The Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) is calling on all the political parties to, as a matter of urgency, make their manifestos for this year’s elections available in order to give students and voters a full grasp of their plans and policy proposals for the country.
A statement signed and issued by Elvis Osei Amponsah, Public Relations Officer of GNUPS, said: “Manifestos have played a major defining role especially in the Fourth Republic’s politics and form the basis for which the electorate assess and make a choice accordingly among candidates.
“No wonder political parties pertinaciously strive to put out convincing manifestos even though most of the things contained therein are unrealistic and outrageous,” it said.
The statement said: “If there is a section of Ghanaians who make voting decisions based on visions and policies contained in manifestos, then look no further than students.
“To accentuate this averment is the fact that students patiently have waited for far too long and are still waiting with raptness for the manifestos of the parties which have delayed for no tangible reason.”
With just some five months to the presidential and parliamentary elections, all the political parties including the major ones, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are yet to outdoor their manifestos, a situation which GNUPS thinks is unhealthy for the democracy of this country.
The NDC will be launching its campaign in Cape Coast on Sunday August 14 without a manifesto. The party said it would outdoor its manifesto at a future date.
The statement said: “We are shocked and worried at how parties would abandon this important activity and rather seek to indulge in useless rumpus about who copied what and who should release their manifestos first and such cretinous debate is frightening, especially amongst the leading political parties at this time when the country is bedeviled with a myriad of challenges.”
It mentioned students’ inability to pay fees, cancellation of allowances, clandestine attitude of government to shirk its responsibility of paying utility tariffs of students and that one may be tempted to curiously ask whether, indeed, the parties have citizens at heart or they are just interested in clinging on to power because of its associated benefits.
The statement questioned why the parties spend time to compete over good policies and critique that of their opponents which would be more beneficial.
“We are by this statement calling on all political parties to make it a point to outdoor their manifestos as soon as possible so that we can amply study and critique same and as part of our contribution to civic education we shall participate fully in discussing the contents and feasibility of manifestos going into the elections,” it said.