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Global Ghana News

PROCESS' TO REPLACE BIDEN WASHINGTON — Shortly after President Joe Biden announced that he would drop his reelection campaign, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison had a message: There would be no automatic coronation for his replacement. “In the coming days, the party will undertake a transparent and orderly process to move forward,” Harrison said in a statement. “This process will be governed by established rules and procedures of the party. Our delegates are prepared to take seriously their responsibility in swiftly delivering a candidate to the American people.“ The comment reflected the reality that while Vice President Kamala Harris is emerging as the prohibitive favorite to become the party's nominee — backed already by Biden and many Democrats — it's not so simple. And, for now, the party isn't offering many details on what happens next. Some DNC members had already begun privately discussing contingency plans for the possibility that Biden would step aside prior to his decision to formally do so on Sunday, and a committee setting the party’s rules for the Democratic National Convention, which opens Aug. 19 in Chicago, will gather virtually on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the next steps. Harris has to formally secure the nomination from the around 4,700 Democratic convention delegates — including those pledged to Biden, as well as the elected officials, former presidents and other party elders known as superdelegates. She spent part of Sunday calling elected officials and delegates to solidify their support. Ken Martin, president of the Association of State Democratic Committees, which represents the 57 parties in the states and territories, said Harris was the obvious choice: “Having served alongside President Biden, she is ready on day one as a candidate and as our next president.” She was also endorsed by the 1.75-million-member American Federation of Teachers union. But Democratic rules state only that delegates “in all good conscience” vote for the candidate they were elected to represent, with no mechanism for defectors. And some in the party have endorsed an open nominating process. There’s been active debate about how to proceed among lawmakers, major donors and former high-ranking officials of the Biden, Obama and Clinton administrations, said a Democrat with deep ties to the Biden administration. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations, argued that Harris would benefit from a competitive mini-primary ahead of the Democratic convention, because it would help solidify her as a strong candidate and diminish criticism that she’s been undemocratically anointed. That's a charge the trump campaign has already sought to use against her, and could loom large in the battle for undecided voters in battleground states. Such a scenario might leave Democrats heading into their convention without a clear nominee, though, and perhaps choosing one via a series of potentially messy floor votes. That could mean top Democratic candidates looking to replace Biden resorting to visiting individual state delegations to lobby — a process unseen since 1960, when Johnson and John F. Kennedy jockeyed for support during their party's convention in Los Angeles. If that happened, in addition to Harris, many other leading Democrats could vie for the nomination, including the likes of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and California Rep. Ro Khanna — though many of those said shortly after Biden's announcement that they were formally endorsing Harris. Inside the White House, meanwhile, there’s low expectation that Harris will get a serious challenge, according to a person familiar with deliberations who requested anonymity to discuss the private conversations. Others who have been mentioned as viable contenders — including Shapiro and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper — have also both endorsed Harris and would seem unlikely to run in light of Biden’s backing her, and the expected fundraising advantage she would hold over anyone who’d enter the field. Further complicating matters is the fact that the DNC had planned to hold a virtual roll call to choose its nominee ahead of the convention, in order to meet Ohio ballot eligibility rules. That state's original deadline ballot deadline was Aug. 7, and though the Legislature has since approved a law nullifying that, it doesn’t take effect until Sept. 1. DNC lawyers say that means the party could face legal challenges in Ohio if it fails to name their party’s nominee prior to the state’s original deadline. But the convention rules committee has said it won’t set a date for the virtual roll call — which could take place over several days — before Aug. 1. Some Democrats fear a host of other GOP legal challenges, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who had defended Biden staying in the race by arguing that replacing him might trigger “a presidential election being decided by Clarence Thomas and the Supreme Court” — like what happened during the 2000 presidential election and the disputed recount in Florida. At Wednesday's conventions rules committee meeting, members could establish virtual roll call rules and a process to nominate Harris or create a more open process for choosing a nominee, according to a person familiar with the process on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “During the convention, we will have an opportunity to show the country and the world who Democrats are and what we stand for,” Minyon Moore, Democratic convention chair, said in a statement. Harrison, the DNC chair, refrained from endorsing Harris in a statement, saying only, "In short order, the American people will hear from the Democratic Party on next steps and the path forward for the nomination process.” A somber Harrison also joined a virtual meeting of the convention credentials committee on Sunday, telling members, “I'm emotional.” “I still support my president,” Harrison said of Biden. "And we will get through this, my friends, as we always do.” 8th July,2024

