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Feature Article of Thursday, 28 February 2013

Columnist: Pobee-Mensah, Tony

Politics 101: A simple advice to redeem NPP by TonyPM

I am writing this not because I am NPP or NDC or any other party. I am writing this because I fear that if NDC wins the next election, Ghana will in effect be relegated to a one party country. NDC will become the dominant party and all other parties will become permanent opposition. If NPP want to become relevant, they should stop following Mr. Akufo Addo to court and start preparing for the next election.

As far as Nana Akufo Addo goes, I will like to see the judge who declares him the winner of the 2012 election at this time. A winner has been declared in the election and the winner has already formed a government that continues to function. Ghana will not start over with a new winner declared by a court. If that happened, I hope the court would be ready for the Kenya-like disturbances that will follow and the destruction of the democracy that the country has established so far. Simply put, the judges have rendered themselves irrelevant in this matter. Can anyone imagine if the US Supreme Court had taken as long as our courts have to make a judgment on George Bush vs Al Gore? The question of Akufo-Addo ever becoming President is over. Let's move on.

Back to my point; Central, Western, and Brong Ahafo regions are natural constituencies of the NPP. I was surprised to see the NPP lose those regions and by how much they lost. If NPP is going to be relevant again, they should not hang their hats on Mr. Alan Kyerematen. I personally doubt if Mr. Kyerematen will run for office if he gets to head the World Trade Organisation. NPP should at this time be looking very hard for someone from these regions to be the next flag bearer. That done, they can move on to prepare this person for the next election.

Easier said than done: How do you prepare a candidate for election? Well, first this person should be the leading spokesperson for the party. I don't mean spokesperson as in criticizing the government. He should be the policy spokesperson and leave criticism for others. All the rest in the party should tout the policies that the person proposes.

Second, this person should be known first to the people of these regions as a friend. He should be on the lecture circuit quite frequently and focus initially on these regions. I am sure many students in the universities and the SHS today will be voters in the next election. They make perfect captive audience. The candidate should lay out convincing policy arguments in lectures and hang around after the lectures to chit chat with the students over refreshments and "photo ops". It is very easy for someone to vote for you if he has a picture of you and him/her in an album. If you become president, he or she will have bragging rights showing the picture around. I would make sure I am in pictures with as many of these students as possible.

Of course the candidate cannot concentrate on these three regions and ignore its base along with the other regions. He should spread the lectures out to the NPP home region, the Ashanti region, and then to the other regions. I was not sold on Bill Clinton until I heard him speak on the future of America.

By the time the next election comes around, NPP should rally around one candidate. I can only wish them luck. Again, I believe that if NPP loses the next election, Ghana will be relegated to a one party state and it will not serve the country well.

Tony Pobee-Mensah

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