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Politics of Friday, 29 June 2007

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

NPP Adopts Contingency Plan

Awakened by the surprises that come with elections, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has adopted a contingency plan for the 2008 Presidential elections to prevent a defeat by their arch political rivals, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Adopted at the party's recent Koforidua conference, the plan is aimed at seeing the ruling party through yet another victory in the next general election with a strategy that will make the party attractive to smaller opposition parties ahead of the 2008 polls.

Though he does not envisage the possibility of a run-off in the upcoming elections in 2008, NPP Chairman, Peter Mac Manu says they have put in place a formidable contingency plan that will get a number of opposition parties aboard the NPP train in the event of a run-off between the NPP and the main opposition NDC.

The ruling party already has an electoral alliance with the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the People's National Convention (PNC). Members of Parliament (MP) of these two opposition parties sit with legislators of the ruling party in the legislative assembly and when the NPP opened nominations in constituencies where it does not have sitting MPs, it left out constituencies occupied by the PNC and CPP legislators.

Though the party Chairman did not mention names of parties the NPP seeks to form alliance with in the case of run-off in the 2008 elections, it is believed that the ruling party is still targeting the CPP and the PNC for an electoral alliance in the case of a second round, for a victory reminiscent of the 2000 victory of the NPP.

Mr. Mac Manu made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle at the party's Asylum-down headquarters last Monday.

He was specifically responding to a question this reporter posed to him on what plans the party had in place to ensure victory in the event of a run-off in next year's presidential poll.

According to him, the original strategy is to go in for round one victory. He disclosed that when the unexpected happens, the NPP would exploit the mechanisms put in place to facilitate a coalition with a number of minority parties, which would not hesitate to help the NPP triumph over the NDC.

Mr. Mac Manu was confident that considering what he said was the high level of development and transformation in the country, the NPP would retain political power in 2008.

The issue of a possible run-off is however not part of the vocabulary of the party's General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, who appears to be more than confident of an impending victory.

He argues on the electoral history of the party stressing, "in 1996, we lost, in 2000 we won through a run-off, in 2004, we won one-touch and I can bet you, look at the trend of the NPP's performance in election and also in government and I can tell you that 2008 would be a super one-touch".

Ohene Ntow gives no room for doubt emphasizing, "Absolutely the NPP would win without the slightest hitch whatsoever".

This he said was because the good people of Ghana have seen and established the difference between good governance and what he called the bad governance of the previous NDC government.

Ohene Ntow noted, "Ghanaians have not forgotten about the massive infrastructural development that is taking place, the school feeding programme and the free bussing of students that is taking place, coupled with the freedom and individual liberties that they are enjoying today".

Whilst appreciating the concerns of many Ghanaians that prevailing conditions in the country were hard, Ohene Ntow said it is not abnormal for people to make such complaints in a developing country such as Ghana since same concerns were being raised in America, Germany, France and in the Scandinavian countries, which are highly developed.

The party General Secretary expressed reservations about certain statements purportedly coming from the camp of the NDC that the NPP can only win the next election through rigging.

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