An early congress to elect a new flag bearer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 elections will not be an ideal solution to the deep cracks and difficulties the party is saddled with, following the party’s defeat in the 2016 polls, Dr Edward Brenya, political science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has said.
According to him, the NDC is faced with factionalism at the moment, a situation which, if not addressed properly, will keep the party in opposition for long, for which efforts to heal the party must be prioritised over an early congress.
His comments come in the wake of former Minister of Defence, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, charging the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to organise an early congress to pick its flag bearer for the 2020 poll.
Mr Kunbuor’s call follows deep cracks within the party with many leading figures trading accusations and blaming one another for the NDC’s electoral defeat in 2016, arguing that an early resolution of internal issues will be key in ensuring victory for the party.
He was of the view that if the current constitutional arrangement were to be adhered to strictly, the time for electing a flag bearer will be too close to the 2020 general elections.
“…Given all the preparations that are involved, it will mean that by the time you are getting to elect your flag bearer, you will be in 2019,” he noted.
Speaking with Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Thursday, 6 April, Dr Kunbuor said: “A party that has suffered this level of defeat with so much internal acrimony and internal pain still in the mind, if we could not take eight years to galvanise that into an electoral victory, I don’t see how we can do that within one year or one-and-a-half years.”
But responding to this call in an interview with Accra News on Thursday April 6, Dr Brenya said: “I disagree with all those calling for early congress for the party.
“Going for early congress will not be a good idea now. This is the time they will need to spend to iron out the issues that led to their massive defeat in last year’s elections. Rushing to congress could result in selecting leaders who may not be accepted by all or be fit to lead them into the elections and when that happens, it will be disastrous for them.
“As we speak there are about three factions in the NDC – the Rawlings side, Atta Mills’ side and Mahama’s side – and so it is incumbent on them to find ways of dealing with all these factions and bring them together before thinking of electing a new leader who will be accepted and supported by all these factions.
This is not the NDC of 1992, it is a party that has transformed beyond 2008 and so they will need to find better ways of dealing with matters in the party.”