The Founder of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has said 2016 should establish the PPP as the main alternative to the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party.
“The PPP must be in parliament come 2017. PPP must be part of the next administration with a PPP person as President or PPP as a coalition government member,” he told a section of the media in Accra.
Interacting with journalists, Dr Nduom said “2016 should bring us hope for better results not fear for more problems. This is a very crucial one indeed.”
He recalled that “2012 brought us Supreme Court and pink sheets; dumsor; IMF; high taxes and excessive taxes on fuel and power; unemployment and a high level of debt.”
“I have asked our party (the PPP) not to rush in making anybody the presidential candidate because we have been engaged in talking to all manner of people, individuals and political parties on the idea of forming a coalition.
So those talks are still going on and I have no doubt that one way or another we will have a coalition either with political parties or with individuals, so that process is ongoing,”
Dr Nduom stated, adding that he was willing to put on hold his desire to contest the presidential slot of the party and rather support anyone through a coalition, without necessarily being the leader of the coalition.
“Because of this coalition discussions, I cannot say that I am the candidate for the Progressive People’s Party because it can happen as part of a coalition government that someone else is there and I am supporting that person in some form or another.”
Dr Nduom, however, noted that among all the presidential aspirants, he believed he had the experience and competence to lead Ghana successfully.
“If you ask me, pick the names of whoever you put there, John Dramani Mahama, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr Edward Mahama … there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this person standing here, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has the best package and right experience, qualification, the competence and the best commitment to incorruptible leadership among all of them,” he stated.
Touching on the two Guantanamo detainees that the country is providing shelter for, Dr Nduom said President Mahama’s decision to host them in the country should not degenerate into a conflict between Christians and Muslims.
He said government officials and NDC activists must not wage a war against those who oppose that decision.
“Every Ghanaian has the right to agree or disagree to the decision. So why question religious leaders who question the ‘sense’, he quizzed.
Dr Nduom condemned the Interior Minister, Mr Mark Woyongo; the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh and the Attorney- General, Marietta Brew Opong, for giving Ghanaians a reason to doubt the President on the Gitmo issue.
Reviewing tax exemption law for President
Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom says he would remove the tax exemption status enjoyed by the President if Ghanaians will elect him in November 2016 as the president of the country.
“I prefer repealing the item in the constitution that exempts the president from paying tax. It is wrong, and absolutely wrong. You can’t have the president not paying tax. What moral right does the president then have to come and ask you and me to pay tax?” the entrepreneur cum politician asked.
Per the Income Tax 2015 (Act 896), the salary, allowance, facilities, pension and gratuity of the President, in accordance with Article 68(5) of the Constitution, is exempt from tax.
He said the government must consider broadening the tax net through a proper identification system rather than looking for the easiest way out.
He noted that equipping the tax authority with the best technology and human resource would ensure that we have a robust identification system that would ensure that a lot of people are brought into the tax bracket.
“We need to restructure our identification system so that everyone is registered onto the system and we know what people are doing, and this can easily lead to a broadening of the tax base and making a cash-lite society. If we have an effective, efficient and robust identification system, who can evade taxes forever?” he asked.