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Opinions of Saturday, 23 February 2013

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

A Shift Of Power In The NPP Is Inevitable

By Kofi Thompson

That the small but powerful group now holding the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in a vice-like grip is determined to continue dominating the NPP is not surprising.

Having failed in December 2012 to wrestle power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime that defeated them in the December 2008 presidential election, they are keenly aware that their stranglehold on the NPP will end when a new leadership contest to select the NPP's candidate for the December 2016 presidential election takes place.

It was partly to forestall that that the decision to petition the Supreme Court to nullify the declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the December 2012 presidential election by the Electoral Commissioner was made.

From personal experience, many of those who voted for the NPP in the December 2012 presidential election know that vigilance to ensure that the election was not stolen was uppermost in their minds both before and after casting their vote.

In private many of them don't understand how the election that virtually all voters across the country watched with eagle eyes as the casting and counting of ballot papers took place, could have been stolen.

It is that lingering doubt that will eventually undermine the narrative of a stolen 2012 presidential election that the party's present leadership want them to believe.

As time goes by, the futility of the NPP's recourse to the Supreme Court will become obvious to many.

No systematic rigging of the presidential election of December 2012 could possibly have taken place as a result of collusion between the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Afari-Djan, and the NDC.

Personally, I don't doubt the integrity of the much-maligned Dr. Afari-Djan - and I don't believe the NPP will be able to prove otherwise in the Supreme Court. Time will tell.

When key NPP leaders such as Nana Akomea and Kwadjo Owusu-Afriyie become euphoric because it is alleged that Electoral Commission officials asking for pink sheets to be signed several weeks after the presidential election have been apprehended by NPP supporters in the north, no one need doubt how desperate they must be.

What end would the signing of pink sheets at the behest of Electoral Commission officials several weeks after the presidential election serve? None.

The NPP's 2012 presidential election campaign was flawed principally because it failed to convince a majority of the discerning and independent-minded individuals whose crucial swing-votes now decide the outcome of presidential elections in Ghana.

The inevitable that those who now hold sway in the NPP seek to prevent will occur nonetheless.

The Supreme Court judges will not throw them a lifeline - not when in an age dominated by LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter the judgement of their peers is not only restricted to national boundaries but is global.

Judges around the world will judge those Ghanaian Supreme Court judges enpanelled to hear the NPP's presidential election petition - and every single one of them is aware of that reality.

When the Supreme Court upholds the results of the 2012 presidential election, there will be a shift of power in the party to those who see Alan Kyremateng as the best hope for the NPP, when the selection of the delegates to elect the party's candidate for the December 2016 presidential election takes place.