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NDC TO RERUN ELECTIONS…To pick credible 2020 flagbearer

Politics

Jerry John Rawlings is not only keen on seeing the back of John Mahama and the end of his hopes to run again as flagbearer for the National Democratic Congress in the 2020 presidential elections. He is also ensuring that fresh processes are put in place for a rerun of NDC branch elections in the coming weeks.

Jerry John Rawlings is not only keen on seeing the back of John Mahama and the end of his hopes to run again as flagbearer for the National Democratic Congress in the 2020 presidential elections. He is also ensuring that fresh processes are put in place for a rerun of NDC branch elections in the coming weeks.

The goal, insiders say, is to position the party for a peaceful national delegates’ congress within the last quarter of the year, at which the NDC will pick a flagbearer.

Former President John Mahama and NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia have been criticised by other aspirants for taking advantage of the last march in the controversial series of Unity Walks to create a platform for Mahama to find leverage. Mahama aims to reposition himself so that the party selects him automatically to be flagbearer in the 2020 elections.

According to sources close to the flagbearer aspirants and in NDC headquarters, the rerun of branch elections follows the failure by fractious NDC national executives to execute a directive from party founder and former President Rawlings to General Secretary Nketia to conduct fresh polls fairly. There has been a groundswell of resentment among delegates in several areas, including the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Volta and Eastern Regions, against the exercise carried out in April.

The rerun, we were told, is also intended to accommodate the views of emerging NDC flagbearer aspirants, including the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies Joshua Alabi; the former National Health Insurance Authority chief executive Sylvester Mensah; and the Methuselah of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Bagbin. Also in the race are Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the former Minister for Trade and Industry and former President John Dramani Mahama. The latest candidate to declare is the oil and gas consultant Nurudeen Iddrisu.

Delivering his annual ritual tirade to commemorate the June 4 Revolution during a ceremony at the Madina Social Welfare School Park in Accra, Rawlings said that although the NDC may be suffering an identity crisis, it would be in the interests of the party if rank-and-file members recognised this and returned to the NDC’s ideals of “probity and accountability”.

“Our party has become a clone of what the other side used to be… Elitism and gross display of affluence have almost engulfed us, and as I stated in 2007, we are still at the crossroads,” Rawlings said.

He regretted that certain elements in the NDC had distorted the public’s view of the party’s history and made a mockery of NDC values by engaging in corrupt deals, or through inaction. He insisted that unless the party returns to its roots, it will be a tall order for it to return to power in 2020.

Certain people “with deeply malicious motives within our own party” have consistently spewed falsehoods about the NDC’s history over the past 12 years, and attempted to downplay the story of the June 4 Revolution, Rawlings lamented. Although he failed to mention names, he castigated the NDC. The New Patriotic Party – the NDC’s chief rival, which, ironically, was seen as elitist – had managed to reach out to the grass roots and build alliances with ordinary Ghanaians to win the 2016 elections, Rawlings said, while the NDC “chose the elitist route and lost miserably”.