How the Reform Party cost the NDC election 2000
In view of the ongoing disagreements over some primaries within the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), we reproduce excerpts from an analysis headed, 'HOW THE NDC LOST 15 SEATS IN 2000 ELECTIONS DUE TO LACK OF INTERNAL DEMOCRACY'. It was in the 2003 publication, - COUNTDOWN TO 2004 ELECTIONS By Ben Ephson:
“One of the problems the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) faced in the run-up to the 2000 Presidential and Parliamentary elections was as a direct result of its lack of internal democratisation.
First, the National Reform Party (NRP) was formed out of the NDC; it fielded a Presidential candidate and some Parliamentary candidates. The NRP cost NDC at least six seats.
The second was the NDC's inability to hold constituency primaries to select parliamentary candidates. This led to a situation where those NDC members who were denied the opportunity to test their popularity at NDC constituency primaries decided to do so at the constituency - they contested as independent candidates.
The cumulative effect of the fielding of NRP's, candidates and the independent (NDC) candidates was that they split the potential NDC votes, leading to candidates of the then main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), winning. Unlike the Presidential elections where a candidate has to obtain 50% plus one of the valid votes cast, a candidate can win a Parliamentary seat on 'first past the post basis'. Three of the disaffected NDC members who contested as independent candidates won their seats, are in Parliament with the ruling NPP and are serving in various ministerial portfolios.
The NDC lost as many as 15 Parliamentary seats as a result of the NRP candidates and independent (NDC) having split possible NDC votes. For example, in the Shama Constituency in the Western Region, the NDC candidate had 6,498 votes (31.3%) and the NRP candidate had 6,998 votes (29.1%). The total of these two likely NDC votes was 13,496 votes (60.4%) but the NPP candidate won with 8,284 votes (37.1 %)."