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General News of Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Source: The Herald

Rawlings Quitting NDC

Enigmatic Jerry John Rawlings last Saturday left delegates and political observers at the Sunyani congress of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) he founded, with a big hint that he might not stay with the party anymore.

The ex-president had, on June 4 this year, indicated that “the inevitable will happen” in the event that the NDC flagbearer race does not favour his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I hope I will have this opportunity with you in future, but if I don’t, there is something very crucial I would like to leave with you here, extremely important. Something we have been living with, we’ve been seeing, feeling, we’ve been victims of it but somehow has been escaping us.”

But the ruling NDC’s national delegates congress overwhelmingly endorsed President Mills with 96. 9 percentage votes to a pathetic 3.1 percentage votes for Mrs. Rawlings in the Brong Ahafo regional capital, Sunyani, to lead the party in the 2012 general elections against New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo.

Mrs. Rawlings did not say what role she would be playing in the NDC when defeated. Indeed, she did not utter a word after she was overpowered. And this has left political analysts with the impression that something catastrophic might happen to the NDC if President Mills does bury his egos and started reaching out to the Rawlingses.

Speaking as the founder of the NDC, hours before the voting, Mr. Rawlings cautioned the national delegates that political timing was very crucial in their activities, and noted that the government had failed to use institutions such as the security and the judiciary to deliver justice to Ghanaians.

He also took a swipe at the judiciary for not carrying out their job of ensuring that freedom and justice is upheld.

“There are two types of judges in this country,” he said, explaining that there are “the principled ones and those who served the justice of their political masters.”

He said further: “These institutions- the security services and the judiciary – almost lost their sense of righteousness under the NPP and are still grappling with the process of trying to win back their integrity.

“In spite of this threat to the integrity of our institutions, and the stage of investigating assassinations, attempted assassinations, ethnic and political persecution, electoral frauds and various forms of massive corruption of the immediate past government will have also help these institutions to seize their necessary moral high ground,” he said, cautioning that if care is not taken, Ghana’s “extremely fragile” freedom being enjoyed would be lost.

He was also not happy with the government for not making enough effort to investigate criminal activities and former government officials and other civil servants who were in bed with the previous government, and are still in powerful position, and influencing decision.

“No one has said people should be arbitrarily arrested and thrown into jail. As guilty as we know they are, competent investigation will provide the evidence for a successful prosecution,” he pointed out.

Before voting started, former President Rawlings asked the delegates to demonstrate a high level of courage, and make their choice “based on the fact and principle that are clear for all to see”. He also warned them against being intimidated by fear of retribution to make a choice influenced by “money and power”, saying that that could cause the party in the 2012 elections.

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