apologize to Prez Mahama and Ghanaians – Inside Ghana

A pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) group, Inside Ghana, has asked the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and their 2012 flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to render an unqualified apology to President John Dramani Mahama and all Ghanaians over post-Election 2012 allegations that President Mahama rigged the elections.

“Nana Addo and the NPP went on a violent rampage destroying lives and properties in the name of electoral fraud perpetrated by the President and NDC faithful,” a statement signed by George Spencer Quaye said.

Inside Ghana noted that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s admission during the dying embers of Tony Lihtur’s cross-examination of him that the petitioners have no problem with the president and rather it is the Electoral Commission that they have a problem with is evidence that the president “played no role in the alleged electoral irregularities and malpractices and therefore did not steal any vote.”

Below is the unedited statement from Inside Ghana:

NANA ADDO AND NPP MUST APOLOGISE TO PRESIDENT MAHAMA AND ALL GHANAIANS

Following the exclusive revelation by the petitioners’ star witness or witness in-Chief, Dr. Mahamudou Bawumia during cross-examination by Mr. Tony Lithur, Inside Ghana calls on Nana Addo and the NPP leadership including minority members of parliament to render an unqualified apology to H.E President John Dramani Mahama and all Ghanaians. During the final stages of Mr. Lithur’s cross-examination of Dr. Bawumia, the witness In-Chief stated unequivocally that H.E the President played no role in the alleged electoral irregularities and malpractices and therefore did not steal any vote.

In a response to a question Dr. Bawumia said; “we don’t have any problem with the President. It is the second respondent”. And when it was further suggested to him that the 1st respondent, President Mahama won the elections resoundingly, he responded; “YES”.

This proclamation or epiphany is in sharp contrast to earlier comments and statements made by the NPP leadership which has denigrated the Presidency and NDC faithful as well as other institutions such as STL Ghana and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Nana Addo and the NPP went on a violent rampage destroying lives and properties in the name of electoral fraud perpetrated by the President and NDC faithfuls.   They also subjected the premises of STL Ghana and NADMO to a mob attack accusing them of changing election results being transmitted via fax from coalition centres to the EC’s strongroom. This was led by no mean a person than Osafo Marfo, a former minister of Finance and Education who was also in the running for the position of Chief of Staff in Nana Addo’s shadow cabinet.

We would also recall how minority members of parliament flashed cards with “stealers” written on them in protest to the President just before he delivered the State of the Nation address in parliament on the 21st of February 2013.

The NPP also used various platforms to cast all sort of derogatory insinuations on the President and NDC members such as the “Let My Vote Count Alliance”. In some instances leading members like Ursula Owusu have denigrated the President with unprintable words.

Inside Ghana is therefore calling on Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP leadership to render an unqualified apology to the President, STL Ghana, NADMO, NDC members and the good people of Ghana. We believe that this call is imperative as it puts to rest the involvement of the President and NDC in the alleged electoral malpractices and irregularities. It will also demonstrate commitment on the part of Nana Akufo-Addo to righting the wrongs of the past and open window of opportunity for a new relationship between the NDC and NPP based on mutual respect and mutual responsibility which will simmer down the political tension and chart a new a course of responsible politicking in the country. An apology we believe will also douse the negative effect we risk from the international community.

Signed

George Spencer Quaye

Convener


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Categories
Politics

CPP marks 41 years after Nkrumah’s death

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has marked the 41st anniversary of the death of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, its founder, bemoaning the moral decadence that has characterised successive governments since his overthrow.

“We note this day that successive governments since his overthrow and subsequent death have singularly and spectacularly failed to provide the same vision and programme directed towards improving the living standards and cultural and spiritual needs of Ghanaians,” a statement issued by Nii Armah Akumfrah, Communications Director of the Party, said.

Below is the full statement:

Forty-One years ago today, in Bucharest, Romania…Africa’s greatest son Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah left this human plane and Ghana as well as Africa became a much diminished place. We are consoled by words of the great man himself – “AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, I AM IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT DEATH CAN NEVER EXTINGUISH THE TORCH THAT I HAVE LIT IN GHANA AND AFRICA, LONG AFTER I AM DEAD AND GONE THE LIGHT WILL CONTINUE TO BURN AND BE BORNE ALOFT PROVIDING LIGHT AND GUIDANCE TO ALL PEOPLE”

Kwame Nkrumah was the founder of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and thus the Party remembers him on this day, recalling that the party he founded served as the vanguard for the liberation and emancipation of Ghana and Africa.

