Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Ghana: Ex-president blasts wife's detractors

The office of former president Jerry John Rawlings has released a statement criticising a series of “false, libellous and slanderous” articles in the Ghana press “calculated to tarnish the image and create public disaffection against the former president and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings”. Nana Konadu is planning to contest the leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) ahead of national elections in 2012.

The statement, released on 26th June, points in particular to “a scurrilous article by former British diplomat Craig Murray that accuses the former president and Mrs Rawlings of fraud, bribery and corrupt tendencies,” which it says has been reproduced by several publications since Mrs Rawlings announced her candidacy for NDC party leader.

The statement said: “The allegations by Mr Murray, a discredited diplomat who was compelled to quit the service because of the reckless manner he allowed his personal opinion to blight his judgement, have never been substantiated and are still a subject of potential legal action”.

It continued, “Members of the media are cautioned not to fall victim to the political schemes of unscrupulous persons who are hell-bent on destroying the reputation of Flt Lt Rawlings and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings in a bid to scupper Nana Konadu's chances at the forthcoming presidential primaries … any libellous and defamatory publications by members of the media will be taken up accordingly.”

Murray wrote on his website: “I have written no articles in the Ghanaian media for years, and have not written anything about the Rawlings for over four years. Possibly someone is reproducing (without my permission, and in breach of copyright) some old material … but I am certainly not interfering in Ghana's election in the way suggested.”

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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