Manifestos must reflect National Development Plan – NDPC

By A.B. Kafui Kanyi

Ho, Sept. 23, GNA –
Mr Jonathan Azasoo, a Deputy Director of the National Development Planning
Commission (NDPC), has called on political parties to ensure that their
manifestos are in line with the National Development Plan.

He attributed the
slow pace of development in the country to the use of political party
manifestos, which did not respond to the National Development agenda and tasked
Members of Parliament (MP) to help resolve the challenge.

Mr Azasoo
specifically tasked MPs to make input into the preparation of party manifestos
to ensure that the documents were not “against” the national agenda.

He was addressing a
capacity building workshop organised, by the Coalition of Domestic Election
Observers (CODEO) in collaboration with the Centre for Democratic Development
(CDD-Ghana) for Parliamentary Aspirants in the Southern belt of the country.

The workshop, on
the theme, “Election 2016: Promoting Policy-issue-based Debate and
Post-election Accountability at the Constituency level,” was to prepare
participants for an impending parliamentary platforms ahead of the December
Polls.

Mr Azasoo said
manifestos, which were-short term programmes of interest to woo the electorate
for votes, were largely irrelevant until they reflected the national
development agenda to avoid situations where politicians always said they were
building the foundations of the economy.

“How many times do
we build foundations? he asked. “In Ghana, every Government is building
foundations because their manifestos go left when the national development plan
says right, but we must stop this to move forward,” he stated.

Mr Azasoo said the
priorities and approaches may differ but the documents ought to correspond.

He said the
challenge was that some MPs who were supposed to help develop the manifestos of
their parties were not conversant with the national development plan and urged
them to acquaint themselves with the national development plan.

Mr Azasoo also
asked MPs to interrogate Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on the
level of implementation of their medium-term development plans and hold them
accountable to ensure that public funds were not misapplied.

Madam Regina
Tetteh, the Coordinator of the training, said this year’s parliamentary debate
sought to ease growing tension in the build up to the December Polls by
streamlining campaign messages of political aspirants to focus on the pertinent
policy issues affecting the vulnerable groups in the 50 purposively selected
constituencies.

She said the debate
would provide opportunity to persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV
and AIDS, youth and women to interact with prospective legislators on issues
affecting them to ensure their inclusion in the political and governance
process.

GNA

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