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23.01.2006 Feature Article

Why A Third Force Is Relevant

Why A Third Force Is Relevant
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After the disastrous congress of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), there have been genuine clamourings among a section of the populace for the formation of a party that could strongly challenge the NDC/NPP duopoly. And why not, for crying out loud?

Coming on the heels of the resignations of former chairman, Dr. Obed Asamoah and other top officials of the NDC, many within the Nkrumahist fraternity seem to have signed on to the idea of floating a party that could pick up the pieces should the NDC implode as events in the party seem to suggest.

If the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Freddie Blay is to be taken seriously, this new force or third force party is going to be for real. He is among a group of eminent members of the Convention People's Party (CPP) who have been identified as the leading lights behind this movement. These include Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Kwesi Nduom, and Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso to name but a few.

Officially, Dr. Duffour has distanced himself from the emerging movement even though investigations by this column can confirm he played a very leading role in the process before it was truncated. In fact he was up to his forehead in the scheme of things. But that is neither here nor there.

What is at issue is that a section of the populace said to be about 15 percent are currently disillusioned with the performance of the two dominant parties and would likely support a party that could make itself an attractive alternative. That is where the third party (force) comes in. They would have to design a message that could connect with this demographic. Before then they should have identified their core voters or the base where they could possibly draw their voters from.

Building up on this, they should develop a party that has some appeal or attractiveness within the electorate. Political organisations are as relevant as the level of appeal or attractiveness they are able to engender especially among their base or core members. Unfortunately the notion that they (the third force) intend to shore its ranks with members of the NDC is not a politically savvy idea a serious political party should entertain. The NDC is here to stay.

Those who are expecting the break-up of the NDC are fooling themselves- it is an idea that is as nonsensical as equating the strength of the NDC to the Rev Boateng's National Convention Party (NCP). While everything is possible in politics, it is ludicrous for any organisation to solely tie its survival in politics to the spell of misfortunes experienced by their opponents.

What is quite clear is that some Ghanaians haven't as yet appreciated the presence and the important role the NDC is playing in our democratic experiment. Potentially, the party has the material, personnel and the support to rule Ghana better than all the minority parties and that makes them very important in terms of the sustenance and nurturing of democracy in Ghana.

The third party or force (whatever they call themselves) has the potential to force the 2008 elections to a run-off if they can get their act together. From what we are hearing from the unity talks of the Nkrumaist parties, namely the CPP, the PNC and the GCPP, it appears it would take a while before this movement hits the ground running.

While at it Ghanaians would want to know what the leaders of the family are doing to mainstream its activities with that of the organisation called the Patriots. It is the belief of all that the interest of the Nkrumahist family would be best served if they are able to forge a common front before we hit the homestretch for election 2008. Whatever impact they make in the 2008 elections would largely depend on how astutely they navigate this journey. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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