TRUMP CELEBRATED BY FORMER RIVALS HALEY, Donald Trump was celebrated Tuesday at the Republican National Convention by former rivals who just months ago leveled harsh critiques about him, a show of unity that contrasts with the divisions increasingly ripping through the Democratic Party. Nikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador who was Trump’s final challenger in the GOP primary, directly addressed her supporters after taking the stage to a mix of cheers and boos. “My message to them is simple: You don’t have to agree with Trump 100% of the time to vote for him,” Haley said. She was followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a onetime Trump ally turned primary rival who has worked to rebuild his relationship with the former president since dropping out of the primary. “Donald Trump has been demonized. He’s been sued. He’s been prosecuted. And he nearly lost his life,” DeSantis told the crowd. “We cannot let him down. And we cannot let America down.”Such overtures are typical in political conventions, where the purpose is often to bring a party together after bitter primaries. But the Haley and DeSantis appearances were particularly notable given the personal animosity that defined this year’s GOP contest — much of that being directed by Trump at Haley and DeSantis. The displays of unity stood in stark contrast to the dynamic facing Democrats, many of whom are increasingly uncertain that President Joe Biden is the right choice to take on Trump in the November election. DeSantis was once seen as best positioned to challenge Trump’s position at the top of the party. As a presidential candidate, he was slow to criticize Trump directly before eventually accusing him of repeatedly failing to follow through on his promises. Haley, meanwhile, painted Trump as chaotic and suggested the 78-year-old was too old to serve another term. Unlike DeSantis, she did not immediately endorse Trump after she dropped out, instead waiting a few months to announce he had her vote.Biden’s campaign resurrected Haley’s criticisms Tuesday. Austin Weatherford, a spokesperson for the campaign, said in a statement, “Ambassador Haley said it best herself: someone who doesn’t respect our military, doesn’t know right from wrong, and ‘surrounds himself in chaos’ can’t be president.” 17th July,2024

FEVER PITCH OF HATRED' CONTINUES An advocate for persecuted Christians says believers in the Muslim country still need our prayers. Jeff King of International Christian Concern says Pakistan "has got to be one of the worst places in the world to be a Christian." "It's not North Korea, but it is wretched," he tells AFN. "You're going to live as a third-class citizen." Additionally, the country is "in an uproar." "They keep attacking Christians really for no good reasons," King reports. "Mobs form, and there's some rumor that flies around that somebody desecrated the Qur'an, and they get attacked." A recent example of that involves the deadly beating of a 74-year-old man. Police officers arrested some of the people responsible, but then another mob formed to demand their release. "The man who was beaten by the Muslim mob dies; his wife dies about a week later out of stress and a broken heart, and then the police release from jail the 54 that they had arrested that were involved in the murder," King relays. So with Pakistan "in a fever pitch of hatred" towards Christians, he says more of them are starting to wonder, 'Do we have a future here? Do we have a place here?" 22nd July,2024

FREEDOM TO STAND FOR MORAL ISSUES The updated party platform of the Republican National Committee, intended to be a guide for candidates and elected officials, should be that and nothing more, says Rep. Nathaniel Moran of Texas. Protection of life and the definition of marriage, strongly addressed in previous GOP platforms, were significantly watered down in the revision. There was no mention of a need for congressional action on the abortion issue, fetal tissue research or mention of God bestowing the right to life. “We need to be rooted in moral absolutes. Life is one of those, and standing with Israel has been a real pillar of the moral truths and moral foundations of our country and of our conservative values over the past several decades,” Moran, in Milwaukee for the final night of the RNC convention, told show host Tony Perkins. “We cannot lose that in action even if it’s not in the written word of what was adopted here on the floor.” Weakened GOP stance on Israel It’s not only about protection of life when it comes to moral emphasis within the GOP. It should be about standing with Israel as well. The new platform states the need to support Israel, but the language isn’t as strong and is far less meaningful, critics say. Heath Mayo, the founder of Principles First – a conservative group that does not support GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump – told The Washington Examiner that the revision has “too many core things left out.” He lamented the lack of prominence for Israel, The Examiner reported. Moran pointed out Israel is one of America's closest allies. “We have to stand steady and firm, and President [Joe] Biden has not done that,” he said. 22nd July,2024

