Last month, Ghana's military government announced that the formation of political parties would be allowed from the first of January this year in preparation for the country's return to parliamentary democracy in July.
GV Chairman of United National Party, William Ofori Atta, speaking as audience listens.
SV Leader of National Popular Front, B.J. Rocha at microphone. (MUTE)
SV Rocha speaking in English
SV Leader of Action Progress Party, Colonel Frank Bernasko, at microphone.
CU Bernasko speaking in English.
SV Managing editor of "People's Evening News" and leader of People's Democratic Party of Ghana, Osei Poku at microphone.
SV Poku speaking in English.
ATTA: "We believe that much of this can be achieved through a strong and healthy national economy,. We believe that the economy of Ghana is essentially viable. What it needs is a strong and stable direction which must be attained by competent management and integrity. The cornerstone of our economic policy is the transformation of agriculture into a highly productive and profitable enterprise, to provide a firm foundation for an expanding industrial programme."
ROCHA: "We intend to continue -- to strive for the ideas of Dr. Busia and the Progress Party. We believe that the Progress Party, in spite of whatever criticism people put against it, gave this country a different government and speaking for myself I am proud of its achievements and I'm sure that most Progress Party supporters feel the way I do. Certainly looking back at the tasks of the years, it's difficult not to agree with me in this respect. We mean to go on, we believe we have got very, very substantial support and we hope to do very well in the forthcoming election."
BERNASKO: "You may be interested to know that the deterioration of our economy has caused considerable hardship to the Ghanaians. One, we say that mismanagement, corruption and shortage of food have been the main causes for this deteriorations. This has resulted in a high rate of inflation, now standing at one-forty percent. Food prices alone contributes about seventy percent to the rate of inflation -- and this is the main point of our party."
POKU: "What us happening today in Ghana is that (INDISTINCT) the people. When I talk of this there's all politicians who have always pursued a capitalist line towards the economic problems of the country, are now talking in the language of socialists. They now claim that it is only certain claim that it is only certain types of governments that can save Ghana from economic ruin. And if people like these are talking in this language then you must know that certain of them has a chance in the country. And what I believe and my party -- (INDISTINCT) Socialist Party -- (INDISTINCT) based on the idea of (INDISTINCT) for this country. (INDISTINCT), clear and obvious but the People's Democratic Party of Ghana will definitely win the forthcoming general elections.
According to the Ghana News Agency, one day after allowing the formation of political parties, Ghana's military rulers disqualified 105 people, including leading politicians in two former governments, from holding public office. The Supreme Military Council said in a decree that the disqualified persons had acquired assets unlawfully, defrauded the state, misused their office or wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the state. According to the agency those named in the decree included: J.H. Mensah, a Finance Minister in Dr. Busia's government, and Victor Owusu, Attorney-General and Foreign Minister in the same government.
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Background: Last month, Ghana's military government announced that the formation of political parties would be allowed from the first of January this year in preparation for the country's return to parliamentary democracy in July. Six days after the seven-year ban on political activity was lifted, six Parties had emerged and their leaders were quick off the mark in stating their aims and objectives. One of them was William Ofori Atta, formerly a cabinet minister in the late Dr. Kofi Busia's government. He leads the United National Convention and spoke in Accra last week about economic development.
SYNOPSIS: Former Secretary of Dr. Busia's Progress Party, B.J. Da Rocha, launched the National Popular Front.
The Action Congress Party was inaugurated by Colonel Frank Bernasko, former Commissioner for Agriculture in General Ignatius Achaempong's administration.
The People's Democratic Party of Ghana was launched by the managing editor of the "People's Evening News", Osei Poku. He promised to established a socialist state based on democratic principles.