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15.03.2006 Press Review

Editorial -The Crowded Presidential Race And Reshuffle Kafuffle

By Statesman

We have a little concern about the seeming silence from the New Patriotic Party about the de facto presidential campaigns. We believe the idea of having a long drawn out campaign without any clear indication as to the targeted date is not helping. The NPP should simply concede that it is at a very novel point in its development and as such must manage the process rather than allow the process to mismanage the party.

While we have stated here in the past that we do not think the date for choosing a presidential candidate for the NPP should be earlier than the closing month(s) of 2007, we still maintain that the party should deliberate over the matter to fix a date, but more importantly the announcement of the date should be done early so that those vying for the positions may better plan their affairs.

When the time of people holding important portfolios are said to be divided between matters of state interest and matters of presidential ambition, then it causes for some considerable considered attention. The difficulty in our view is informed more by the fact that the unofficial campaigns are today being waged in a vacuum. That vacuum we believe is manifested in the absence of a clear date for a campaign which, for reasons best left to the natural conflict between naked ambition and the laws of competition, started way before any time envisaged by the party or even the aspirants themselves, perhaps.

We don't find useful the argument that for the mere fact that people have chosen the option of a premature campaign launch is their headache and therefore the party should not be compelled to act to suit such early birds. The gravamen here is to be more concerned about the consequences than the cause. We also think that the option of relieving the Speedy Gonzaleses en masse from their ministerial portfolios to pursue their egos is not a clever solution under the circumstances.

First of all, any Minister may support the argument that it can take about six months to get grips with one's new office. So at a time like this when a ruling party is in its crucial stage of delivery – two and a half years to deepen the process of making a bold and decisive electoral impact – to cause a fundamental shake-up would be far from ideal.

We are not, per se, against a reconfiguration of the Ministries – the aim of which is to sharpen their delivery tools. Indeed, we believe there is a serious need for that. Except, of course that and the scale of that ought to be weighed against the time available for the Kufuor administration specifically and the impact any particular change may have on the agenda to deliver within this four-year mandate.

Again, we reiterate our call for the NPP to somewhat take hold of the various presidential bids that are speeding un-compass-like manner like ran-away trains. Admittedly, one cannot stand arms-spread in front of a speeding shuttle in the hope of stopping it dead in its tracks. Our only plea is for the party to recognise the unfolding facts and act to enhance the chances of streamlining it, at least. We believe merely fixing a date for the contest will be a major step ahead in this direction.