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Opinions of Monday, 4 August 2014

Columnist: Boateng, Immanuel

A Strategy for NPP Victory 2016

Revision of the Ghana voters’ register kick starts on Monday, August 4th, 2014 and is set to wind down on Wednesday, the 13th day of the month, according to information posted on Ghana’s Electoral Commission’s website. This exercise marks the beginning of the long road to the 2016 general elections; hence every importance needs to be accorded the exercise. In a few words, I propose a strategy for the NPP to improve our electoral performance to win the 2016 elections. As the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine, so as a concerned and power hungry patriot, I offer a few suggestions that can help us win the elections. First, with the EC’s announcement, our logical focus is to ensure that the register is done right. Doing it right, would mean that we ensure that only Ghanaians are registered. Care must therefore be taken to secure our borders, to prevent aliens from infiltrating into our domestic political affairs. A particular attention needs to be given to the registration exercise at the border points of Upper East, Upper West, Western and Volta Regions. This should be the concern of all NPP activists and bigwigs; otherwise we will pay a heavy electoral price for it in 2016.
Second, we need to do an intensive publicity about the exercise. We should not rely on state agencies to do the publicity for the NDC government will not be too keen to get people to register for the obvious reason that they have lost faith with the people. Most voters have become disillusioned with the government and are not enthused with their civic duties. These people need to be encouraged to register in order for them to vote in 2016 elections. Consequently, we must hit the airwaves, TV stations, and social media to get out potential voters to register.
Third, we should do all we can to minimize losses in the NDC strongholds. It is practically impossible to win elections in the NDC strongholds. However, we can minimize our losses in those places. We have done it before; during the 2000 elections, we sent students from tertiary institutions to police the ballot boxes in the constituencies where rigging was rampant, to prevent massive rigging. The strategy worked, and the NPP won a runoff election.
Lastly, we must put plans in place to win back some of the parliamentary seats lost to the NDC. All we need to do is allow the people themselves to choose their own parliamentary candidates without any external interference.
Wrapping it up, the NDC will not find it safe to repeat what they did in 2012, but since they are a bunch of competent thieves they will try something different. However, by being proactive, we can prevent another electoral shock from the NDC. The NPP must win the 2016 elections, but with a strategy.

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