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Opinions of Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Columnist: todaygh.com

Botchwey report shields Mahama

Today can confirm that the long-awaited Kwesi Botchewy’s committee report on the humiliating defeat suffered by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 election was not for nothing, but to ensure that the second term agenda of former President John Dramani Mahama is on course.

This is because the original report, which was cited by Today, categorically recommended that former President Dramani Mahama, who was the party’s presidential candidate in the 2016 poll, must step aside if the NDC wants to recapture power in 2020.

The said report explained that former President Dramani Mahama failed to convince Ghanaians that he was incorruptible, considering the number of alleged corrupt scandals that hit his administration.

That report also noted that the former president neglected the grassroots of the party and surrounded himself with people who were not trustworthy and knew very little about the values and tenets of the NDC, hence the party’s crushing defeat in 2016.

But when Prof. Botchwey presented the much-awaited 13-member committee report yesterday, Monday, June 19, 2017 to the NDC national executives at the party’s headquarters at Adabraka in Accra, it was evasive on former President Dramani Mahama’s poor leadership qualities which contributed to the party’s defeat.

The report however, recommended that the NDC must assemble “credible and eminent” personalities in the party to lead a “peacemaking and healing tour.”

The 455-page report, which took the committee six months to complete its work, was handed to the National Chairman of the NDC, Kofi Portuphy.

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,” the committee report submitted.

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

According to the report, there were claims that 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.

To this end, the Prof. Botchwey committee recommended that party works hard to “restore the integrity of the biometric register.”

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

A key recommendation was that the party needs to reconnect to its social democratic roots, by bringing onboard the cadres of the party.