Apart from the $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan approved last August, the Mills administration has lined up some 30 fresh loan agreements for parliamentary approval before the 2012 general elections.

Analysis done by The Globe newspaper puts the total value of these new loan facilities at more than US$ 4 billion.

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Polls have opened for the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential elections, after a run-up marred by violence and logistical delays. The head of the electoral commission said 99% of polling stations were ready and voting would go ahead as planned. At least three people were killed on Saturday, leading to a police ban on final campaign rallies.

It is the second presidential poll in DR Congo since the end of 1996-2003 wars which left four million dead.

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Throw a dart at a map of Europe now and it takes expert aim to hit a country run by a left-of-center government, especially after Spain's Socialists were emphatically drubbed out of power over the weekend. Although the shift to the right began years ago in such heavyweights as France and Germany, it is now all but complete three years into the continent's grinding debt and economic crisis. Why?

When times get tough – when "the cows get thin" as the Spanish say – political experts say edgy voters seek comfort with conservatives.

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Egyptians are voting in the opening stage of the first elections since former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February. As dawn broke, people were already queuing to cast their ballots outside polling stations in the capital, Cairo. But protesters who want the vote to be postponed still occupy Tahrir Square.

The head of the country's military council, which took over after Mr Mubarak was unseated, has said the country is "at a crossroads".

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Other Stories

Why China Does Capitalism Better than the U.S.
One of the great ironies revealed by the global recession that began in 2008 is that Communist Party–ruled China may be doing a better job managing capitalism's crisis than the democratically elected U.S. government. Beijing's stimulus spending was larger, infinitely more effective at overcoming the slowdown and directed at laying the infrastructural tracks for further economic expansion.
The Misleading President’s State of the Nation Address
On 16th February 2012 President Mills addressed the nation for the third time on the state of the nation in fulfilment of article 67 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana. Analysts attest that the delivery of the president showed a marked improvement from the past two addresses, since that of 2012 was devoid of the usual numerous mispronunciations of terms. Apart from that many analysts consider the address to be in synch with the usual propaganda that the NDC party and government are noted for. Indeed by all indications the address was really misleading and, therefore, did not fully meet the requirement of article 67 of the constitution.
Ghana - On the Ground: Outlook For Elections Following President's Death
BMI View: BMI's on-the-ground research has revealed key insight into Ghana's upcoming December 2012 elections. The ruling NDC party is likely to get some sympathy votes following the recent death of President John Atta Mills, but the new President John Mahama has got his work cut out in garnering support, with only a few months to campaign. A high proportion of voters are unsure who they will vote for, so the race remains wide open. However, the newly-formed NDP is unlikely to gain much traction.
U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gave a prophetic advice to Middle East leaders gathered in Qatar for the Forum of the Future on January 12 that their regimes should adapt or die. Reform or deform. A few days later, Ben Ali fell and, and scents from the Jasmine Revolution filling the air ofEgypt, with Hosni Mubarak, misreading the mood and sacking his government and promising to step down at a future date when the demand of the masses are simply: ‘go and go now!’. What is happening in the two Arab nations has been compared to the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovokia in 1989 and its domino effect in shredding to pieces the iron curtain, which led to the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the subsequent dominance of multiparty democracy in bothEurope and Africa.
EIU: Election watch July 2015
There is little time for Mr Mahama and the NDC to turn the economy around before the December 2016 presidential and legislative elections.
FACTBOX: Political risks to watch in Ghana
The start of commercial oil production in 2010 has helped promote Ghana into the ranks of the world's lower middle-income nations, fuelling hopes of ending a dependence on aid and forging a future as one of Africa's star economies. While President John Atta Mills's government is seen to have done well in knocking public finances into shape since 2008, elections are due in December and the country's deficit is being strained by a high wage and fuel subsidy bill. The Bank of Ghana is tightening monetary policy to fend off mounting inflation pressures and stabilise the sliding cedi currency.
Report on the Presidential Election Petition in Ghana
The international community, generally, endorsed Ghana’s 2012 elections as “free and fair.” Ghana, the continent’s star of democracy, had done it once again for Africa. John Mahama, the declared winner, was duly sworn in without any violent protests on January 7, 2013. But, the country’s biggest opposition party filed a petition in Ghana’s supreme court, (the first of its kind in the country’s history), challenging the presidential results. Click here for full report
Parliament approves over $10bn loans in 26 months
Documents available to the New Statesman from Parliament House indicates that from June 2, 2009 to August 26, 2011, Parliament gave its approval to loans, totalling $10.04 billion. This includes 9,379.62 million in US dollars and 439,664 million in Euros. Further checks made by this paper indicates that a total of $18.9 billion worth of loans have been presented to Parliament for approval since President JEA Mills took office in January, 2009.
This election is about poverty, cost of living, unemployment and corruption
Let no one attempt to fool you. Don't be distracted by the frustrations of the Rawlingses; nor talk about electoral violence. Don't be tricked by any attempt to revive the debased debate on drugs, God-fearism, morality, arrogance, character. While these topics may make the election 'exciting', since none of the main candidates is a stranger to us, we should protect the political space from being hijacked by the apostles of diversionism.
Afrobarometer Finds Correlations between Freedom to Speak and Good Governance
Citizens' freedom of expression is strongly correlated with effective governments, according to data collected in face-to-face interviews with more than 51,000 Africans in 34 countries during Round 5 of the Afrobarometer (2011-13). Where people feel that they are free to say what they want, they also report that their leaders are more trustworthy and less corrupt than do their peers, the survey shows. Freedom of expression is also consistently linked to better ratings of government performance, especially with respect to government effectiveness in fighting corruption, but also in other sectors such as maintaining roads and managing the economy.