Local Ghana News

GH¢135M INVESTED IN NATIONAL ID PROGRAMME Finance Minister Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has announced that the government has invested approximately GH?135 million in the National Identification Programme since January 2024, as part of a broader effort to digitalize the economy. Presenting the 2024 mid-year budget in Parliament on July 23, Dr. Amin Adam, who is also the Member of Parliament for Karaga, emphasized that this investment is integral to the government’s strategy to enhance economic participation and efficiency. He highlighted the role of digitalization in the government’s plan to revitalize the economy for all Ghanaians and reassured that the government is committed to sustaining the progress achieved in economic recovery and development. “Mr Speaker, to advance our digitalisation drive and expand our unique identification system, we have invested about 135 million Ghana Cedis in the National Identification Programme since January 2024,” he stated. Dr. Amin Adam also mentioned that the government’s efforts have been supported by active engagement with key stakeholders, which has facilitated useful feedback and strengthened cooperation. “Mr. Speaker, the stabilization is real. We are determined to stay the course of our fiscal consolidation programme. Increased attention will continue to be given to prudent management of approved expenditures and improved revenue mobilisation,” he affirmed. 23rd July,2024

320 HOUSING UNITS FOR POLICE SERVICE As part of efforts to enhancing the welfare of Ghana’s security personnel, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commissioned 320 new housing units for the Police Service at Tesano, Accra. Addressing the audience, President Akufo-Addo extended his congratulations to Commissioner of Police Mr. Christian Tetteh Yohuno on his promotion to Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations. The President expressed confidence in Deputy IGP Yohuno’s continued commitment to fostering an effective and efficient police service. The ceremony underscored the fulfillment of a vision conceived in 2018 during President Akufo-Addo’s first term. The Security Services Housing Project aims to provide decent housing for the nation’s dedicated security personnel. “These 320 housing units symbolize our resolve to ensure that those who risk their lives daily to protect us have a safe and comfortable place to call home,” the President stated. Highlighting the importance of adequate housing, President Akufo-Addo emphasized that access to decent accommodation significantly boosts the morale and effectiveness of police officers. A well-housed police force, he noted, is inherently more motivated and productive. With the provision of these new units, the government aims to create an environment where officers can focus on their critical duties without the added concern of inadequate living conditions. The commissioning of these housing units is a clear demonstration of the Akufo-Addo administration’s commitment to addressing the housing deficit within the security services. Acknowledging the challenges faced by police officers and their families, the President reiterated the government’s determination to provide solutions that alleviate these difficulties. This initiative reflects a broader agenda to ensure that every Ghanaian, irrespective of profession or rank, has access to decent and affordable housing. The President provided a brief history of the Security Services Housing Programme, initiated in 2018 with the goal of increasing the housing stock for security services. To date, the Ministry of Works and Housing has successfully delivered 536 housing units under Phases I and II of the programme. Phase I, completed in 2014, provided 168 units for the then Bureau of National Investigations in Tema. Phase II, completed in 2018, delivered 368 units for the Ghana Navy at Tema Newtown. Today’s event celebrated the completion of Phase III, which comprises 320 new housing units at the Tesano Police Training School. The units include 112 two-bedroom apartments and 208 three-bedroom apartments, along with an officers’ mess, a social centre, two multipurpose playing courts, and a kindergarten. These modern, well-equipped facilities are designed to improve the quality of life for police officers and their families, creating a conducive environment that enhances operational readiness and motivation. President Akufo-Addo stressed that the benefits of this project extend beyond providing shelter. The improved living conditions foster a sense of security and stability for police officers and their families, which he believes will be reflected in their dedication to duty. The project is part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance the capacity of security agencies, including the provision of modern equipment, advanced training, and better working conditions. Acknowledging the collaborative efforts behind the project, the President commended the Ministry of Works and Housing, the Ministry of the Interior, the Police Service, and all stakeholders involved. Their collective efforts have ensured the successful completion of these housing units. In his concluding remarks, President Akufo-Addo addressed the officers who will soon occupy the new units, describing the housing as a reward for their loyalty and service to the nation. He reaffirmed the government’s ongoing commitment to improving the living conditions of all security personnel, emphasizing that this commissioning is part of broader efforts to ensure that they are well-equipped to serve the nation. The President declared Phase III of the Security Services Housing Project officially launched, expressing hope for continued collaboration to build a Ghana where every citizen feels safe, secure, and valued. He concluded with a blessing for the Police Service and the nation, urging continued efforts towards national development. “May God bless the Police Service, and us all, and may God bless our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong,” President Akufo-Addo concluded. 23rd July,2024

