Governments’ spending in election years worrying – Kwaku Kwarteng

Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West Constituency Kwaku Kwarteng has expressed worry over the deficit incurred by the country during election years.

He noted the situation is worsening.

In a discussion on TV3’s news analysis programme Headlines, Mr Kwarteng questioned the level of spending that characterized the final quarter of 2012.

“If we don’t shed light on what is causing the periodic wild budgeting, we will continue to run into problems every four years,” he said.

He observed that most of the times, the monies are used to campaign.

Mr Kwarteng said when the country runs into deficit in an election year, “it takes about three years for us to recover and then there is another election,” he added.

He said the Mahama-led government spent more than any other government in the last quarter of 2012.

“Monies meant for NHIS were used for electioneering,” he cited.

“In the last three months of 2012, NADMO spent GH¢300 million,” he cited. “What were the disasters that NADMO managed that they had to spend such an amount?”

He also disclosed that there was a huge deficit at the Office of the President.

MP for Nanton Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, who was also on the programme, acknowledged the high spending in election years, citing that in 2008, there was also a huge deficit.

But Mr Kwarteng further argued that in 2008, the size of the economy was estimated at GH¢30 billion and the deficit was GH¢2 billion.

Nonetheless, the NDC had an economy of GH¢72 billion and incurred a deficit of GH¢8.7 billion, Mr Kwarteng argued.

He further disclosed that government has concealed some of its expenditure under the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) since, according to him, a budget which was read three months into a year still had the omission of financial reports from some MDAs.

“Ordinarily, the budget statement should have come in November,” he said.

“Three months, we are not able to account. Some monies spent are not being accounted for.”



If policies won elections in Ghana, PPP would’ve won 2012 Elections in first round – PPP member

A member of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has stated that it had one of the multi-faceted manifestoes going into the December 7/8 Elections though founded eight months earlier.

“Mention any national issue and I can tell you the PPP had a message on that,” Kwabena Okyere said on TV3’s News @ 10.

According to him, that the PPP convinced over 60,000 electorates in few months shows it has become a force to reckon with in Ghana politics.

“It is a signal that we did not form a one-election party but a party that can win elections in Ghana,” he told host Bright Nana Amfoh on Monday.

The 2012 PPP parliamentary candidate for Tema Central Constituency said Ghanaian electorates would have voted PPP into power if they were not afraid of change.

“Black people are afraid of change,” he stated.

He said the party, which has lined up a series of activities to mark its first anniversary, will channel effort into urging electorates to vote for it.

“The greatest challenge is getting people not only to like you but to vote for you,” he stressed.

“We just have to continue building,” he added.

PPP’s Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom polled 64, 267 in last year’s elections to come third among the presidential aspirants. His votes represented 0.58 per cent of the total valid votes cast.



NPP create trouble anytime they lose elections in Ghana – Wa Central MP

Member of Parliament for Wa Central and Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Public-Private Partnership Alhaji Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo says since Ghana’s return to constitutional rule in 1992, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have brought trouble any time they lost elections.

Explaining his assertion on TV3’s weekend news analysis programme Headlines on Saturday, February 23, 2013, Alhaji Pelpuo said in 1992 when the NPP lost the presidential elections, they, in protest, boycotted the subsequent parliamentary elections.

He also cited that when they lost the 1996 elections, the NPP wrote the ‘Stolen Verdict’ while they nearly held the country to ransom in 2008 when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led then by late Professor John Evans Atta Mills won the elections. He noted that during that period they wanted to draw in some Supreme Court judges to file an injunction on declaration of results.

He said what the NPP MPs are doing now – boycotting some key parliamentary duties like vetting of ministerial nominees – is, therefore, not surprising. It is as a result of their party’s challenge in court of Election 2012 results.

He, however, stated that it only dents Ghana’s credibility as an oasis of peace in the sub-region.

“I think we have to examine ourselves that in 50 (plus) years whether the praise we are given is actually reflective,” he told host Kenneth Osei Ampofo.

He said the NPP is needed to run proceedings in Parliament.

