EC cannot rig Election 2024 in favour of any political party – Commission

The Electoral Commission (EC) has stated that it is in no position to rig the 2024 General Election in favour of any political party.

The Commission said elections are won or lost at the polling station and ‘not at the EC’s headquarters.’

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Friday, Mr Samuel Tettey Deputy EC Chair in charge of Operations, said the transparent nature of the electoral processes from registration to collation and declaration of results makes it impossible for the Commission to determine the outcome of elections.

The Commission was responding to allegations by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at a press conference in Accra on Thursday.

Mr Tettey said there was no loophole in the electoral process that could enable the Commission to rig the elections in favour of any party or candidate.

He said political parties had the will to put in systems to collate their figures from across the over 38,000 polling stations and match it with the figures of the Commission at the close of polls.

‘…if a political party has participated in all the above processes and has been able to collate results from all the 38,622 polling stations, their results should match the final results that the Electoral Commission would eventually declare,’ Mr Tettey said.

‘Elections are won or lost at the polling station, and not at the Head Office of the Electoral Commission. Parties should train their Agents well to observe the process and not blame the EC for the outcome of the elections,’ he added.

Responding to concerns about the recruitment of Returning and Deputy Returning Officers for the ongoing voters’ registration exercise, the Commission said the process was open, fair, and transparent.

Mr Tettey said following the advertisement of the positions in the dailies, some 20,561 persons applied, adding that an in-house committee shortlisted the applicants.

‘…all successful applicants at the interview have no less than 8 years working experience with the Commission as Temporary Election Officials,’ he said.

Mr T
etteh said that all political parties received the list of registration officials during Regional IPAC (RIPAC) and District IPAC (DIPAC) meetings ‘several days before the commencement of the registration exercise.’

The EC acknowledged the challenges experienced in the first two days of the registration exercise and said that the challenges had been resolved since the third day.

The Commission said as of the ninth day of the registration exercise, a total of 391, 111 new voters had been added to the electoral roll.

Responding to other issues, Mr Tettey said the EC played no role in disenfranchising the people of Santrokofi, Apkafu, Lolobi, and Lipke (SALL) /Guan District in taking part in the 2020 Parliamentary elections.

‘Given that the Legislative Instrument that created the Guan District came into force on 9th November 2020, the same day Parliament went on recess, and with Parliament only returning from recess on 14th December 2020 after the general elections, the Constitutional Instrument creating the
Guan Constituency could not be laid before Parliament, and in time for it to mature into law before the parliamentary election on 7th December 2020,’ the Commission explained.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana to sign bilateral creditors’ MoU next week – Finance Minister

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Minister of Finance, has disclosed exclusively to the Ghana News Agency that the country is waiting to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its official bilateral creditors next week.?

He said the country had agreed to all that was needed for the second review to go to the IMF Board in June, adding ‘we’re waiting for the draft next week to sign.’

He said this on the margins of the launch of the 2025 Africa Prosperity Dialogues in Accra.?

The signing of the MoU is critical for Ghana to get its third tranche US$360 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), having reached a Staff Level Agreement with the Fund’s Mission Team in April this year.

It forms part of efforts by the government to restructure some US$13 billion external debt to meet debt sustainability parameters under the ongoing Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme.

The IMF Executive Board is expected to meet next month (June) to consider the second review and approve the country’s third tranche, pavin
g way for the disbursement of US$360m to the country.

Signing the MoU, together with the disbursement of the US$360m, would be critical in stabilising the Cedi against its major trading currencies, particularly, the Dollar.

At the time of reaching the agreement of the second review of the programme, Dr Ernest Addison, Governor, Bank of Ghana (BoG), expressed confidence that the US$360m would help shore up the country’s foreign currency reserves.

According to the World Economic Forum, foreign currency reserves, comprising cash and other assets are important in maintaining stability of domestic currencies and providing liquidity during economic crisis.

Professor Godfred Alufar Bokpin, an Economist with the University of Ghana, has stated that the development would go a long way to help in stabilising the Cedi, which has been experiencing some depreciation in recent times.

He noted that a vacuum has been created because the country had not signed an MoU with its bilateral creditors, though it reached an agr
eement in principle in January 2024.

However, the finance professor said a positive news with the IMF Board approval of the US$360m would engineer some confidence in the economy as people would trade their Dollars, which would lead to some relative stability.

Meanwhile, speaking at the second quarter CEOs Breakfast Meeting earlier this week, Dr Stephen Amoah, a Deputy Finance Minister, advocated high patronage of domestic tourism and hospitality centres.

The tourism and hospitality is among Ghana’s top four sector contributors of foreign exchange inflows, as such, he said a high patronage would help in keeping money in the country to contain the depreciation of the Cedi.

