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24.10.2007 Editorial

NPP Managing Incumbency Blues


These are certainly exciting and interesting moments in the political history of Ghana and there is no doubt that chroniclers of this subject will have a plateful to record in the annals of the subject.

At the centre of the fray is the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) whose power-seekers are moving heaven and earth to win the hearts of the membership of the Electoral College and in the event gingering the political terrain.

Constantly going back to the drawing-board in search of new strategies alongside scrutinizing the party constitution, some aspirants have already raised their concerns about what for them are inherent flaws which need addressing.

They are of the conviction that the voting process is fraught with a number of challenges which need addressing.

The issue of four executive officers and six ordinary members voting at the congress is a sore issue which needs to be looked at.
Unfortunately, the constitution of the party is silent on the issue, thereby muddying the waters further.

In areas where there are no MPs, should former ones be considered or aspiring ones? These are some of the dicey issues which must be looked at critically if the concerns of apprehensive aspirants are to be considered in the interest of the party.

Making the situation murkier is the perception that some aspirants have influenced polling station chairmen monetarily, with some openly pitching camp with their favourite power-seekers.

Some vociferous aspirants have raised concerns about these sore areas, which for us could turn out to be flashpoints if ignored or managed crudely.

Although some of these concerned aspirants were shouted down at the Castle encounter, we think that was not good enough.

A sober handling of the situation in our opinion will go a long way in obviating an unsavoury repercussion for the party.

It is our prayer though that the delegates, as they host the power-seekers, will put their heads down and do the expected search for the best among the pack, ignoring such trivialities as ethnic and financial considerations.

Perhaps the most difficult segment of the exercise as the clock ticks towards the December congress is how to manage the thorny subject of incumbency.

The often intense rivalry among the power-seekers in the competition for what is at stake has expectedly given rise to backbiting and what can pass for the rush for the spoils.

The scenario today is unlike what obtained when the party was in opposition. Those were times when rearing one's head in politics was a high risk action, too risky to be considered by the faint-hearted.

Those were days when the then ruling party had entrenched itself across the country, exerting all the formidableness at its disposal.

It is a different ballgame today. The ruling party NPP, is relishing the incumbency factor and this has led to the introduction of an additional confidence coupled with the enhanced political environment.

The situation has worn an attracted and added charge because of the perception that whoever wins the day, has a foot already in the corridor of state power.

The primary which precedes the aforementioned stride is therefore considered as the biggest hurdle to be surmounted by the aspirants.

In the face of all these, therefore, the onus of managing the arising heat to obviate negative repercussions for the party rests on the national executives of the party.

These ladies and gentlemen of honour require a high dose of firmness, resoluteness, positive neutrality and a sense of an unequalled commitment to the cause of the party in managing the issue of incumbency which is the issue at stake for now.

The executives should be able to manage the post-congress aftermath so that the centre does not fall apart.

Whoever wins the day must avoid being carried away by the victory because it only marks the beginning of the main battle of winning the hearts of most Ghanaians.