The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has predicted that many of the campaign promises by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will remain unfulfilled.
“I am profoundly optimistic that the ruling NPP government will choke with credibility problems in honouring their lousy and mouth-watering promises to the electorate,” he told the Daily Graphic in an interview moments after the country celebrated its 60th Independence Anniversary last Monday.
NPP Campaign promises
The NPP, during the 2016 general election campaign promised many things to the Ghanaian electorate. Some of the flagship promises were, Free Senior High School (SHS), one village one dam, paying of teacher and nursing trainee allowances, free maternal care, and reducing tariffs and abolishing some taxes.
Others are one district one factory, $1m each to all 275 constituencies, payment of all DKM customers, reducing corporate tax, creating the Western North Region, and providing jobs.
Others are the expansion of the school feeding programme, implementing strong anti-corruption policies and National Identity (NI) Cards for all Ghanaians and the elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) among many other promises.
Mr Iddrisu mentioned that whilst the NDC was wishing the NPP well, only time would tell about what they could do to redeem the campaign promises.
He said the future was very bright for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) because the Ghanaian electorate would have an opportunity to compare the records of the NDC and those of the NPP.
The NDC, he said, “had a good record of massive infrastructural development yet we lost the elections. Meaning there was something amiss. What did the Ghanaian want and we failed to do. This is what the election review committee, under Dr Kwesi Botchwey, can help to unravel.”
According to Mr Iddrisu, the NDC needs to understand the Ghanaian electorate and what influences their political choices.
Personally, I believe that addressing the growing unemployment was key and remains a critical measure of the current NPP government, he pointed out.
I believe that the election review committee should work and work well and their recommendation should drive the rebuilding of the NDC party from the grass roots to the national level, he opined.
What NDC needs to do
Going forward, the Minority Leader advised the party’s members to stop the blame game and focus and work hard for the victory of the NDC at the 2020 polls.
Furthermore, he appealed to NDC members and supporters to pick up the pieces and move on.
“Internal wranglings and undermining within the NDC did not allow us to build internal cohesion from the grass roots to the top; Some of our policies and interventions did not also reflect our philosophy and values as a social democratic party. The NDC needs to have an unbiased thorough analysis of why we lost and that can and should redefine the NDC and its future,” he reasoned.
Giving the outcome of the 2016 elections, Mr Iddrisu said it manifested that some of our policies failed and need to be tweaked.
He cautioned that “a flawless diagnosis of autopsy is impossible,” saying, “If there was nothing wrong we would not have lost the 2016 elections.”
2020 must win for NDC
As Minority leader in the Seventh Parliament, Mr Iddrisu indicated that he had the onerous duty to defend the legacy of the NDC, re-brand and reposition it towards the 2020 presidential election.
As part of his key agenda, he said he would strive to help the NDC work to improve public policy for the public good, work to ensure value for money and work to protect the public purse as well as deepen openness and transparency in the workings of Parliament to make Parliament more responsive to the needs of the people.
He said the Sixth Parliament was NDC-led and currently as Minority Leader in the Seventh Parliament, now working from opposition, he had the onerous responsibility to defend NDC’s legacy for it to be attractive to the Ghanaian electorate.
He said working from opposition was also an opportunity to serve the people of Ghana.
One feels very re-energised and re-engaged to focus on re-branding and rebuilding of the party to improve on its electoral fortunes in 2020, he stated.
“I am relating to all the structures of the party, working hard to promote unity and cohesion to recapture political power in 2020,” he assured, saying “the 2020 election must be a must win for NDC.”
He said the NDC party was very attractive except that there was discontentment and internal wranglings among its ranks.
Building bridges with NPP
On whether the NDC was building bridges with the NPP for regular dialogue as was reported in the Daily Graphic’s front page lead story of Wednesday, March 8, 2017, he said, “This harmony is to understand the work of Parliament and what Parliament does.”
In that story, it was reported that the Majority and the Minority in Parliament took a major step towards building bridges when they held a joint press briefing for the first time in Parliament holding on the same position.
Explaining further, he, however, stressed that; “Inherent in multi-party democracy is disagreement and alternative policy options,” and gave an assurance that the NDC would work to provide superior policy options to the NPP.
Source: Daily Graphic