The political parties are now coming out with their manifestoes, with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) the latest to do so as it launched its manifesto yesterday.
Already, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the Independent People’s Party (IPP) and the All People’s Congress (APC) have all launched their respective manifestoes.
Manifestoes, in themselves, will not guarantee fulfilled promises. However, those policy documents can go a long way to provide the basis for the electorate to make informed choices, as well as hold politicians accountable.
As an important benchmark to ensure that political parties become accountable to the electorate, manifestoes are very important business plans that the parties are expected to implement when elected into office.
It is, therefore, unfortunate that with less than two months to this year’s elections, most of the 26 or so parties registered by the Electoral Commission are yet to release their manifestoes for perusal by the public.
Indeed, it is most worrying that many of the parties are campaigning without manifestoes when we are just two months to elections.
The Daily Graphic would like to urge those political parties which are yet to launch their manifestoes to do so in good time to enable the electorate to have a variety of policies to choose from.
Nevertheless, the electorate has the opportunity to scrutinise those that have been launched.
For that to be done effectively, there is the need for the manifestoes to be made available, both in hard and soft copies. They must also be made in braille form, so that our visually impaired brothers and sisters will not be disadvantaged.
Clearly, the launch of party manifestoes is not fanfare but serious business and the Daily Graphic would like to encourage all and sundry to examine crucially the various manifestoes that have been released, identify those that reflect the country’s development aspirations and needs, as well as hold the parties accountable to these policy statements.
Ghanaians must individually and collectively examine how the various manifestoes can transform the Ghanaian society. The people must also ask the relevant questions, including how the political parties are going to implement the plethora of promises.
In our view, the electorate need to find out whether the manifestoes cover the key development challenges of the country and whether enough provisions have been made to address those challenges.
For parties that have been in government before, we need to find out how they fared with their old manifestoes before we listen to new ones. This will give a strong basis for effective appraisal of the documents by the electorate.
The Daily Graphic congratulates all the parties that have released their manifestoes for public scrutiny. No doubt the manifestoes will go a long way to enrich the country’s democratic dispensation.