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The decision of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to set up a committee to identify the factors for its 2016 electoral loss is “a good move”, except it should not be headed by Professor Kwesi Botchwey, the Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Obiri Boahen, has indicated.
The NDC, which will begin another life in opposition from January 7, 2017, lost the 2016 polls, with its candidate John Mahama managing only 44.40 per cent of total valid votes cast, falling behind by some 1.5 million votes to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who secured 53.85 per cent to become Ghana’s next president from 2017.
The defeat is the third electoral loss for the NDC, having previously lost the 2000 and 2004 polls. However, the margin of defeat and the unprecedented defeat of a sitting president in December’s election since the return to democratic rule in 1993 prompted the party to announce on Thursday December 29 the formation of a 13-member committee to diagnose the party’s failure to win the mandate of Ghanaians for another four years.
The committee is headed by Prof Botchwey, Finance Minister under President Jerry Rawlings, who ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001.
However, Mr Obiri disagreed with the choice of Prof Botchwey to lead the post-mortem for the NDC, explaining that his very high standing in the party makes him too removed from the concerns of the party’s grassroots, for which reason he is not the ideal candidate for such a role.
“Let me be very honest. If you say you have made Kwesi Botchwey leader of the committee, I beg to differ. I beg to differ because you see…Prof Kwesi Botchwey is a very good material but in contemporary politics there is a wide gap between him and the grassroots,” he stated.
According to him, someone in the mould of Ofosu Ampofo, the NDC’s Director of Elections, would be a good fit since he touches base with the supporters of the party and can give an accurate account of the concerns of the core of the party’s followers, “but Kwesi Botchwey is too high up there”.
Persons who fearlessly speak up anytime negative developments arise in the party could be a “good” alternative, Nana Obiri Boahen advised.
“If you get someone who is at the same level as the grassroots and people who will present an objective, frank, and unbiased analysis, these are the people who can help your committee because they can see and speak the truth. But once it is a committee that decides to be diplomatic and conceal the truth then [there is] no work done because you won’t get the true picture…” he said on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM.
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