political parties
political parties

The parties are: the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

political-parties
political-parties

The declaration of commitment was made last week, at an event organised by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) to secure a political buy-in for the SDGs, and to promote what it describes as ‘issue-based campaigning’ in the run-up to the 2016 general elections.

The parties have gone on to give assurances that they will find space to reflect the global development goals in their manifestoes for the 2016 general elections. On the question as to which of the goals they were committed to pursuing if granted the opportunity to rule this country for the next four years, the CPP and NPP said they ascribe to all 17 goals. NDC ascribed to 16 of the 17 goals. The party was not sure about goal 14, which relates to ‘conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

The GCPP also ascribed to 16 of the 17 development goals, taking exception to goal 17, which requires the ‘Strengthening of the means of implementation of the agreed goals, and re-vitalisation of the global partnership for sustainable development.

The party obviously was unenthused about the suggestion of ‘global partnership’ in moving forward the development of the country. Indeed, the party has time and again expressed reservations about globalisation and its ability to lift the country from its state of under-development. The party’s General Secretary, Mr Fred Ato Dadzie explained to the Public Agenda in a telephone interview that, the party chose not to commit to goal 17 for now, because it didn’t feel comfortable about some of the issues it entailed, such as, dependence on Official Development Assistance, import dependency as a way of addressing food shortages, for instance; and several others. Mr Dadzie said the GCPP team needed time to consult with party leadership before taking a position on that particular goal.

The ISODEC intervention in the 2016 electoral processes is supported by STAR Ghana. It is being implemented in collaboration with major civil society groupings and coalitions working in diverse spheres of national economic and social life. These include the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Campaign Coalition, Ghana Federation for People with Disability, Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, Kasa Initiative Ghana, Care International, Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, the Ghana Freedom of Information Coalition, and a host of other CSOs.

Explaining the rationale for their intervention, Campaigns Coordinator of ISODEC, Dr Steve Manteaw told a section of the Ghanaian media in Accra last week, that the SDGs provide the country with an opportunity to contextualise the choices Ghanaians make as a national collective, while at the same time, “affording us the liberty to prioritise our national actions towards their attainment.”

He intimated that though national elections are about voting for candidates, they are also about participation in the decision-making processes. Elections, he said, provide opportunity for citizen’s to make both demands and choices. “It is for this reason that ISODEC, in partnership with STAR-Ghana deems it appropriate to facilitate the active and constructive engagement of citizens in the upcoming elections. The purpose is to enhance the quality of electoral discourses and to promote issues-based campaigning and engagements towards the long term goal of helping to deepen and consolidate democratic governance in Ghana,” he stressed.

Source: Public Agenda
By Evelyn Addor

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