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Feature Article of Friday, 14 September 2012

Columnist: Nelson, Kpatakpa

The Way Forward For The NDC and NPP

The Crucial December Polls; The Way Forward For The NDC AND THE NPP

As the nation approaches the next general election in barely Three (3) months, it is very imperative that the two dominant Political Parties in the country, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) put their houses in order by learning from their past before the crucial election, if really they want to annex power in the December polls. For the ruling NDC, they need to learn from history. It is apparent that the ruling NDC is not picking a cue from history. A critical analysis of elections in Ghana from our independence proves that any incumbent Political Party in which a divisive malignant tumour develops prior to an election always loses that election. In the 1979 election, we might consider the Danquah Busia Dombo tradition as the incumbent Political Party because they won the democratic election that preceded the 1979 Poll in 1969.The Danquah Busia Dombo tradition formed the Popular Front Party (PFP) in the run-up to the 1979 election and was defeated in that election because of the seed of division which erupted in the Party, thus William Ofori Atta (Paa Willie) broke away from the Danquah Busia Dombo Front and formed his own Party, the United National Convention (UNC), thereby leading to the balkanization of the votes of the Danquah Busia Dombo Front between the Popular Front Party led by Victor Owusu and the United National Convention led by William Ofori Atta, all pulling 29.9% and 17.4% votes respectively, thereby creating room for the People’s National Party (PNP) led by Dr. Hilla Limann, who was virtually not well known in Ghanaian politics by then to win by 35.5% votes in the first (1st) round and subsequently winning the run-off election with 62% votes. In the run-up to the 2000 election, there came the hub bub or brouhaha over the famous Swedru declaration in the ruling National Democratic congress (NDC), thereby leading to the breakaway of some of the party’s bigwigs from the Party. As Party bigwigs such as Augustus Obuadum Tanoh (Goosie Tanoh) who served as former Attorney-General, Executive Director of Finance and Administration of the Ghana petroleum corporation, a member of Ghana’s diplomatic delegation to the United nations under the PNDC/NDC government and Peter Kpordugbe also the former head of the National Service Secretariat under the NDC government going to the extent of forming their own Party. To cast the mind of Ghanaians back Augustus Obuadum Tanoh and Peter Kpordugbe formed the National Reform Party (NRP) in the run-up to the 2000 election, precisely in 1999 when they broke away from the NDC. Goosie Tanoh and Peter Kpordugbe both served as the Flag bearer and Chairman respectively for the National Reform Party in the 2000 election, thereby leading to the defeat of the ruling NDC in the 2000 Poll. Finally, in the run-up to the 2008 election, the Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremanteng and William Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo factions reared its ugly face in the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), thereby getting to a point where a great NPP Party bigwig like Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremanteng , who served as Ghana’s ambassador to the United states Of America and a Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Trade, Industry and President’s Special Initiatives under the NPP government announcing his resignation from the ruling New Patriotic Party in April 2008. Even though he later rescinded his decision, it was too late as the harm has already been caused and the factionalism still prevailed in the Party as there had been continuous intimidation and sideling of his cronies or supporters in the run-up to the 2008 election, thereby finally leading to the “chasing of the elephant to the bush” in the 2008 polls. Looking at the above Ghanaian Electoral analysis and following the current political happenings in the country, where there appears to be two (2) factions in the ruling National Democratic Congress, thus the Rawlingses faction and the Atta Mills’s faction to the extent that some aggrieved members of the Party now formed the new National Democratic party (NDP), while the opposition NPP looks very United, as it appears there is no more faction in the NPP, since people like former President Kuffuor who was initially regarded as a crony of the Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremanteng faction is now the campaign manager of the NPP and the Party’s Flag bearer , William Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo learning from the past and now embarking on a door to door campaign dubbed ‘’restoration of hope tour’’, if history is something to go by, then the ruling National Democratic Congress is heading towards defeat in the upcoming Crucial December polls. It is therefore against this backdrop that the NDC has to put their past and personal differences behind and seek a modus Vivendi by making amends with the Rawlingses especially with Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and the leaders of the newly formed National Democratic Congress, otherwise come January 7, 2013 the Ghanaian John presidential gene which has been established in the fourth (4th) republic would be broken and the storm would carry the umbrella away, thereby enabling the elephant to find its way from the bush or forest back to the city. Furthermore, it is about time the NDC knew that all things being equal they won the 2008 general election with less than 0.5% votes, thus an unprecedented 