General News of Friday, 4 January 2013
A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Michael Kpessah whyte says the decision by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to boycott the inaugural ceremony of president-elect John Mahama, will have serious implications on the future of the party.
According to him, the NPP’s decision is not in the interest of many Ghanaians so it is likely to damage the fortunes of the party in the next elections.
The NPP has announced that the party will not participate in the ceremony of President John Mahama, and cautioned supporters against attending.
The NPP has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to invalidate the declaration of president Mahama as president-elect by the Electoral Commission, which claimed was rigged for the incumbent President.
The party is accusing the Electoral Commission (EC) of ‘stealing’ over 1.340 million votes for president Mahama to enable him win the election one-touch.
According to the party attending the inaugural ceremony will undermine its case in court challenging the election results.
But a statement from the office of the former President Kufuor who is a member of the NPP said he will attend the ceremony in his capacity as a former President of the country.
However speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen on Thursday, Dr. Kpessah-Whyte noted that the NPP's decision has no impact on the democratic dispensation of the country.
To him, the boycott will not mean anything to government business but will affect the image of the country abroad.
“The decision of the NPP to boycott president Mahama’s swearing-in ceremony has no impact on our democracy. However, it will affect the country’s image abroad in terms of winning investors into the country. The party has not thought of the implications of its boycott but I can say it will affect the party in future elections. They will live to regret it because their boycott is not in the larger interest of many Ghanaians,” he said.
Dr. Kpessah-Whyte asserted that the party has not learnt anything from many of their boycotts in the past, especially that of 1992.
“It is unfortunate the posturing of the NPP. It doesn’t speak well of the party and our democracy at all. I thought the NPP had learnt something from the boycott of the 1992 parliamentary election. After the boycott of the 1992 election, the NPP lost that of 1996 miserably and thought the NPP will adopt a different style altogether but it looks as if they haven’t learnt anything. After the 1996 elections, former president Kufour adopted a different approach where he virtually attended all state events and subsequently won the 2000 election but the NPP’s approach now will not help them. We need to seek the interest of the nation first and nothing else. The NPP advisors must re-strategize again”.
He stressed that the NPP must think about building the nation ahead of the determination of the Supreme Court, rather than the posture they are adopting because it is not in the interest of the masses.
He asserted that the inaugural ceremony of the president is a constitutional duty and that all must fulfill, "so the NPP must re-think its position".