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21.04.2004 Politics

Opposition Parties To Form Electoral Alliance?

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There are indications that the main opposition parties in Ghana – the National Democratic Congress (NDC); the Convention People's Party (CPP), the People's National Convention (PNC); Great Consolidated People's Party (GCPP); National Reform Party (NRP) and the Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) are working towards forming an electoral alliance for this year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Reports indicated that as a first step, negotiations are on-going to select candidates to compete in the now 230 constituencies. The criteria being used include suitability of the candidates, their popularity in the respective constituencies and how to finance the various campaigns. Indications are that given the nature of the 30 new constituencies, an opposition electoral alliance, sources have hinted, could win as many as 18 or more of them.

The sources also said that on-going research in the 200 old constituencies indicate that with pro-planning, the New Patriotic Party (NPP's) desire to win 140 of the 20 constituencies will hit the rocks. The sources further hinted that forming an electoral alliance in the presidential elections will depend, to a large extent on how the negotiations on selecting parliamentary candidates fare. Initially some of the political calculations include Prof. John Atta Mill selecting one of the presidential candidates of the other parties as his running mate.

Given the political theory of ethnic balancing in the selection of running mates, with Prof. Mills being an Akan, that rules out Mr. Goozie Tanoh of the NRP and the GCPP' Mr. Dan Lartey. This leaves Dr. Edward Mahama of the PNC, from the Northern Region and the CPP's Mr. George Aggudey, a GaDangme.

When a leading member of the NPP was contacted for his comments on a possible opposition electoral alliance in December, he smiled and said, “should that happen, it will make the elections much more competitive. But first let us wait and see if that will. If it happens, it only means that we will have to move our electoral campaigning to a higher notch.

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