He, therefore, encouraged Ghanaians to patronise domestic tourism, saying, ‘let’s begin to show that high level of patronage and keep the money here… if you stay here, [and] the dollar people come, they will demand our currency.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Vice President Bawumia to commission waste recycling plant at Kperisi

Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President, is expected to commission the Zoomlion Ghana’s waste recycling plant at Kperisi, a community in the Wa Municipality on Monday, May 20, 2024 as part of his visit to the Upper West Region.

The commissioning of the facility would pave the way for the operationalization of the plant to help improve solid waste management in the region, particularly Wa, which is being engulfed by solid waste.

The facility is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the government and the Jospong Group, and is expected to receive, sort, and process waste in the municipality and its environs.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, cut sod for the construction of the solid waste treatment plant at Kperisi, which is envisaged to create over 200 direct and indirect jobs when completed.

Dr. Bawumia, who is also the presidential candidate of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), is also expected to pay a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the Wala Traditional Area and me
et with the Muslim clergy in Wa and later meet with a section of party members on Sunday, May 19, 2024.

The Vice President and NPP flag-bearer would also hold meetings with the Christian clergy, the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs and the youth on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Source: Ghana News Agency

List of 24 Ministerial Nominees approved by Parliament

The list of 24 Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial Nominees of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo approved by Parliament include eight sector Ministers, two Regional Ministers and 14 Deputy Ministers.

The eight Ministers-Designate include Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, Minister of State Designate for the Ministry of Finance, Mr Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, Minister Designate for Tourism, Art and Culture; Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan, Minister Designate for Sanitation and Water Resources; and Mr Martin Kwaku Adjei-Mensah Korsah, Minister Designate for Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation.

The rest are Madam Ophelia Mensah Hayford, Minister Designate for Environmental, Science Technology and Innovation; Madam Darkoa Newman, Minister Designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection; Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, Minister Designate for Health; and Madam Fatimatu Abubakar, Minister Designate for Information.

The Regional Ministers-Designate are Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, Greater Accra Regional Mi
nister; and Mr Daniel Machator, Minister Designate for Oti Region.

The 14 Deputy Ministers-Designate include Dr Benjamin Sekyere Yeboah, Deputy Minister Designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mr Sylvester Tetteh, Deputy Minister Designate for Information; Mr Charles Acheampong, Deputy Minister Designate for Communications and Digitisation; and Madam Adelaide Ntim, a Deputy Minister Designate for Health.

The rest are Mr Alexander Akwasi Acquah, also a Deputy Minister Designate for Health; Mr Vincent Ekow Assafuah, Deputy Minister Designate for Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation; and Mr John Kobina Abbam Aboah Sanie, a Deputy Minister Designate for Energy.

Others are Mr Collins Adomako Mensah, also a Deputy Minister Designate for Energy; Dr Prince Hamidu Armah, Deputy Minister Designate for Works and Housing; Professor Kingsley Nyarko, a Deputy Minister Designate for Education; and Dr Festus Awuah Kwofie, Deputy Minister Designate for Employment, Labour Relations and Pens

Also included are Mr Akwasi Konadu, Deputy Minister Designate for Lands and Natural Resources; Mr Musah Abdul Aziz Ayaba, Deputy Minister Designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Dr Alexander Ampaabeng, a Deputy Minister Designate for Finance.

The National Democratic Congress NDC Parliamentary Minority Caucus stage a walkout during the approval of the Ministerial Nominees, which they attributed to the large size of the Government.

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, who congratulated the Ministers Designate on their approval by the House, reminded them that they were accountable to both the President and Parliament.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akrofuom Assembly encourages coconut plantation ahead of establishment of processing factory

Ahead of plans to establish a coconut processing fctory to boost its local economy, the Akrofuom District Assembly has distributed 10,000 coconut seedlings to farmers.

The goal is to encourage large-scale plantation of the crop across the district to ensure adequate raw materials for the proposed factory.

Dr. Maurice Jonas Woode, the District Chief Executive (DCE), at a brief ceremony to present the seedlings, said the ultimate aim was to increase income of farmers while creating jobs through industrialisation.

The 10,000 seedlings, according to the DCE, were expected to be planted on 144 acres with each acre accommodating 70 seedlings.

He said if farmers successfully planted and nurtured these seedlings to maturity, it would enhance the district’s economy and generate more income for communities.

He said the expectation was that the initiative would make farming appealing to the youth when they realised the financial benefits of supplying the factory with the needed raw materials.

Mr. Alex Blankson, th
e Member of Parliament (MP), highlighted the significance of the seedlings, which he said would begin to bear fruit in just three years and fetch them income.

He said the proposed factory would stimulate coconut farming by providing ready market for farmers who would no longer struggle to find buyers for their produce.

He encouraged the recipients of the seedlings to use them for the intended purpose in order not to lose out on the economic benefits when the factory starts operation.

Mr. Amo Koranteng, the District Director of Agriculture, said in addition to the coconut seedlings, the Department of Agriculture was also distributing oil palm seedlings to farmers, and urged them to take advantage to improve their income.