“I have never regarded the struggles for the independence of the Gold Coast, as an isolated objective, but always as a part of a general world historical pattern. Africans of all the territories of this vast continent shall wake up and nothing shall stand in the way of their fight for freedom.

It is our duty, since we constitute the vanguard, to give all possible assistance to those currently waging battles that we have put on the right track; our task is not done and our safety is not secured until the last vestiges of colonialism are eliminated from the African continent” Nkrumah said.

We recall also that this was a humble man from humble beginnings who rose to become one of the greatest Africans – He had worked as a labourer in a soap factory and as a ship waiter, as a retail salesperson, and many other things to keep body and soul together.

We recall his great and exceptional talent and ability to organize and to unite.

It was Kwame Nkrumah who drafted the historic declaration of the 5th Pan-African Congress of Manchester, addressed to “The Colonial Peoples of the World”.

The 5th Pan African Congress calls on all workers and peasants of the colonies to organize themselves.

The 5th Pan African Congress also called on all the intellectuals and the professionals of the colonies to take on their responsibilities.

The workers rose to the challenge but many wonder if the intellectuals and professionals have yet taken on their responsibility on the continent.

In a decade of struggle from 1947 to 1957 Nkrumah was able to put the first plank in place on his life’s mission – firstly independence for Ghana, to be followed by liberation from colonialism as well as the unity of all nations of the Continent.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah not only contributed to the liberation of the continent but globally in the struggle against imperialism.

In his book Towards Colonial Freedom, he noted “The Way Forward” thus:

A) The intensification of the crisis within the colonial powers in their colonies.

B) The intensification of the crisis in the colonies and the growth of liberation movements against local colonial governments on the colonial front.

C) Under conditions of imperialism, it may not be possible to plot a war, but collaboration between proletarian movements in capitalist countries and liberation movements in the colonies against the imperialist front of the world is inevitable.

Nkrumah demonstrates that he is not just a theoretician on the colonial problem, but a man of action who shows the way, who mobilizes the masses, and who advances the cause of liberation.

His mission was clear – the attainment of a complete and unconditional independence, and the building of states in which true development of each person is a condition for the development of all.

This great man becomes a great African because he was fully committed to the struggle for the unity of the newly liberated nations and gave assistance to countries that were still fighting for independence – when Guinea, under Sekou Toure, untangled itself from French colonial bondage, and France responded with economic reprisals. Nkrumah provided financial assistance to meet Guinea’s most pressing needs. He acted similarly when in 1960, Modibo Keita’s Mali, grappled with serious economic crisis on attaining independence.

In 1961, under Nkrumah’s Leadership a Conference between Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Libya, United Arab Republic and the provisional government of the Algerian Republic took the decision to support the National Liberation Front of Algeria and the Lumumba forces in the Congo, in addition to the adoption of the African Charter condemning colonialism.

In March of the same year, he forces Apartheid South Africa to withdraw application for readmission to the Commonwealth when he threatened to withdraw if apartheid South Africa’s membership was allowed to continue.

Nkrumah was one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity; he took the first steps towards creating OSPAAAL (Organization of Solidarity of African, Asian, and Latin American People) and he was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

It was Nkrumah who proposed the creation of a seat for Africa in the United Nations Security Council.

The list of achievements is endless but we wish to summarise a few thus:

        He represented a symbol of hope and emancipation for Africans globally and all oppressed peoples everywhere in the world.
        Nkrumah believed that it was only through industrialization that Ghana and the rest of independent Africa could catch up with the developed nations of the world.
        He built factories and industries in Ghana, the Tema Harbour, new roads, and expanded the Civil Service.
        He constructed the Akosombo Dam to provide electricity both for Ghana and the neighboring states.
        He broke the monopoly of the multinational corporations in the Ghanaian economy, through nationalization policies. He created more jobs in the economy and increased wages.
        He built new hospitals and pipe-borne water
        He encouraged and financed sports to introduce Ghana to the world.
        Nkrumah ensured that AAfricans took charge of their own affairs and reclaimed their dignity in the world
        He introduced free basic education for all children in Ghana by abolishing school fees at this level.
        He expanded education by building more schools to increase enrollments.
        He built teacher colleges to train teachers for the schools.
        He built several secondary schools (high schools).
        He built three universities: The University of Ghana, Cape Coast University, and the University of Science & Technology.

