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General News Fri, 15 Jan 1999

Reform Movement not rigidly intended to be political party - spokesman

Accra (Greater Accra), 15 Jan. '99 - The Reform Movement (RM) within the National Democratic Congress ( NDC) is ''not rigidly intended to become a political party'', Mr Mije Barnor, press spokesman of the movement said today. "Those of us, who belong to the RM are still members of the NDC ", Mr Banor, who speaking in an interview with GRi in Accra said, adding that the movement is meant to create a platform for those ''who share the stated but relegated ideals of the NDC to discuss the possibility of making those ideals real''. He said in the next few months, "we will create the platform and if the masses, who will turn up for the discussion, demand the formation of a party thereafter, then we would only have to please the masses". He said the RM is currently represented in the rank and file of the nation and that people have been coming frequently from the regions to register their solidarity and willingness to organise in their areas. "We even have support from some NDC functionaries outside the country and the year 2000 would show the in-roads we have made in the ranks of the party." Mr Barnor called on the NDC National Executive to issue a resolution on the recently held national congress to enable members of the party know the party's direction for Vision 2000 and beyond. He noted that almost one month after the party's national congress at Sekondi, delegates have not been able to report back to the masses. "This is so because the national executive have not issued any congress resolution yet", adding that this state of affairs gives credence to the issues raised by the RM prior to the congress. "Those of us who belong to the RM are still members of the NDC and deserve to know the direction of the party like all other members." Mr Barnor said the party's executive pledged before the congress to address the issues of non-functioning of the over 500 branches of the party across the nation and those of poor party structures and organisation, and unclear national policies among other things. "Vague reports from the congress, however, showed that only issues relating to the selection of presidential and parliamentary candidates, President Rawlings as the founder and life chairman, and other minor ones were addressed. "It is in this light that those of us concerned about the stated ideals of the party, have taken our current line of action to bring those ideals and aspirations of the masses, to the fore." Mr Barnor denied claims by Mr Kofi Attor that negotiations are on- going between the NDC and RM, saying that there has been nothing like that for the past six months. He, however, stated that since the NDC has not denied the authenticity of the issues raised by the RM, "if we find them to be addressing those issues, we would call off the movement and get back to our businesses and keep faith with the party".

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