General News of 2014-05-12

NPP’s decision to boycott Economic Forum poor – Gov’t

Government says the excuse the New Patriotic Party is adducing for boycotting the National Economic Forum is "poor."

According to Deputy Information and Media Relations Minister, Felix Kwakye-Ofosu, all stakeholders for the forum were invited on Friday and have confirmed participation except the NPP.

The largest opposition party announced a boycott, Monday, saying it was informed about the Forum on Friday with no policy document that would serve as the basis for thorough discussion.

The NPP National Chairman, Paul Afoko, said for a forum of such magnitude, the stakeholders ought to have been given prior notice and a base document for them to prepare adequately and contribute proficiently.

More importantly, the party said it had sighted a document prepared and adopted by government indicating a number of economic reforms between 2014 and 2017 and has communicated same to the IMF.

The NPP said if such reforms have been adopted it was no use organising a National Forum again to discuss reforms that have been accepted and sent to the IMF.

Paul Afoko said the NPP would not be part of a "deliberate propaganda and PR gimmick, to hoodwink the good people of Ghana in the face of monumental hardships we have been subjected to."

But in a reaction, the Deputy Information Minister said the NPP was not treated any different from other stakeholders.

He added the rationale for the forum was to build broad consensus and consultations with stakeholders and adopt a national economic strategy for the future.

He said the NPP is only one of many political parties in Ghana, adding it would have been best if they were part of the Forum, but if they have decided to boycott the government will not lose much.

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