The launch of political party manifestos does not lead to victory or conjure development, former President John Agyekum Kufuor has said.
Manifesto launches have become a feature in Ghana’s multi-party democracy to the extent that civil society organisations constantly put pressure on political parties to release their manifestos during election years so as to give the electorate substance on which to vote.
However, speaking at the 2016 manifesto launch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra on Sunday October 9, Mr Kufuor wondered why some parties have become so obsessed with manifestos ahead of general elections.
“Of late a lot of fetish has been made about the writing of manifestos and some have even made it seem as if the mere launch of a manifesto will automatically lead to victory at the polls or conjure development for the country. While we all agree that manifestos are an important part in competitive multi-party politics as they lay out the various trajectories that the different parties would pursue in office, they could be just a collection of promises and scholarly work to impress,” he stated.
Mr Kufuor, therefore, advised that manifestos should not be accepted on their face value. According to him, “such an approach might belie the integrity of the purpose, since they could be riddled with opportunism to hoodwink the voting population.”
Mr Kufuor noted that the NPP manifesto, however, is not just a recently collected set of ideas that the party wishes to try out on the people or a smooth package for public consumption but rather “the essential features of our manifesto focus and revolve around upholding and advancing the dignity of humanity, especially of all the citizens of our nation”, adding: “This has always been the core of our tradition.”