We note this day that successive governments since his overthrow and subsequent death have singularly and spectacularly failed to provide the same vision and programme directed towards improving the living standards and cultural and spiritual needs of Ghanaians.

Since his death a privileged few have benefitted, billions of cedis of Ghana’s money is spent anyhow without accountability, billions of cedis is acquired corruptly through questionable procurement practices, billions more go to waste and financial irregularity, free privileges such as ex-gratia payments continue whilst the majority of Ghanaians are asked to be patient and to hope and wait for their share in a better Ghana.

Public disenchantment with corruption, economic mismanagement, and political misrule has reached its peak.

Kwame Nkrumah’s light continues to burn and provide guidance to a new generation who will today turn up in their thousands at a rally in Kumbungu, Northern Region to remember him.

Many Mosques and Churches have prayed for his soul and everlasting peace, on Friday and over the coming days at the request of the CPP Leadership

Honour and glory to Dr Kwame Nkrumah – Founder of the Convention People’s Party.

Young men and women across the African continent will forever raise high a banner in your honour – Rest in Peace Osagyefo


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Categories
Politics

I’d have made Mahama, Nana Addo ministers if I had won 2012 Elections – Ayariga

Presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC) in the 2012 Elections Hassan Ayariga has reiterated that he would have upheld a high-level of all-inclusiveness if he had won the 2012 Elections.

He stated that John Dramani Mahama, who emerged victorious in the elections, would have been his Minister of Foreign Affairs while Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the runner-up in the elections, would have been his Minister of Education.

Mr Ayariga was speaking on TV3’s 7GMT on Friday, April 26, 2013.

He added that Dr Forster Abu Sakara would have been his Minister of Agriculture.

“If they had voted me into power, I would have had all this,” he indicated.

Mr Ayariga first mentioned this at the Presidential Debate held by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) prior to the last year’s elections.

Mr Ayariga disclosed that he is working on a project to be dubbed “Let’s Build Ghana Together”.

“Very soon it will be launched,” he added.

‘Normal case’

The businessman and accountant reiterated his call for an end to the live broadcast of proceedings from the Supreme Court on the election petition, saying it is slowing down productivity.

“This is a normal case anybody can take to court,” he stressed.

He noted in an interview with TV3 News on Thursday that delayed telecast or telecast on weekends would have been the best.

“We are not against the live proceedings of the petition. If it is on Saturdays or Sundays, that’s fine. But people have resorted to watching the television rather than working and it is causing the nation so much and that is what we are against,” he said.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Categories
Politics

I’d have made Mahama, Nana Addo ministers if I had won 2012 Elections – Ayariga

Presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC) in the 2012 Elections Hassan Ayariga has reiterated that he would have upheld a high-level of all-inclusiveness if he had won the 2012 Elections.

He stated that John Dramani Mahama, who emerged victorious in the elections, would have been his Minister of Foreign Affairs while Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the runner-up in the elections, would have been his Minister of Education.

Mr Ayariga was speaking on TV3’s 7GMT on Friday, April 26, 2013.

He added that Dr Forster Abu Sakara would have been his Minister of Agriculture.

“If they had voted me into power, I would have had all this,” he indicated.

Mr Ayariga first mentioned this at the Presidential Debate held by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) prior to the last year’s elections.

Mr Ayariga disclosed that he is working on a project to be dubbed “Let’s Build Ghana Together”.

“Very soon it will be launched,” he added.

‘Normal case’

The businessman and accountant reiterated his call for an end to the live broadcast of proceedings from the Supreme Court on the election petition, saying it is slowing down productivity.

“This is a normal case anybody can take to court,” he stressed.

He noted in an interview with TV3 News on Thursday that delayed telecast or telecast on weekends would have been the best.

