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06.10.2006 Feature Article

REVISITING PROF JOHN EVANS ATTA MILLS CANDIDACY AND NDC LOSSES IN THE 2000 AND 2004 ELECTIONS

REVISITING PROF JOHN EVANS ATTA MILLS CANDIDACY AND NDC LOSSES IN THE 2000 AND 2004 ELECTIONS
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For the NDC, the race to recapture political power in the interest of the people and for the people has begun in full force. The Party's presidential aspirants are crisscrossing the country selling their vision for the country and energizing the people to take full control of their destinies.
For the past six years, the NDC has engaged in the search for the real answers as to why it lost the last two elections. This is very much in order because as our people say, if you stumble and fall, you do not look at where you fell, but where you stumbled. Only by that can you ensure you do not stumble again. Unfortunately, the wisdom of our people appears to be lost on us as we begin the process of recapturing political power for the good of our people.

The NDC contested the last two elections as a party and not as a collection of individuals. The electorate's verdict therefore was a verdict on the party and not simply on individuals especially the candidate. Electoral victories or losses are not entirely attributable to the personality traits of political candidates. Such victories or losses are the consequence of the interplay of a variety of factors including the personality of candidates, the respective roles of candidates and the political rank and file, the efficacy of the party's organization, the identification and articulation of the party's tasks, values of the candidate and the party, and the political setting in which the candidate and the party operate. It is therefore appropriate to analyze our defeats from the standpoint of a collectivity instead of individualizing. It would be unhelpful and can get us really blindsided.

The NDC lost in 2000 principally because we became complacent and operated under the faulty assumption that our achievements in office would speak for us in the elections. That did not happen! To add to our problems, the NPP rolled out a well-oiled and disingenuous propaganda machinery that caught us off guard. We for the first time in our history as a party found ourselves on the defensive; our messages to the electorate were not proactive, but reactive to the NPP's propaganda. The NPP stopped at nothing, even unethically enlisting school children to recite deceitful messages they did not even understand. The external economic situation – falling revenues from exports compounded by high oil prices - conspired to limit our ability to fulfill our programs and mitigate people's hardships. Suffice it to say that the electorate desired a change---they wanted to try something new---the feeling was akin to the proverbial water giving a foul odor after staying in the pot for a long period of time.

Additionally, we did not manage our internal consultation practices well enough. We imposed parliamentary candidates on the constituencies and this caused us a lot of disaffection. The electorate punished us for not keeping faith with them and deviating from our path as a party of the people and for the people. A fall-out of this state of affairs was that we alienated some of our comrades who took the extreme decision to break off and form the National Reform Party (NRP). It is a lesson we acknowledged and rectified in 2004 and in the three by-elections in Asawase, Odododiodio and Tamale Central in 2005 and 2006. The electorate renewed their trust in us consequently.

In 2004, in spite of a cash-strapped campaign worsened by a divided party leadership, in spite of intimidation and politically motivated trials through packed fast track courts, and in spite of widely believed manipulation of the electoral process, we gave the NPP a good run for their money. As an example of the latter, we offer the example of Pru Constituency in 2004, where protests led to the Electoral Commission conducting a recount and declaring the NDC presidential and parliamentary candidates winners of the elections, after an earlier declaration in favor of the NPP presidential and parliamentary candidates. We must add that in the 2004 elections, the electorate was thinking “fairness and equity”, that is it was prepared to give the NPP another four years just as it had done for the NDC in 1996. Against this backdrop therefore, the NDC led by Prof Mills performed better than expected.

This brief but by no means exhaustive, recapitulation of some of the reasons the NDC lost the elections in 2000 and 2004, clearly cannot and should not lead anyone to attribute our losses to an individual. It is also not in Ghana's long-term interests to hold against anybody his/her inability to, as it were, carry his or her home region. This is simply an attempt to manipulate ethnicity that goes contrary to the visions of our founding forebears who desired a united Ghana, and also our constitution. Finally, the political world including Africa is replete with examples of individuals who have led their parties after a number of electoral setbacks to stunning victories. The lessons of history should not be lost on the NDC!

SOURCE: THE NORTH AMERICA COMMITTEE TO ELECT PROF. JOHN EVANS ATTA MILLS AS THE 2008 NDC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

Prof. K. Danso-Boafo, Coordinator
[email protected]
Mba Atinga PhD (cand) Administrator

U.S.A.REPRESENTATIVES: William Antwi, Esq, Attorney at Law, J. Saka Coleman, V. Ayorkor Coleman, Edem Kwasi Kplivi, Percy Eshun, Ato Essel, Gilbert Kubayanda, I.Assan Mensah, C.K. Mawuko.Dr. Joseph Manboah-Rockson, Nicholas Mantey.

CANADA REPRESENTATIVES: Eugene K. Agben, Hon Akuamoah Ofosu Boateng, Dr. Mohamed Iddrisu, Yusif Moro

EU REPRESENTATIVE: Edmund Ackah

The North America Committee
The North America Committee, © 2006

The author has 2 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: Thenorthamericacommittee

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