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10.12.2004 General News

Start rebuilding CPP now- Pratt

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Accra, Dec. 10, GNA- After its poor electoral performance in the 2004 elections, the task of rebuilding the Convention People's Party (CPP) must be seen as an urgent one that must begin now, Mr Kwesi Pratt, Director of Communications of the party said on Friday.

In an open letter to the leaders of the party obtained by the GNA, Mr Pratt recommended that the CPP must pay serious attention to Nkrumaist unity and forge cooperation with other mass democratic organisations and forge internal cohesion.

He said the CPP must also appreciate the current national situation and take concrete steps to identify with the masses, review its foreign policy and support traditional causes of the party.

The CPP's candidate in the presidential poll, George Aggudey polled a dismal one per cent of the popular votes in the election won by President John Agyekum Kufuor with 52.75 per cent.

Prof. John Evans Atta Mills had 44.32 per cent while Dr Edward Mahama of the Grand Coalition had 1.93 per cent.

Mr Pratt said although the results were to be expected, they nonetheless demonstrated both the organisational and political weaknesses of the party.

He noted that the party's three seats could not have been won on its own strength.

"The gruelling defeat of the CPP makes it necessary to re-examine its strategy in the light of the current national situation and its historical, political and social imperatives."

He said his letter was to "stimulate that vital discussion" of issues thrown up by the party in its election campaign, in the hope that they might lead eventually to the emergence of a strong and viable CPP capable of defeating the NPP in the 2008 elections.

Mr Pratt argued for the CPP to build alliances, coalitions or mergers and said these must be carefully negotiated on the basis of principle and set within the framework of a platform of policy orientation document.

He noted that given the current situation and position of political and social groups, it was safe to conclude that the CPP could effectively cooperate with other Nkrumaist political parties and the National Reform Party (NRP).

The CPP, he argued, could also engage in "limited collaboration" with groups such as the National Union of Ghana Students, TUC, teachers, nurses, the Christian Council of Ghana and Coalition Against Water Privatisation.

He noted that the CPP suffered from lack of internal cohesion saying while some of its members claimed they were independent, "some openly urged members and supporters to vote for the NPP presidential candidate".

Such a development created doubts about the party's political direction and gave the impression that discipline had broken down. "It is strongly recommended that the principle of democratic centralism be applied in all the processes leading to the adoption of positions in the party."

Mr Pratt said: "The task ahead is enormous and no useful purpose will be served by recriminations about whose actions led to the humiliating defeat in the elections. It is necessary to channel all resources into the effort to redefine the policy and strategy."

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