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Opinions of Sunday, 12 December 2004

Columnist: Abdul-Rahman

Congratulations: Follow Ghanaians ..

.. You Have Made Mother Ghana And Africa Proud

I wish to extend my deepest and heart gratitude to the entire people of Ghana for demonstrating to the whole world that democracy and the rule of law is gaining grounds in our country. By peacefully electing our president and members of parliament to represent us in the State House, we have once again shown to the entire world that we are among the civilised. We have demonstrated that we could choice to re-elect or change leadership not through the barrel of the gun, but through peaceful and civilised democratic elections. Some candidates contested and lost in both the Parliamentary and Presidential elections. But make no mistake; we the people of Ghana are the winners.

Democracy is not a zero-sum game, in which an opponent wins everything and the others lose everything. All parties are wins in the just ended elections.

NPP won the presidential election, but the NDC also won over 80 seats, CPP won 4 seats and PNC won 2 seats. This means that each of the individual parties in the countries won something they could call theirs. But as whole, the people of Ghana are the overall winners. This is beauty of democracy. To the candidates or parties that have lost the election, I have this advice for them. Accept the outcome of elections as the will of the people. As the saying goes ?The voice of the people is the voice God?. Congratulate your opponents for their achievements. Go back to drawing board and re-examine why your message did not resonate every well among the electorate. Be confident that come 2008 you will make amends, and a strong come back. The result of the just ended elections is a justification for my advice. They are many seats that both held in 2000, but lost them in these elections. Bimbilla, Odododiodio, and Dade Kotopon are typical examples of the seats that ruling NPP held and even won in bi-elections and lost them this year. Many might use these elections as the basis to claim that the NDC is wick or dead. Far from that, I think the NDC should emerge from these elections stronger than ever. I know there are many in the NPP government who will be shocked by the performance of the NDC in the just elections. Many in the NPP including a section of the Ghanaian media had predicted that NDC would fall below 40 percentage points. Some surveys conducted by these groups (including a whole school of Communication Studies of the University of Ghana) predicted a landslide victory for the ruling NPP. However, the people of this country proved these surveys wrong.

The NDC finished elections stronger than they all expected and predicted. The party had lost the Presidential election, but the NDC emerged from the election strong, with good chance of victory come 2008. The NDC lost the presidential elections because it is very difficult to defeat an incumbent president. Come 2008 President Kuffour would not be contesting. This will make the party?s job much easier. All that is needed is for us to maintain our current momentum, embellish our message and make them sellable to the good people of Ghana. We could do this in two major majors ways: First the NDC should identify where their vulnerabilities are, and start working at them right from the now. The party should not wait for Dec 2008 before coming out with an agenda. The NDC should have all its plans ready, compare and contrast them with every government policies. Secondly, the party should maintain it constituency, (Volta, Northern, Upper East, and Upper West), while at the same time trying to identify itself with the Western, Central, and Greater Accra Regions of the country. The reason for this is very simply. Mills would have won the presidency if he had been able to win Accra, and one of the above mentioned regions. Kuffour?s success in the elections was simply because he swept most of the vote in those regions, while maintaining support in his strong of the Ashanti Region and Brong Ahafo. I will end this piece by congratulating Mr. Kuffour and his campaign for their success in the election. I hope that this time around he will improve the conditions of the people of Ghana. And that we will not see or hear of the beheading of any Ghanaian let alone a prominent chief. To use US President George Bush?s words, the people Ghana had given Kuffour some ?political capital?, it is my hope that this time around he spends that capital even wiser than he did before. To Prof Mills, I say ayekoo for a health campaign, better luck next time. To Edward Mahama and Goerge Aggudey, better luck next, but your parties should try a merger. That will help you in the next elections. We hope that our West Africa neighbours of Togo, Cote de Ivoire and Liberia will emulate the Ghanaian experience and our make sub-region a better place for generations to come.


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.