FISCAL POLICY REVIEW OF THE BUDGET STATEMENT Finance Minister, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has revealed that following Government’s completion of the debt restructuring, the country has been able to relief its debt up to the tune of $2.8 billion. The Minister disclosed this while presenting the mid-year budget review to Parliament on Tuesday, July 23, 2024. According to Dr. Amin Adam, this debt relief will enable Ghana not pay back debt obligations to official creditors till 2026. “We have completed the Debt Restructuring programme with the Official Creditor Committee (OCC), covering US$5.1 billion dollars resulting in approximately 8 billion US Dollars of debt relief. This means that we will not service our debt to our official creditors from 2023 to 2026,” the Minister said Additionally, the Minister stated that government has also received a total of about US$1.6 billion as credit facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Dr. Amin Adam noted that negotiations with Eurobond holders have been concluded which has secured some $13.1 billion for the country. This, the Minister said will “lead to a cancellation of 4.7 billion US Dollars of our debt and provide debt service relief of 4.4 billion US Dollars between 2023 and 2026.” He further indicated that the country will save some “US$6.6 US Billion over the lifetime of the Purchasing Power Agreements (PPAs)” because negotiations have been concluded with five of the seven Independent Power Producers 23rd July,2024

GH?10B IN THE ROAD SECTOR SINCE JANUARY Minister of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has said government has invested close to ten billion Ghana cedis in the road sector from January 2024. Dr. Amin Adam noted that this is aimed at enhancing transportation in the country. Presenting the mid-year budget review to parliament on Tuesday, July 23, the Minister named a number of road projects under various stages of construction by the government These roads include: Juaboso-Boinzan road, Winneba-Kasoa, Karaga Town, Gushegu Town, Tolon Daboya Road, Nanton-Karaga-Gushegu Highway, Sefwi Wiawso town roads and Accra-Kumasi Road. According to the Minister, the completed road projects are; Dadiesoba-Esiankyim-Manhyia roads, Antwi Agyeikrom – Debra Camp, Sunyani & Berekum inner city roads, Atebubu Town roads, Assin Fosu – Dunkwa – Cocoa Station and Kwahu Tafo – Miaso road. In addition, the following major roads are at various stages of completion; the rehabilitation of the Tamale – Tatale road; Phase 2 of the Tema Motorway Roundabout; construction of the Flyover over the Accra Tema Motorway from the Flowerpot roundabout on the Spintex Road to East Legon and the construction of the Phase 2 works under the Suame Interchange. The others are; the dualization of Nsawam – Ofankor Road;works on the Agona Nkwanta – Tarkwa Road; works on the Dome-Kitase Road and Phase 2 of Obetsebi Lamptey Interchange and Ancillary Works. The Minister also disclosed that GH?12 billion has been paid to bondholders under the Domestic Debt Exchange programme to show commitment to the programme. He stated that 1.5 billion Ghana Cedis have been spent to support 1,488,575 students under the Free SHS programme between January and June 2024. “We have disbursed 5.4 billion Ghana Cedis to support LEAP, School Feeding programme, Capitation Grant and NHIS since January, 2024 to reduce the burden on the vulnerable in our country,” the Minister added 23rd July,2024

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