General News of Mon, 23 Oct 201733
NDC was divided two years ahead of 2016 polls - Botchwey C’ttee
The Professor Kwesi Botchwey Committee says the NDC's humiliating defeat in the 2016 polls could be traced to deep cracks which formed after the party elected national, regional and constituency executives in 2014.
The leaked report said the party was divided two years ahead of the crucial 2016 general elections because some defeated party executives adopted a laid-back attitude, while others worked against the party. This observation formed part of a 455-page report intercepted by Joy News.
In the heat of last year’s polls, the NDC had boasted of being more united than its rival New Patriotic Party (NPP), which had been engulfed in internal wranglings which led to the suspension of three national executives.
Ex-President John Mahama repeatedly aimed at the 2016 NPP presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, accusing him of fomenting dissension in his party.
But the 13-member Botchwey Committee said whilst the NDC appeared united on the surface, it was deeply divided at the base.
“It was deeply divided in a good number of constituencies across the country two years to the general elections,” the report said of the party. The Committee zeroed in on two constituencies where it said “entrenched positions of interest groups” went against the party.
“Party members in the Nandom Constituency were very upfront in stressing that the apparent divisions that existed amongst the leading party members in the constituency in the run-up to the 2016 election had their antecedents in the 2014 election for party officers,” the report noted.
The situation in Jomoro Constituency in the Western Region was not different from the other constituencies where the NDC lost bitterly in both the parliamentary and presidential levels to its arch-rival, the NPP.
The Committee also said whilst the expansion of the party’s electoral college was “laudable”, the integrity of the biometric register was tampered with. “Some national, regional, and constituency executives had preferred candidates and therefore skewed the process to favour them leaving grassroots members bitter,” the report said.
The Committee said the actions of some party executives may frustrate and make reconciliation difficult before and even after the elections. Some members of the NDC’s Biometric Registration Committee were alleged to have worked “independently of the Committee” and started dealing with “aspirants and other interest parties.”
The mismanagement of the Biometric process promoted “ethnicism in constituencies of diverse ethnic groups,” the report said.
"A number of independent candidates emerged from many constituencies as a protest to the conduct and outcome of the implementation of the expanded Electoral College," the report said.