General News of Mon, 29 May 201754
Expansion of electoral college cost NDC 2016 – Alex Segbefia
Former Health Minister in the erstwhile National Democratic Congress government, Alex Segbefia says the decision by the party leadership to expand its electoral college, is partly to blame for the embarrassing defeat the party suffered in the 2016 elections.
The NDC with sitting President John Mahama lost massively in both the presidential and parliamentary elections held on December 7.
Nana Akufo-Addo the then opposition leader secured a resounding one-touch victory by polling 53.85% of total valid votes cast against incumbent John Dramani Mahama who managed 44.40%.
His New Patriotic Party also outperformed the governing National Democratic Congress in the parliamentary election by increasing its seats from 122 to 169 to form the majority, while the NDC saw its representation drop from a majority 148 to 106.
A 13-member committee led by former Finance Minister, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey is investigating why the party lost and will recommend the way forward after their listening tour.
But speaking to JoyNews Elton Brobbey, Mr. Segbefia who served as Campaign Manager for late President John Mills in 2008 said the party will be repeating the same mistakes in 2020 if the Electoral College is not reorganised.
“The serious question that I ask is not about the flagbearership [but] what system are we going to use to elect our branch officials, and then our constituency officials and then our regional executives [and] national executives?
“Because one of the major issues that created a problem for us as a party was the process which we used…Every region, every branch which we went to, had a complaint about the electoral process in which we elected our people [officers].”
He suggested a number of persons got elected as party officers not by the will of the people but through financial influence.
“Because if you have a system where the power of the people can be usurped either because of financial gains or because of malfeasance of electoral processes then you don’t actually have the people on your side when you go into the general elections.”
The former Chairman of the UK/Ireland branch of the NDC said although the opposition party is capable of recapturing power, all resources should be channelled into re-organising its base to make it attractive to the people.
“We are not in an area where we haven’t been before so I have no qualms about it. I think that the Ghanaian electorate in some way has become a lot more sophisticated and will punish you more for your time in office if you are not able to deliver what you require.”