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Economy as election beckons: Demand solutions from parties – Presby moderator to citizenry

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The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt Rev. Dr Abraham Nana Opare Kwakye, has asked Ghanaians to demand of political parties how they will transform the economy ahead of this year’s general election.

He said the transformation and improvement of the economy should be the main focus of the election, given the difficulties of the times.

“So for me, the economy is important, and it is my number one thing. We should not wait for them to come and tell us; we should force the political parties to talk to us about what differently they can do to transform and improve the economy.

“We mustn’t allow them to set our agenda for us, else it would be like you go to write an exam, you set your question, you answer it and then mark it,” Rt Rev. Dr Opare Kwakye told the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview. 

The conversation with the Moderator covered his New Year message to Ghanaians, his thoughts on some national issues, and vision for the church following his induction as the 19th Moderator in December last year. 

Rt Rev. Dr Opare Kwakye said it was unfortunate that election years generated tension in the country, stressing that it left people unsure of what would happen. 

He said when politicians inflamed passions with incendiary comments, the citizenry got worried.

He said as much as Ghanaians were nursing hope in 2024, “we want to encourage all the stakeholders in the elections to work towards peace”. 

Rt Rev. Dr Opare Kwakye said for instance, the Electoral Commission (EC) should endeavour to conduct a free, fair and transparent election.

“So, it is for the EC to sit up and do what is right. It should not try to side with one party against the other parties. 

“It should not try to make the playing ground uneven so that everybody is given the opportunity to choose their next leader,” he said. 

He said once that was done, the outcome of the election would be acceptable to all. 

He said although he believed the EC had a major role to play in the success of the election, the political parties too had a critical role to play in upholding and building upon the peace in the country.

Monetisation 

The Presbyterian Church Moderator further expressed concern about the monetisation of the democratic system in the country.

“One wonders (what would happen) one day when drug barons sponsor some people or they themselves decide to run for political office. How do we run the nation when things like that happen? 
So, we would need to deal with this issue of monetisation of democracy. I think it is a canker that must be uprooted,” he said.

He commended the National Peace Council for the work it had been doing to prevent violence before, during and after elections over the years, and called on all, especially civil society organisations, to support the council ahead of this year’s polls.

Until the General Assembly of PCG elected him as Moderator on August 17 this year, Rt Rev. Dr Opare Kwakye was the Chairman of the Ga Presbytery.

He took over from the Very Rev. Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante.

In his message after his induction, he pledged to wage a relentless crusade against the tendency of fellow citizens to loot the national coffers.

SOURCE: GRAPHIC ONLINE