MR. PETER Mac-Manu, National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has slammed the National Democratic Congress (NDC), saying it lacked the traits of a truly democratic political party.
According to him, the nation's largest opposition party would not be able to win any free and fair elections in the country because it had never believed in the principle of internally containing opposing views.
He said this when he delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony of a two-day NPP Strategic Review and Training Workshop at Prampram last Friday.
“The NDC is one party that only thrives on mischief, deceit, conflict, lies, violence and thuggery, but thank God, Ghanaians are discerning enough and would make the right choices in any election,” he said.
He told the party's foot soldiers, drawn from all corners of the Greater Accra Region, that unlike the NDC, the NPP had a great responsibility and was poised to entrench democracy in the country.
Describing his party as one of the best organized and fastest-growing political groupings on the African continent, Mr. Mac-Manu said Professor John Evans Atta-Mills' door-to-door campaign would not yield maximum results because the NDC lacked the local structures to retain the fervor, after the presidential aspirant had left.
The chairman said he was not against such a campaign but stressed that it would only work where the party is strong at the polling station level.
“An NPP door-to-door campaign would be stronger than that of Atta Mills because our party has better structures at the polling stations to retain whatever gains the presidential or parliamentary aspirant must have made,” he noted.
The NPP, he recalled, had grown astronomically in every successive election, making it the star of Africa.
“We started this republic with zero seats in parliament in 1992, 67 in 1996, 98 in 2000 and 128 in 2004, and we hope to make more gains in the 2008 elections,” he reiterated.
On the noted attrition among aspirants in the on-going presidential flagbearership race in the party, Mr. Mac Manu cautioned that aspirants who create divisions or factions would not be tolerated.
He announced that three executive members from the Prestea-Huni Valley Constituency in the Western Region, who misconducted themselves recently by publicly introducing a parliamentary aspirant, had been suspended because the party already had a sitting MP in that constituency.
He therefore called for the setting up of constituency Council of Elders to deal with such matters, including what he called selfish ambitions.
In response to a question from the media, he said the essence of the workshop was to prepare a winning formula for the 2008 general elections, which the party considers very crucial.
He noted that the workshop, which is the 10th in a series for the party's leadership, and started a few months ago, also aimed at equipping participants, mainly from the grassroots, with skills and boosting their morale by engaging them in detailed discussions on government's performance so far.
“Those who fail to respect the polling stations are doomed,” he said, stressing that elections are either won or lost at the local level.
Contributing, the Greater Accra Regional Secretary, Ben Brown, said the party's mission statement is to increase its parliamentary seats in the region from 16 to 20.
He called on members to make a critical assessment of the party's performance in 2004 with a view to improving on it.
Present at the workshop were Nana Ohene Ntow, General Secretary; Lord Commey, National Organizer; Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister; Stanley Adjiri Blankson, Mayor of Accra; MPs, DCEs, MCEs, and regional and constituency executive members.
By Bennett Akuaku