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Gov't Not Bound To Accept Every Proposal Made By The Opposition – Dr. Gyampo   
 
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04-Apr-2016  
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Dr Ransford Gyampo
 
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Dr Ransford Gyampo, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, has stated that the opposition must understand that the ruling party in government, in carrying out its policies during its term of office, is not bound to accept every proposal made by them.

According to him, indeed the opposition has a duty to offer constructive criticisms, offering policy alternatives, but it should not expect the government to accept everything it proposes.

“It is only when this is much appreciated that the opposition’s Opposition Disease would be abated. Indeed, it is only when the parties not in government accept this political truism that cynicism and subjecting everything the government does to annihilating criticism would cease,” he said this during his keynote address at the launch of the Political Science Students’ Association  (POSSA) week celebration today.

He argued that our politics ought to be characterized not by mere tolerance but by also accommodation between different parties.

Adding that mere tolerance can be coupled with indifference and even hostility.

“Tolerance and accommodation requires that we put our personal feelings aside and deal with one another on national issues in the national interest.”

To him the practice of sounding ballistic and combative on partisan rallies and showing tolerance and accommodation only behind the scenes is not good enough.

“In my view, it is a disingenuous practice of political hypocrisy and deception that must be eschewed to give meaning to the kind of genuine political tolerance and accommodation that we all expect to trickle down to the entire citizenry of our dear nation Ghana, at all times and in particular, in the lead up to the 2016 General Elections,” he added.

In the interest of dealing with all the obstacles that impede political tolerance and accommodation and as well, undermine our drive towards democratic maturity and consolidation, he concluded by stressing the need for the ruling government and opposition parties to build bridges of mutual respect and understanding to promote co-operation and consensus on issues of national interest.

“Let there be candor, genuineness and no hypocrisy in intra-and inter-party dialogue.”      

He highlighted some guidelines on how political tolerance and accommodation can be cultivated and made to develop such deep roots that they will be internalized and become a tradition taken for granted in Ghana’s body politic.

"So, how then can political tolerance and accommodation be cultivated and made to develop such deep roots that they will be internalized and become a tradition taken for granted in Ghana’s body politic? May I suggest the following guidelines:

1. We have to commit ourselves to our constitution and ensure that it is not subverted.

2. We must recognize the fact that multi-partyism implies the existence of more than one party.  In this regard, other political parties must be allowed to exist and operate within the frame work of the constitution.

3. There should be a sincere commitment by all parties to a free, fair, peaceful and transparent electoral process and cooperation among them to ensure that elections do not raise any doubt as to acceptability of their outcome

4. The Political Party that wins an election should be mindful of the fact that electoral victory is nothing more than a mandate from the people for a term, and that this mandate, is subject to revocation or renewal

5. A party in government should not do things to the opposition that it would not wish the opposition to do to it, if the roles were reversed.

6. We must also recognize that the concept of “enemy” is a negative and corrosive factor in multi-party politics and that political parties contesting for the mandate of the people are citizens offering their services to the nation, not enemies fighting.

7. There should be the institutionalization of inter-party dialogue to ensure free communication and interaction such as the platforms created by the IEA-GPPP and IPAC. In this regard, the notion that consorting with members of other parties is a sign of party disloyalty and betrayal should be seen as an anachronistic, crude and very much unrefined political belief or practice.

8. The opposition must recognize that the ruling party in government is entitled to carry out its policies during its term of office and that it is not bound to accept every proposal made by the opposition. Indeed, the opposition has a duty to offer constructive criticisms, offering policy alternatives, but it should not expect the government to accept everything it proposes. It is only when this is much appreciated that the opposition’s Opposition Disease would be abated. Indeed, it is only when the parties not in government accept this political truism that cynicism and subjecting everything the government does to annihilating criticism would cease.

9. Democracy and opacity cannot be bed-fellows, hence without necessarily divulging certain national secrets in the interest of national security, there should be free flow of information on all matters of national and public interest to avoid distrust, suspicion, wild speculations and rumour-mongering. What is the state of Ghana’s Right to Information Bill?

10. Both politicians in government and in opposition must have the capacity to cope with criticisms. If criticisms are based on facts and can be proven, they can be leveled even if they are offensive and embarrassing. Exposing the truth must not be taken to mean less constructive. It may hurt someone, but concealing it hurts the whole society. But criticisms based on falsehood and fanciful speculation must be curtailed since they undermine political tolerance and accommodation.

11. There should be an appreciation that governments are human institutions and can make mistakes. Such mistakes, when pointed out through attacks and criticisms must elicit proper response from government and not propaganda and the bogus practice of political equalization. The proper response to such attacks or criticism is not to force or cover-up, but a genuine acceptance and show of effort to rectify the mistakes.

12. There should be a very conscious effort on the part of politicians, chiefs, opinion leaders, and religious leaders to promote national unity and peaceful coexistence. Government must show leadership in this regard and the opposition must not be obstructive and make the country ungovernable.

He spoke on the topic: “Political Tolerance: An Ideal Recipe for Democratic Consolidation in Ghana” at the launching of the Political Science Students’ Association (POSSA) week celebration.
 
 
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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