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10.03.2009 Feature Article

Alan Kyeremanteng cannot Lead a United NPP

Alan Kyeremanteng cannot Lead a United NPP

As a die-hard NPP Activist, I wanted to write and inform anyone who has the interest of our party at heart to understand that Alan Kyeremanteng will almost certainly not be able to unite the NPP and therefore win an election for the NPP. In fact, Alan K could splinter our party for a generation.

All around the world, most political parties typically have at least two main factions within them. The pendulum will often swing from one side of the party to the other over the course of history. The Democrat and Republican parties of the US have their liberal and moderate wings, for instance. Anytime one side wins control over the party, the other side will often feel alienated but usually soldier along until its time comes. Also, it is rare to see one faction of a party control it for more than a generation.

Professor Adu Boahen (the figurehead of what I will loosely call the mainly Non-Ashanti or UNC bloc) deservedly won control over the NPP, having been one of the leads in opposing the PNDC regime, to contest the 1992 Elections. President Kufuor (the figurehead of what I will the mainly Ashanti or PFP bloc) won control over the party to contest the 1996 and then the 2000 elections, as the party moved beyond hot opposition of the P/NDC reign and looked more about electability. I intentionally do not want to delve into the history of the UNC and PFP split because it is too complicated and controversial as to who was the real successor to the PP tradition and not worth the time, especially considering that both factions re-united during the PNDC era and beyond.

What is clear in all most of the instances since the PFP/UNC split is that the losing faction has soldiered along and united behind the winning faction ever since. This unity did not happen because the losing faction trusted and/or loved the winning faction or because the losing side did not have serious grievances about how they were treated by the winning side. The unity was achieved because of political maturity and putting party ahead of faction, especially by the losing faction.

Fast-forward towards Election 2008. The PFP faction spearheaded by President Kufuor and Alan Cash injured our party when defying the reality that the UNC faction were clearly in control of the party leadership and were on pace to elect a Presidential Candidate to lead the party, went nuclear in trying to torpedo the reality. They used unimaginable amounts of money and governmental power and influence in this cause, albeit to eventual failure.

But, they damaged their preferred candidate and the NPP's electoral chances in the process. President Kufuor clearly acted and did not act in many instances in ways that even NDC folks know injured the NPP and Nana Akufo-Addo's chances to win. Alan K meanwhile even resigned from our party for a time. Who will argue today that had Alan K and his benefactor President Kufuor been more measured in their quest to continue to control the party, Alan K will not be a clear front-runner to lead the party into the 2012 elections?

This is in sharp and unfortunate contrast to how the other side behaved and coalesced around Mr. Kufuor when he clearly controlled the party. Moving forward, I have no doubt that the actions of the PFP wing of our party and Alan Cash in particular means that he cannot lead a united party. Perhaps that wing can find a new horse of a candidate to take over the party. They can try to win with Alan K but I dare say that the cost to the party and their faction will not make it worthwhile. Nana Akufo-Addo has behaved properly when leading a losing faction while Mr. Kufuor controlled the party. Alan K has certainly failed that test.

I understand and even agree with assertions of certain mistakes by the Akufo-Addo 2008 campaign. However, Alan K's own political misbehaviour/misjudgment has almost precluded him from being able to unite our party. He has to prove himself all over again as someone who puts the party ahead of himself or his faction. He has also the stench of unmitigated corruption and excess which will make him virtually unelectable unless the NDC certifies its own corruptibility in the coming years.

So, I will recommend to the PFP/Kufuor wing of the party to find a new leader because Alan K is damaged goods. Even if he wins the leadership of the party, we will almost certainly not be able to unite and/or win a general election with him.

In fact, putting up Alan K is another sure way to ensure that Nana Akufo-Addo, despite the real flaws in the campaign he ran, gets to lead our party again, by default and without him clearly specifying how he will run a much better campaign.

Let us all work to find a strong candidate and not end up with another "anybody but Alan K" scenario again. If Nana Akufo-Addo is to be the flagbearer, I think it is in the party's interest to want it to be so because people really think he is the best candidate and not because he is the only person to stop Alan K from destroying our party for a generation.

Prince Ofosu Sefah
Prince Ofosu Sefah, © 2009

This author has authored 27 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: PrinceOfosuSefah

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