“It is important that there must be an opposition,” he said.

The former Minister of Youth and Sports said what happened years back that is often cited by the NPP was “to save the rest of the country.”

“We were aggrieved but attended Parliament,” he added.

Alhaji Pelpuo said during Kufuor’s regime, a minister of state was arrested, tried and imprisoned.

However, he strongly rejected boycotts as a way of drumming home any grievances by any political bloc.

“We used it. I am not going to recommend it. They [NPP] used it. They don’t have to recommend it to themselves.

“When you boycott, it is the people who suffer,” he shared.

‘Ataa Ayi’

The former Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament said though the NDC was not happy with the outcome of the 2004 elections, they never called the president names like the NPP is doing now.

This was, however, sharply discounted by MP for Akuapem South Constituency Osei Bonsu Amoah, who joined the programme on phone.

According to the former Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Founder of the NDC Flt. Lt. (Rtd) Jerry John Rawlings referred to President [John Agyekum] Kufuor as Ataa Ayi, a hardened criminal who was on the wanted list of the Ghana Police.

Mr Amoah pointed out that “people should give NPP credit for the way we are going about this crisis.”

He further said: “If we choose to show evidence to people there will be disaster.”

“What the EC has done is very serious,” he bemoaned.





Romney: Obama gave ‘gifts’ to win elections

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is telling top donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because of the “gifts” he had already provided to Blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the president’s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant.

“The president’s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift,” Romney said in a call to donors on Wednesday. “He made a big effort on small things.”

Romney said his campaign, in contrast, had been about “big issues for the whole country.” He said he faced problems as a candidate because he was “getting beat up” by the Obama campaign and that the debates allowed him to come back.

In the call, Romney didn’t acknowledge any major missteps, such as his “47 percent” remarks widely viewed as denigrating nearly half of Americans, his lack of support for the auto bailout, his call for illegal immigrants to “self-deport,” or his change in position on abortion, gun control and other issues. He also didn’t address the success or failure of the campaign’s strategy of focusing on the economy in the face of some improvement in employment and economic growth during the months leading up to Election Day.

Obama won the popular vote by about 3.5 million votes, or 3 percent, and won the Electoral College by a wide margin, 332-206 electoral votes. Exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks showed that Obama led Romney by 11 percentage points among women and won better than 7 of 10 Hispanic voters and more than 9 of 10 black voters.

Romney called his loss to Obama a disappointing result that he and his team had not expected, but he said he believed his team had run a superb campaign. He said he was trying to turn his thoughts to the future, “but, frankly, we’re still so troubled by the past, it’s hard to put together our plans for the future.”

Romney’s finance team organized the call to donors. A person who listened to Romney’s call provided details about it to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the call was private. The Los Angeles Times first reported Romney’s remarks.

Among the “gifts” Romney cited were free health care “in perpetuity,” which he said was highly motivational to black and Hispanic voters as well as for voters making $25,000 to $35,000 a year.

Romney also said the administration’s promise to offer what he called “amnesty” to the children of illegal immigrants — what he termed “the so-called DREAM Act kids” — helped send Hispanics to the polls for Obama.

Young voters, Romney said, were motivated by the administration’s plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest and being able to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans. Young women had an additional incentive to vote for Obama because of free contraception coverage under the president’s health care plan, he said.

“I’m very sorry that we didn’t win,” he told donors. “I know that you expected to win. We expected to win. We were disappointed; we hadn’t anticipated it.”

Romney said he and his team were discussing how his donor group could remain connected and have an influence on the direction of the Republican Party and even the selection of a future nominee — “which, by the way, will not be me.”

Asked about Romney’s remarks, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential contender for the GOP nomination in 2016, strongly condemned those in the GOP who classify voters based on income, race or age and said the party cannot concede wide swaths of voters and expect to win elections.

“We have got to stop dividing the American voters,” Jindal told reporters in Las Vegas, where the Republican Governors Association was meeting. “We need to go after 100 percent of the vote, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote.”

Source: AP