Ugandan outspoken opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye has tipped Nana Akufo-Addo to win the December polls given what according to him is the record of achievements of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in government.
Dr. Besigye was addressing the opening of a three-day meeting of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA), of which he is chairman, at Alisa Hotel, Accra, yesterday.
At the NPP-hosted event themed ‘Sustaining Democracy and Economic Development in Africa- The Centre Right Way’, he told his audience, made up of representations from various African countries and the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, “I think the NPP will emphatically win the elections. They have an eight-year record to show.”
He whipped some African countries where according to him elections were a facade to seek international legitimacy for their agenda, adding that most governments were more concerned about regaining power than providing the basic needs of their people.
DUA being a Centre-Right organisation composing political parties across the continent who believed in the values of the philosophy, he said, it had so far performed better than the others in tackling the challenges of their people.
He disapproved of what he said was the runaway corruption in Africa as he took his audience through the political challenges that had taken place in the past few years, notably Libya, Sudan and Ivory Coast.
Nana Akufo Addo, who delivered the keynote address, used the opportunity to put forth his signature policy of offering education gratis from kindergarten to senior high school level.
Although he did not want to prescribe such a formula to other African countries, he went ahead to describe it as the best bet for changing the lot of the continent.
“I hesitate to prescribe policy initiatives for other countries; but, on the matter of education, I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending that all African countries adopt the policy of free compulsory education from kindergarten to senior high school. This is one of the most important things we have to do if we are to make the transformation from our current state to prosperity,” he said.
On the centre-right philosophy of the NPP, which the membership of DUA believed in, he said, “it has always been the champion of democracy. It has been the philosophy of freedom. It has been the philosophy of the free market. It has been the philosophy of creating opportunities for people”.
To sustain democracy, he said, opposition parties should get into power and help in the economic transformation of countries.
Mrs. Philippa Broom, who is the International Secretary of the Conservative Party (UK), applauded the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for its commitment to democratic principles and the well-being of Ghanaians.
“It is my wish, Mrs. Broom said, that Ghana will see a Centre-Right party back in power to enhance economic transformation,” she said.
Eirik Moen, Secretary General of International Democratic Union (IDU), congratulated the NPP for winning the 2000 and 2004 elections, and also praised the party for fully cooperating in the 2008 transition, though the party lost by a slim margin.
He urged other developing countries to emulate Ghana’s democratic achievements.
Mr. Moen was optimistic that Ghana would once again go through the December 7 polls as a peaceful and united country. The meeting was funded by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).