“We are not against the live proceedings of the petition. If it is on Saturdays or Sundays, that’s fine. But people have resorted to watching the television rather than working and it is causing the nation so much and that is what we are against,” he said.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Election Petition: Ayariga calls for telecast only on weekends or after working hours

Presidential candidate for the People’s National Convention (PNC) in the 2012 Elections Hassan Abdulai Ayariga has appealed to the Chief Justice to order the stop of airing of hearing on the election petition during productive hours.

He postulated that broadcast of hearing during working hours puts some Ghanaians including students and teachers at a disadvantage as they also want to follow proceedings.

Mr Ayariga, a businessman and an accountant, called for hearing to be broadcast after each working day or on weekends.

“Every office you enter into in Accra, people have mounted television sets and all they do is to watch the live proceedings,” Mr Ayariga said. “We are not against the live proceedings of the petition. If it is on Saturdays or Sundays, that’s fine. But people have resorted to watching the television rather than working and it is causing the nation so much and that is what we are against.”

He said the call for live broadcast was as a result ignorance.

“We didn’t know it was going to affect productivity,” he observed.

“Now that we know it is affecting productivity, we are appealing to them to either stop or they should record it so that after working hours, people can now sit down comfortably in their homes and watch it.”

Substantive hearing of the election petition has taken seven days so far and proceedings have been broadcast live on each day.

The idea to broadcast live proceedings was mooted by the Danquah Institute, a media, research and policy analysis think-tank, and endorsed by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woode on the eve of start of hearing.


Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Categories
Politics

Your theatricals are a bit superfluous, Dr Bawumia told

Second petitioner and star witness of the petitioners in the ongoing petition seeking to overturn results of the 2012 Elections, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has been told to be crisp with his answers, during cross-examination.

“It is either a yes or no answer. He is not asking you to provide them now,” Justice William Atuguba, President of the panel hearing the case, said after Dr Bawumia’s response to a question posed by counsel for the Electoral Commission, James Quarshie-Idun.

The response was answer to Mr Quarshie-Idun’s question to find out whether names of voters were listed in the affidavit.

The relatively lengthy answer by Dr Bawumia drew Justice Atuguba in to prompt the star witness not to consider answers as political evidence.

“We are not looking for political evidence, not political coloring,” Justice Atuguba told the second petitioner on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

Cross-examination of the petitoners’ star witness has taken a majority of the days of hearing.

Counsel for the first respondent, Tony Lithur, took four days in cross-examining Dr Bawumia.

After Mr Quarshie-Idun’s cross-examination, counsel for the third respondent, Tsatsu Tsikata, will also take turn to cross-examine Dr Bawumia.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Politics

Vice President to pay visit to Ada

Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur would tour Ada on Thursday to acquaint himself with government development projects being carried at various localities in the area.

He would visit Wasaku Lagoon, which is being dredged to allow free-flow of fresh water from the Volta River through the dug canal into the Lagoon for aquatic and irrigation purposes.

A statement signed on Wednesday by the Member of Parliament for Ada, Mrs Comfort Doeyo Ghasah-Cudjoe, who is also a Minister of State at the Presidency, said the Vice President would be at Ada to see how far projects had been executed.

The Right Wing Chief of the Ada Paramount Chief, Asafotse-Ngua Owusie Senakey IV said a historic welcome awaits the Vice President upon arrival at Ada.

Source: GNA

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Politics

Lithur is a good lawyer but he has a bad case – Oquaye

Member of the legal team of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mike Oquaye Jnr has showered praises on Tony Lithur, counsel for John Dramani Mahama, the first respondent in the petition that is challenging his election as president.

He, however, mentioned that Lithur is handling a case which is clearly not in the favour of his client.

“Tony Lithur is a very good lawyer. Nobody can take that away from him but he has a bad case,” said Oquaye on TV3’s late news analysis programme News @ 10 on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

He observed that hearing of the petition has created a lot of uncertainties and his side want the case to be done with pronto.

“The earlier the better,” he stressed.

He noted that counsel for the petitioners are also preparing their questions to cross-examine witnesses of the three respondents.

“We wouldn’t want to divulge our strategy,” Mr Oquaye told Bright Nana Amfoh about their mode of cross-examination.

The landmark hearing of the petition began on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Hearing has bordered mostly on cross-examination of second petitioner Dr Mahamudu Bawumia by Mr Lithur.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana