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23.10.2008 NDC News

NDC power sharing scheme exposed

By The Statesman

The NDC appears to have given up on the December polls. Rather, indications are that the party is actively strategising to reject the results even before the first ballots are cast, with allegation after allegation of plans by the NPP, in collusion with the Election Commission, to rig the election.

Part of the strategy is to violently attack and intimidate political opponents, prepare and circulate 'intercepted, official documents' purporting to reveal issues as diverse as underhand deals by government officials, abuse of office, and secretly operated accounts by almost every important government official with sums that would make Bill Gates jealous - if true.

The grand strategy, according to deep throat sources within the NDC, is to cause as much mayhem in the run up to and immediately after the December 7 polls as to create a situation of anarchy while strenuously insisting that the polls had been rigged.

In the end, it is their hope that the international community would be hoodwinked enough to buy into the concept of power sharing - which the NDC would fortuitously suggest.In pursuance of this objective, The Statesman can report that an NDC delegation, led by former MP for Ho Central, Kofi Attor, last month visited Kenya and held discussions with officials of the Orange Democratic Movement, popularly known as ODM, who through a series of violent, bloody demonstrations which resulted in the death of hundreds of Kenyans after an electoral loss, forced President Mwai Kibaki to share power with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The trip, according to our sources, was to find out how the ODM forced a power sharing situation on the Kibaki government, and how to replicate such a situation in Ghana in the face of a clear, impending electoral trouncing.

Our checks indicate that officials of ODM informed their counterparts in the NPP about the meeting and the issues discussed. NPP officials remain tight lipped, although a number of them, speaking on condition of anonymity, have confirmed this paper"s findings.

They told this paper that when confronted, Mr Attor was less than categorical in his denial that the NDC delegation was in Kenya to take a leaf from the ODM's book on power-sharing. Attempts to reach him yesterday failed.

The Statesman can however, say on authority that power sharing strategies were discussed.

These are difficult times for the NDC. There is every indication the NPP's Nana Akufo-Addo is poised to inflict another electoral loss on the NDC's John Evans Atta Mills, after three earlier ones by J A Kufuor on December 7, 2000, December 28, 2000 (run off) and December 7, 2004.

After eight years in opposition, the NDC appears desperate for power, especially in a soon-to-be oil-rich Ghana. But, opinion poll after opinion poll shows President Kufuor's longest serving Foreign Minister and MP for Abuakwa South tearing ahead of his main rival, even in his (Mills') home region of Central.

The latest, conducted by pollster Ben Ephson indicated a more than likely increase in the number of NPP seats in the region, while the NPP held its own or made gains in the choice of a presidential candidate.

In the traditionally strong NDC support base of the Volta Region, the NPP is set to make unprecedented gains based in part on the massive development projects undertaken by the Kufuor administration, and Nana Akufo-Addo's vision to move Ghana forward.

The only thing that appears to have an outside chance of derailing the collective choice of Nana Akufo-Addo as President Kufuor's successor, NDC officials calculate, is a systematic effort to attack the integrity of the electoral process and force a deal, ala Kenya.

Political observers cite an earlier hint by Prof Mills early this year that Ghana would have a taste of the Kenyan experience if his party failed to win in December.

Last week, the party, at a press conference in Accra, alleged that its security operatives had intercepted a 'Ways and Means' document prepared by the NPP to rig the elections.

This 'proof' was quickly circulated to every foreign embassy in the country, but our information indicates the envoys have chosen to rely on the word of the Electoral Commission instead.

Another document, which had earlier been clandestinely circulated to all the military barracks in the country as well as among the other security organisations, purported to detail bank account details of senior government officials, with sums that far exceed the total capitalisation of the country's banks several fold.

The Weekly Standard, edited by Victor Smith, a former aide to NDC founder Jerry John Rawlings, also accused the President of engaging in an oil deal with a Kuwaiti company and was in hock to the tune of over $5 billion.

This allegation was subsequently repeated in an official NDC statement, all without providing a shred of proof. Asked to provide evidence, Mr Smith admitted on Joy FM's Front Page programme that his stories were based on hearsay.

 The presidency has challenged him and the NDC to provide proof or face the consequences.

A political, economic, and humanitarian crisis erupted in Kenya after incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election held on December 27, 2007. Supporters of Kibaki's opponent, Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement, alleged electoral manipulation.

In addition to staging several nonviolent protests, opposition supporters went on a violent rampage in several parts of the country, most noticeably in Odinga's homeland of Nyanza Province and the slums of Nairobi, part of his Langata constituency. Police shot a number of demonstrators, including a few in front of TV news cameras, causing more violence directed toward the police.

Targeted ethnic violence (as opposed to violent protests) escalated and at first was directed mainly against Kikuyu people - the community of which Kibaki is a member - living outside their traditional settlement areas, especially in the Rift Valley Province.

This violence peaked with the killing of over 30 unarmed civilians in a church near Eldoret on New Year's Day. Some of the Kikuyu also engaged in violence against groups supportive of Odinga, primarily Luos and Kalenjin, especially in the areas surrounding Nakuru and Naivasha.

The violence continued sporadically for several months, particularly in the Rift Valley.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan arrived in the country nearly a month after the election, and successfully brought the two sides to the negotiating table.

On February 28, 2008, Kibaki and Odinga signed a power-sharing agreement called the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which establishes the office of prime minister and creates a coalition government.

The power-sharing Cabinet, headed by Odinga as Prime Minister, was eventually named on April 13, after lengthy negotiations over its composition; it was sworn in on April 17.

Between 500 and 1200 people are believed to have lost their lives in the electoral violence.