Ghana’s Opposition promises to cut spending, end graft if elected

Nana Akufo-Addo
Ghana's Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo promises to cut spending

Ghana’s main opposition party said on Monday it will promote fiscal discipline and increase transparency in a bid to boost the West African country’s flagging economy and fight corruption, if voted into power in November’s elections.

Laying out what should form the basis of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) election manifesto, party head Nana Akufo-Addo said the NPP would introduce laws forcing the government to stick to spending limits and end graft which he says the current administration has done little to tackle.

President John Mahama is seeking a second four-year term in the elections in what could be tough battle against Akufo-Addo, his main rival in 2012.

Ghana, a major commodities exporter whose economy is facing high levels of public debt, high inflation and budget deficits, is currently following a three-year aid deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The opposition has blamed Ghana’s fiscal problems on mismanagement by Mahama’s government.

“It is time to build a new globally competitive economy with the NPP under my leadership. I am offering you a fresh package and a new direction,” Akufo Addo said, adding that he wanted to make Ghana the most people and business friendly country in Africa.

Among the proposed reforms, Akufo-Addo said he intends to appoint a special prosecutor to deal with graft as well as lowering corporate tax and abolishing levies on imported raw materials.

The NPP will enact the Right to Information Act, which is designed to enhance transparency by giving the public access to information but which has been held up in parliament for years.

Ghana has held six elections since constitutional rule was restored in 1992.

In a speech to parliament last week, Mahama pledged to stick to spending limits agreed under the IMF deal while ensuring free, fair and transparent elections.

Report by Reuters

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