Political Parties’ Delay in the Release of Manifestos for the 2016 Elections

; A Setback in the Growth of Our Infant Democracy*

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SONETCO Institute, is a socialist ideological think tank which deploys its mandate through provision of requisite Education and dissemination of accurate Information towards ensuring national Development.

The delay in the release of manifestos by particularly the two frontrunners in the December 7th general elections, NDC and NPP, is indeed a cause for worry, and it is such an unfortunate precedence being set to foist long democratic credentials Ghana has earned over the years.

The long and loud silence from NDC and NPP on this key electoral business is regrettable and it is a big blow to our democracy, touted to be the beacon of Africa.

It is an obvious truth that averagely the two political parties per our electoral history of demographics, have an estimated 40% votes each per their traditional vote reserves but the crucial estimated 10% votes required to be declared a winner of the presidential race comes from the segment of the population who makes voting decisions based on track record vis-à-vis manifestos of incumbent and potential government.

Further, manifestos equally give Civil Society Groups and experts the opportunity to do critical and objective assessment of the direction the country is likely to go per the reasoning of our political class.

Equally, it helps to whip the political players in line, to move away from vituperative campaigns to issues based which better informs the electorate.

SI Intel-Unit knows for a fact that NDC postponed their manifesto launch due to the summit ongoing in Kenya but to us it is not a buyable excuse because few months to elections without manifesto is an indictment on the party that is in government. In many ways, the election is a referendum on the mandate of the party in government, and we do admit that they have done creditably well. Notwithstanding, the NDC as a ruling party has a duty to tell the Ghanaian about where they intent to take our country given the renewal of mandate.

The excuse of the NPP citing the fear of having their ideas stolen with reference to “Free SHS” educational policy which to them, is that which President Mahama and his government has turned into progressive free quality education currently being implemented in senior high schools for day students across the country is inexcusable.
A party that lost two consecutive elections when it even had incumbency advantage in 2008 with early manifesto and campaigned with “same” in 2012, should not hold their manifesto to their chest.
If for nothing, NDC is talking about what their earlier 2008/2012 manifestos have produced thus far, so the NPP needs to think about their decision again.

In as much as elections are a referendum on incumbents, it equally provides a marketing platform for opposition parties to give us an alternative potential leadership direction backed by empirically pragmatic policies and programs. Opposition political parties who have tasted political power in the past also have the opportunity to refresh the mind of the electorate about their previous achievements as proof of what they are capable of doing, given the nod to lead this nation again.

It must be made clear that, no serious developing nation must be subjected to the prevailing infantile political gimmicks which is not found in any election winning manual.

More so, SI is equally concerned about how we the populace; the potential voters and the civil society organisations, and the media which is the fourth estate of the realm consciously neglect the scrutiny of the potential of other political parties termed as smaller political parties.

Our history in the fourth Republic tells a different story because these smaller political parties are always instrumental in who wins the general elections.

Then candidate Agyekum Kuffour needed an alliance with these same smaller parties to win and he clinched victory and same was obviously clear in voting pattern for the election of the late candidate John Attah Mills, and also candidate John Mahama in the 2012 elections.

Finally, as a socialist ideological think tank with prime focus on the ordinary people who suffer most in the long run for such delays, we wish to call on all well meaning Ghanaians, civil society organisations, the media and all other stakeholders to join us to admonish the two main political parties and all other minority ones who have deliberately delayed the release of their manifestos with “flimsy excuses” to do the needful as the time is now.

Long Live SONETCO Institute!

Long Live Our Homeland Ghana!

Signed:

In Accra, Tuesday 30th August, 2016.
SONETCO INSTITUTE

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