Mr. Kojo Asamoah, a farmer and beneficiary of the seedlings, expressed his gratitude to the Member of Parliament, District Chief Executive, Agricultural Directorate, and the Assembly for supporting them with the seedlings free of charge.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ransford Antwi receives significant endorsement in parliamentary ambition

Mr. Ransford Antwi, an independent parliamentary candidate for the Sunyani East constituency, has expressed joy over the growing support and encouragement from residents in the area.

‘Many constituents continue to support my decision to run for the position of Member of Parliament (MP) in the area,’ he stated.

Mr Antwi told?the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Sunyani, he was committed to the progress and development of the people in his constituency and the entire Bono Region, while emphasizing his readiness to work tirelessly towards achieving these goals.

Mr. Antwi, a native of Sunyani, is a prominent figure in both the sports and business industries and currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Suncity Group of Companies and also a Board Member for the Ohio African Community Excellence Awards in the USA, a prestigious international awards scheme dedicated to honouring individuals, groups, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to African communities.

The Independent Parliamentary Aspirant expressed gratitude for the overwhelming endorsements from the majority of constituents who have shown confidence in him.

He pledged his firm commitment to the people in the area, assuring them that he would fulfill all promises made once entrusted with the mandate.

‘I am greatly inspired, and motivated by the admiration and confidence my people have in me,?knowing my good works in the constituency and trusting I could do more?if given the nod, as the MP in this year’s?general elections.

He stated that he has been in the constituency for many years and was familiar with the various situations present and assured of utilizing all available resources to address the identified issues effectively.

Furthermore, he assured the constituents of his dedication to developing the area in collaboration with the people and stressed the importance of their support and cooperation in achieving this goal.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NCCE holds Inter-Party Dialogue at Yunyoo

The Yunyoo-Nasuan District Directorate of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has held an Inter-party Dialogue Committee meeting for political parties and other stakeholders in the area to ensure peaceful coexistence for national cohesion.

The day’s meeting, held at Yunyoo in the North East Region, was also to reinforce the role of political parties as key stakeholders for ensuring peace and security in the country as well as to reignite dialogue on inter/intra political party grievances’ handling procedures as the country prepared towards this year’s elections.

It was attended by representatives of political parties, civil society organisations, traditional authorities, security agencies, Electoral Commission, faith-based organisations, people living with disabilities, youth groups, and women groups.

Also in attendance were Mr Wilberforce Zangina, North East Regional Director of NCCE, and Mr Christian Abogya, European Union (EU) Project Accountant at the NCCE Headquarters.

It formed part of th
e Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism project being implemented by the NCCE with funding support from the EU.

Mr Dramani Waris, Yunyoo-Nasuan District Director of the Electoral Commission, who was a resource person, urged all actors in this year’s elections to play their part in making sure that the elections were successful.

He spoke about the ongoing voters’ registration exercise and said even though the network had not been good, the offline was a backup.

He told representatives of political parties to continue to trust the Electoral Commission and work towards ensuring a credible voters’ registration exercise.

Mr Alhassan Yidana, Yunyoo-Nasuan District Director, National Investigations Bureau, who was also a resource person, took participants through various topics, including monitoring and reporting threats and vulnerabilities to violent extremism, ways to detect youth radicalisation, signs of recruitment, and mediation and resolution of local conflicts..

He urged community members to be ale
rt and support the security services with information to help ensure peace in the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GITFiC donates AfCFTA books to Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum Presidential library

The Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) has donated the first handbook on the AfCFTA, titled ‘Actualizing the African Economic Vision; A Practical Handbook of the AfCFTA’ to the Presidential Library at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.

The books, authored by Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC), serve as an invaluable resource for understanding and implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

At the ceremony, Mr Selasi Koffi Ackom, Chief Executive Officer of GITFiC said it provided practical insights, strategies, and case studies aimed at promoting and facilitating intra-African trade, and contributing to the continent’s economic growth and development.

He said the donation underscored GITFiC’s commitment to advancing education and fostering a deeper understanding of the AfCFTA among policymakers, scholars, and the public.

‘By making this knowledge accessible, GITFiC aims to empower a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to harness the opp
ortunities presented by the AfCFTA’.

The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, a symbol of Ghana’s rich history and its first President’s legacy, is an ideal location for this donation.

The Presidential Library, housed within the park, serves as a repository of critical historical documents and educational materials that inspire and inform future generations.

‘GITFiC is deeply committed to honoring the legacy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and contributing to the enrichment of the Kwame Nkrumah Presidential Library’s collection. The Practical Handbook on the AfCFTA represents a valuable resource that aligns with Dr. Nkrumah’s vision for Africa’s economic development, and we believe it will serve as a valuable asset for researchers, policymakers, and the public’.

Source: Ghana News Agency