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General News of Monday, 30 July 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mahama made mistakes but would have done a better job than Akufo-Addo - Betty Mould-Iddrisu

A former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould-Iddrisu has insisted that despite the mistakes made by erstwhile John Mahama administration whiles in government, it would have done a better job than what President Akufo-Addo is doing now.

Mahama administration ahead of the 2016 general elections took pride in its infrastructural projects describing the achievement as 'unprecedented' in the history of Ghana.

This and other social interventions during the erstwhile Mahama administrations convinces the former Attorney General that the party is people-centred.

Notwithstanding, NDC's candidate John Mahama, lost the bid to secure a second term in Office in a humiliating defeat in 2016.

Reacting to whether or not Mahama’s administration did a better job than what Akufo-Addo administration is doing, Mrs Mould-Iddrisu said “I was part of that politics. I was at the helm of the party and not a Minister during Mahama’s last four-years but I served with him when he was Vice President and I know what our party is capable of, I know the social democratic philosophy that runs through our party and drives us and I know we do better for the people of Ghana.”

She added that the ‘incompetent’ tag on the NDC whilst in government has not changed with the Akufo-Addo-led NPP government.

“Of course there were errors and as leaders we have to accept those errors, therefore, we put together the Kwesi Botchwey committee and we look at the recommendations very very closely and let me assure you that we are implementing those recommendations to the letter” the aspiring NDC Chairperson told Ghanaweb’s Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on '21 minutes with KKB’.



Prof. Kwesi Botchwey Committee

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) after its defeat in the 2016 general elections put together a 13-member committee led by former Finance Minister, Prof Kwesi Botchwey to investigate their defeat.

In a 455-page report presented to the party, the committee among other things suggested a ‘peacemaking and hearing tour”.

According to Prof Botchwey, the NDC must assemble "credible and imminent" personalities in the party to lead the tour.

In the report subtitled "listening to the voice of the grassroots", Prof. Botchwey pressed the NDC leadership to consider the peace-making and healing tour as "extremely important".



This is because it will create the "necessary conditions for any serious work that needs to be done" in restructuring the party, he said.

The Committee also touched on the big issue of the party's biometric register which became a source of discontent within the grassroots.

There were claims the register had been infiltrated by non-NDC members while recognisable party figures at the branch level could not find their names on the list.

Prof. Kwesi Botchwey's committee recommended that the party must work to "restore the integrity of the biometric register".



The report mentioned the expansion of the party's electoral college in its recommendations.

In 2014, the NDC announced an expansion of its electoral college from 4,000 to about 250,000. The NDC General Secretary explained, “our intention is to scrap the electoral college system and then allow every party member to vote when it comes to our primaries for the selection of parliamentary candidates and then for the selection of the presidential candidates.”

The 13-member committee suggested the expansion of the electoral college to include ordinary party members needs to be re-examined to restore confidence in the democratic novelty.

This recommendation will also find favour with the former Health Minister in the erstwhile National Democratic Congress government, Alex Segbefia who blamed the defeat of the party on the decision to expand the party's electoral college.

A key recommendation was that the party needs to reconnect with its social democratic philosophy. This recommendation is expected to sit well with the NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia.



He lamented that "even some Ministers didn't understand the social democratic" political philosophy and called for an ideological training school for the party.

The Botchwey Committee report also pointed out the party has a weak intellectual and research base and recommended steps be taken to crowd the party with critical thinkers.

Other recommendations included restoring the capacity and effectiveness of party organs believed to have been sidelined in the run-up to the 2016 elections. Several splinter groups were formed alongside formal party structures, a situation believed to have resulted in competition for campaign resources.

The Prof. Kwesi Botchwey committee also wants the party to strengthen its youth and women wings.

He told the party's National Executives at a press conference, "my job is done...it is up to you to implement recommendations".



The New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2016 presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo surprisingly secured a resounding one-touch victory by polling 53.85% of total valid votes cast against incumbent NDC Presidential candidate John Dramani Mahama who managed 44.40%.

The party also outperformed the governing National Democratic Congress in the parliamentary election by increasing its seats from 122 to 169 to form the majority, while the NDC saw its representation drop from a majority of 148 to 106.

Tasked to find out why the NDC performed poorly, the former Finance Minister Prof. Kwesi Botchwey Committee toured the country meeting the grassroots of the party.