40,586 votes and that the Rawlingses faction or group formed part of more than 40,586 people who voted for the NDC in the 2008 general election and for that matter it is an irrefutable fact that the Rawlingses influenced more than 40,586 people to vote for the NDC in the 2008 polls and as such forms part of the buttress roots firmly holding the umbrella, and any attempt to downplay their role in the ruling NDC would definitely weaken the buttress roots firmly holding the umbrella and come January 7, 2013 the storm would easily carry the umbrella away. It is in this regard that it would therefore be non-sequitur and inane on the part of any well-meaning member of the ruling NDC who really has the interest of the Party at heart to downplay the role of the Rawlingses in the NDC. It is in view of this that I would entreat the ruling NDC to play by the principles of its Party motto, thus ‘’ Unity, Stability and Development’’ by promoting unity in every nook and cranny of the party and ensure that all hands are on deck, so that come January 7, 2013 the umbrella would remain firm on the ground and no amount of storm could carry it away. On the part of the opposition New Patriotic Party, one of the indispensable factors which chase the elephant into the bush or lead to their defeat in the December 2008 election, which most of their researchers who did researched into the causes of their defeat in the 2008 poll failed to take cognizance of is that most of their defeated Parliamentary candidates did developed a nonchalant behaviour after their defeat in the parliamentary polls in the first round and therefore did not campaign vigorously for the Party’s presidential candidate William Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo in the run-off election, which therefore lead to the reduction in the votes of the New Patriotic Party in the run-off election at some orphan constituencies or constituencies where their Parliamentary candidates were defeated. It is there an incontrovertible fact that some of the Party’s defeated Parliamentary candidates even went to the extent of retrieving back items they distributed to some electorates after their defeat in first round election. This development did exasperated some electorates, especially most floating voters who exercised their franchise in favour of the Party’s Presidential Candidate in the first round to change their mind to vote against William Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo in the second round, thereby spelling the doom of the New Patriotic party in the run-off election. No wonder even though there was an increase in voter turn out in the 2008 run-off, thus from 69.5 to 72.9, there was a reduction in the votes of the NPP most especially in some orphan constituencies. For example in the Buem constituency, NPP’s vote reduced from 4380 in the 1st round to 4012 in the run-off, in the Hohoe-East constituency the Party’s vote reduced from 2373 in the 1st round to 1836 in the 2nd round, in the Akan Constituency, the Party’s vote reduced from 7403 in the 1st round to 6765 in the 2nd round, in the Binduri constituency the Party’s vote reduce from 5987 in the 1st round to 5446 in the 2nd round and also in the Bawku central constituency, the Party’s vote reduced from 19933 in the 1st round to 18540 in the 2nd round. Some of the Party’s defeated Parliamentary candidates also thwarted the efforts of the party by sitting on some resources sent by the Party to the various constituency which were meant to be used to campaign vigorously for the party in the run-up to the 28th December 2008 run-off. All the same kudos to a few of the Party’s defeated Parliamentary candidates such as Lawyer Ken Anku, the New Patriotic Party’s Parliamentary candidate for North Dayi Constituency in the Volta Region, who even though lost the Parliamentary Poll in the first round still had the “all die be die” spirit in him and was willing to die for the Party and did embark on a more vigorous campaign for the Party’s presidential candidate in the run-off election, even to the extent of he being assaulted by some irate NDC supporters Indeed it would be safe to argue that, has the opposition New Patriotic Party had people like Lawyer Ken Anku as its Parliamentary candidates in all their losing constituencies, they would have won the 2008 run-off election or put differently the elephant would have remained in the city. Expatiating on the above, has the NPP’s 122 defeated Parliamentary candidates worked extra-hard to win an additional 170 floating votes each from the NDC in their various constituencies, the NPP would have won the 2008 election by 894 votes. It is therefore in view of the above that, I would entreat the opposition New Patriotic Party to put in place effective mechanism to monitor such parochial interest Parliamentary candidates who do not have the interest of the New Patriotic Party at heart, but only want to use the Party to clinch their Parliamentary seats in the upcoming election. I would again encourage the NPP to remain united and focus as they appear now because they have a great chance of wielding power in the 2012 polls. In conclusion, I would therefore use this opportunity to urge the two major political Parties in the country, the NDC and the NPP to advice their supporters to refrain from any violent act that might plunge this country into chaos and wish them all the best of luck in the forthcoming election as I would be watching with an eagle eye on the sideline as a good professional coach come December 2012. KPATAKPA NELSON POLITICAL SCIENCE GRADUATE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON kpatakpan@yahoo.com 024-4199538, 026-4199538 JASIKAN

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