Political scientist, Prof. Ransford Gyampo says the governing New Patriotic Party will fail with its ‘Breaking The Eight’ agenda if controversies surrounding its internal elections are not handled properly.
Prof. Gyampo is of the opinion that, the disagreements with the NPP’s ongoing constituency elections put the party at risk of losing the next general elections.
“If the party truly wants to break the eight, then these undemocratic practices in the party will not help them. So the earlier they put an end to it to ensure that the people decide, the better for them”.
The NPP’s ongoing constituency elections across the country have been characterised by misunderstandings, pockets of chaos and series of injunctions in some constituencies.
In some cases, party executives have been accused of preferential treatment, circumventing party procedures among other electoral under-dealings, with members threatening to boycott the elections if due processes are continuously undermined.
For example, there was confusion at the Okaikoi South Constituency after some members massed up to prevent the polls from taking off because more than 400 names were removed from the constituency album.
The totality of this, Prof. Gyampo believes, “If you try to stampede internal democracy within a party, you will shoot yourself in the foot in the future.”
Nominations have already been opened by the NPP for persons seeking to lead the party at the constituency level. This is part of a number of processes to ready the party for the 2024 polls.
But the seeming tensions fuelled by aggrieved NPP members appear to be causing more harm than good for the party seeking to break the eight-year power jinx in the country’s electoral history.
“This is a party that has made it clear to all Ghanaians that they have an intention of breaking the eight. There are so many acts that undermine internal democracy within the party. I am thinking that, the NPP as a party itself is not learning. These are some of the tensions and machinations which took place in the lead up to the 2020 elections that produced the kind of numbers in parliament they had, and I thought that, they would have ensured that the field was so levelled so much that some of these things wouldn’t be happening.”
“The ground should be levelled for the people and those who want to lead the party to allow the will of the people to prevail. But if these machinations do not allow for a fair playing field, then you have threats of people trying to vote against you”, Prof. Gyampo added.
Touching on what the NPP can do to satisfy its disgruntled members, the political science lecturer suggested, the differences, could all be buried should the elections in the affected constituencies be conducted again.
“The best way forward is to rerun the elections in those areas. For people who feel cheated, no amount of compensation will assuage their pain. If people feel things have not been done right, and you still go ahead with the process in a manner that favoured some people in an undemocratic manner, the only compensation is to rerun the processes and allow the people to decide”, Prof. Gyampo proposed.