The Special Electoral College elections and not “super delegates’ conference” of the NPP for the 10 Presidential aspirants were held at all Regional centers in Ghana on Saturday, 26th August, 2023.
The Elections became necessary as a result of Article 13(9) of the NPP Constitution which states “Where there are more than five contestants for nomination as the party’s presidential candidate, a Special Electoral College shall cast their votes by secret ballot for the first five contestants to be short-listed”
Though the results of the elections did not surprise some of us, to others it was like a Tsunami. Some political observers described the victory as a ‘vantage’ win because some people in the media, academia, civil society, clergy and others were shocked and want Ghanaians to believe in their deep seated notions that all the special delegates are government appointees, but that is false.
What they have failed to acknowledge is that the special delegates are there presentatives of the masses and they have delivered their messages on behalf of the masses and the results must be accepted as a genuine reflections of the will of the masses.
Those who think the results of the election are not sufficient proof of the Vice President’s popularity in NPP, must start revising their notes. Those who also believe that 4th November, 2023 will be the real test are deceiving themselves. Yes, there are always surprises in elections but the scenario we have here is completely different and no significant surprise will be strong enough to derail the movement of the “Bawumia train”.
When Mr. Alan Kyerematen contested Nana Addo on three major primaries, the results were 37%, 17% and 4% in a diminishing order and these are the real trends of elections conducted in NPP.
Once the Party has identified its next leader any attempt to bastardize the Candidate will be met with strong resistance by the delegates. Candidates contesting the November elections must work harder otherwise they may not be able to match the percentage of votes they obtained in the just ended elections. There will be no major surprises because the leadership has already spoken and 4th November, 2023, is the garnishing of the cake.
The results is the reflection of the wind of change that is sweeping through the NPP, the NDC, other political parties and the electorate in general in Ghana for the emerging Dr. Bawumia’s leadership of Ghana, whether you like it or not.
The number of delegates in this special election was only 958 delegates, but the interest that was generated throughout the country was beyond one’s imagination and it is the shape of things to come.
The popularity of the Vice President to me is a divine intervention in Ghanaian politics and the skeptics will soon realize that they have been overtaken by unimaginable events that defeat all logical analysis.
The NDC are badly shaken and having positioned themselves as the next government in waiting, they have to revise their notes and strategies. I have repeatedly written that the next election is not going to be about the NPP and the NDC but the leadership of the two political parties, namely President Mahama and the man who leads the NPP. This point will be revisited after the nomination and confirmation of the Vice President as the NPP presidential candidate on 4th November, 2023.
No major incident was recorded except for one involving a polling agent of Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who was allegedly chased out of the polling station. The reaction of the Presidential aspirant who threatened to give the President and his vice a “showdown” was repeatedly hyped on some Radio Stations.
Unfortunately, many who received the news did not take kindly to the anger and comments made by the aspirant. The fact of the matter is that Ghana has not descended so low politically for the first and second gentlemen of the land to go chasing a polling agent from a polling station.
Consequently, many Ghanaians felt Kennedy Agyapong overreacted. Sadly, the early investigations into the matter has revealed that the polling agent allegedly molested was an agent of Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen and not Kennedy Agyapong.
The political peace of the ‘election day’ was badly disturbed by the aspirant’s reactions and for peace to reign within NPP, thorough investigations must be conducted and where necessary, action taken to ensure peace and unity in the party. Breaking the 8 demands unity and discipline and we pray that the national executives will not fail us. It is gratifying to note that the NPP has already initiated action into the incident.
The results of the Special Electoral College Elections reflect the feelings of the leadership and even though the number of delegates is insignificant, we cannot deny the fact that some crucial messages have been delivered.
The most significant message, the branding of the Party by the NDC and other detractors as an Akan party, has been nailed to the coffin. The percentage of votes obtained by Dr. Bawumia has confirmed his endorsement by NPP ‘world bank’- the Ashanti Region and that is a major achievement by the Vice President.
The results also showed that many Regions of the Northern Region did not abandon their wizkid and with the combination of support of other regions, the Vice President will be difficult to beat.
I have argued in my earlier write ups that Presidential aspirants are not nurtured by political parties and therefore no candidate can claim superiority over the other and consequently the issue of ‘aduro me so’ or ‘it’s my turn’ does not arise.
The results of this election have put this issue to rest. As we mature politically, we should concern ourselves with improvement of our policies and structures to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the Party.Merit should be our watch word.
For the progress of the party, I think the current policy of conducting the Special Electoral College Elections to select the ‘5’ needs a review to make it cost effective and more dynamic.
My proposal is that the results must be based on percentages instead of the number of votes obtained. By the current results if qualification had been pegged at 10%, for example, only three aspirants, namely Dr. Bawumia, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen would have qualified. The question of running another election for a tie wouldn’t have been necessary and its associated expenditures could have been avoided.
This I believe will save the Party a lot of money and other resources and prevent possible losers muddying the ground. I think it is not worth it to spend so much money and effort on any candidate who does not obtain more than 20% of the total votes cast. This will also discourage aspirants who take Presidential elections for a hobby.
We should bear in mind that if the number of presidential aspirants are many, they turn to create more problems for the party and the objective should be to reduce the numbers and maintain party unity.
Presidential primaries have been a destabilizing factor that has always shaken the unity of the Party every four years. The Party should therefore not rest on its oars until an effective and dynamic system is established to minimize conflicts.
As a Party, the objective of breaking the 8th must be seen as doable and all supporters must be whipped to put their shoulders to the wheel to attain the objective because it will help the development of our beloved country.
The state of the economy and its effect on Ghanaians must urge us on to find lasting solutions to alleviate the suffering of our people. With the constitutional provisions, the solution to our current problems largely depends on the type of leader we select and not a political party because every power in the country has been entrusted to the President.
Ghana is blessed with Dr. Bawumia, a young and intelligent man, a unifier and not a politician of the old breed and who by appointments held, has been prepared to lead this country and delegates must give him the opportunity.
We have all been witnesses of corruption, arrogance, intimidation, waste of state resources, nepotism, tribalism and many other ugly vices that have been practiced by past Governments of NPP and NDC to the detriment of the nation’s development. We therefore need a real change but that change, I don’t believe can be done by NDC under ex-President Mahama’s leadership. Sukant Ratnakar (founder of Systovation) says ‘if we select the same corrupt politicians every time, that’s a very clear message that we don’t want a change’’ hence my choice of Dr. Bawumia.