The year 2022 is here. It is a political year in Ghana. Not because we are going for a general election but because we are going to test our internal democracy within our political parties. My Focus is within my own political party.
Within the centre-left social democratic party, the Rawlings founded National Democratic Congress is mandated by its current constitution to reorganise and elect a new Presidential candidate two clear years ahead of the general elections of 2024.
Preceding the election of flag bearer is the election of party officials from local to national levels and the regeneration of party structures. In other words, it is time to reactivate the internal democratic systems of our party. If done properly, in the end, the party grassroots will emerge from apathy and be invigorated and self-motivated ahead of a do -or-die election 2024.
I am a big believer in internal democracy. It is the only way to guarantee internal party cohesion, keep the party machinery oiled at all times, energise the grassroots and ensure rotational leadership, make way for popular participation and internal democratic accountability and the implementation of any existing leadership succession plan for the present-future.
The history shows us that any time attempts are made to thwart the internal democratic structures, the NDC ends up weaker. whether it is at constituency level or at the national executive level or even the flag bearer level, the party is always better off in the end when the internal democratic structures are allowed to work.
Adherence to internal democracy is the only way that natural leaders can emerge with new energy, dynamism and fresh ideas at the time these are most needed by the party to either capture or maintain power. A new centre of power to replace our founder can only emerge through true internal democracy.
It may appear obvious to the NDC party or some members in terms of who ends up as flag bearer. Not withstanding, unilateral declaration of leaders remains a drawback on internal democracy. It is important for the party itself to encourage more participation in the internal democratic processes, not discourge it.
The point i am driving at can easily be appreciated by students of politics but those people who are purely driven by the expediency of their present political interests will wilfully misunderstand the point.
The focus of internal electoral processes have often been placed on flag bearer and parliamentary candidates. Although these people lead the political campaign with their faces, the party machinery is ultimately responsible for the success or otherwise of the campaigns.
This is why it is even more crucial when it comes to the grassroots reorganisation to pay more attention to the party officers - both at local and national levels.
The position of a party officer is not a bonafide property or position of anyone individual. No one is entitled to any position in the party. The people are entitled to choose at every opportunity.
But that choice must remain a free choice. Every elected officer must be a free choice of the people based on the qualities and proven abilities of the individual candidates. It is very important to keep our eyes on the prize as we elect leaders to lead us to that prize.
At the end of the internal democratic process, it should be easy to foretell the likely outcome of the elections of 2024. We know that cowards cannot lead the party into 2024 elections. We also know that people without integrity cannot lead us successfully into 2024 elections. And unless we are confused, we also know that the NDC cannot compete and win election 2024 on the basis of money. The centre-right NPP in government will solely rely on their stolen loot to win 2024.
Strategically speaking, the NDC's unique selling preposition in 2024 will be a resonating campaign message and the integrity of its frontline leadership.
2022 will be the NDC's first internal elections and reorganisation exercise without its charismatic founder and centre of power Jerry John Rawlings. What it means is that the NDC is going to reorganise for the first time without the epitome of the fundamental moral values of the party.
However, it is a huge opportunity for the NDC to show that the NDC party can move beyond a personality cult and be anchored solely on its foundational principles and values of public leadership.
The NDC must elect leadership with moral courage, with integrity and readiness for democratic accountability ahead of 2024. Failed leadership must not be rewarded with reelection at the expense of the ultimate price of capturing power. Compromised and corrupt leadership must be rejected root, stem and branch and be replaced with leadership able and willing to loose an arm and a leg for the greater good of the greater number of people.
For us to secure external change, we must first ensure internal change.
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