The New Patriotic Party (NPP) goes into its 2020 Parliamentary Primaries in a couple of days, after having experienced delays and limitations brought about by COVID-19. The Party is excited about the numerous expression of interest by aspiring Parliamentarians in their quest to contest in this year’s internal elections, regardless of all the difficulties presented by the current challenges.
The Party believes that the aspiring Parliamentary candidates including those who may have been displeased, are appreciative of the massive gains made so far under the leadership of H. E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, hence their strong desires to contest for the Primaries and hopefully support the work of the NPP-led government in Parliament.
The keen contest being observed across all the regions only demonstrates the vibrancy and attractiveness of the NPP. Notwithstanding, as champions of democracy, freedom of speech and the rule of law, we encourage our members to responsibly express their grievances, opinions and disagreements in a manner that deepens the Party’s democratic process and our common resolve as a united family for victory in the upcoming December general elections.
Let us appreciate the fact that the NPP is an evolving political Party in a young developing democracy, and we must find ways of discussing openly, the strengthening of the Party’s frontline in Parliament including building consensus on the exit plan for long serving members of Parliament mainly at leadership levels. This is not to suggest any form of protection that breeds complacencies among longer serving Parliamentarians, but a better structured system that dignifies their exit whilst nurturing younger Parliamentarians, and preparing committed and competent new entrants into Parliament on the Party’s ticket.
National Party executives have sometimes found themselves in positions where they try to persuade and convince affected members, all in the interest of the Party’s strategy formation. Let us however, make no mistake about this, the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) ultimately has the last say in determining who gets the ultimate approval to run on the Party’s ticket. Besides, the Party has a responsibility to ensure that it puts its best foot forward at all times as may be determined by the circumstances that inform the approval or non-approval of an aspiring candidate. This determination is always done in the supreme interest of the Party.
It is understandable that some dissatisfied aspirants may feel cheated, unfairly treated and unhappy, may be, justifiably so, especially when they must have invested so much resources in their preparations to contest and equally going through the application process. For that matter, setting them aside is not in any way intended to imply that the NPP has no appreciation of their support towards the Party’s growth over the many years they may have associated themselves with it, and therefore has no need of them and their supporters. Far from it!
The Party therefore pleads with all displeased aspirants to consider the stand-aside and give-way beckoning by leadership as part of the sacrifices and contributions they would have made to the Party in the long run when the Party is victorious in the December polls. There would obviously be more openings for new opportunities and challenges that would require more hands on deck.
I hereby call on the Regional Chairmen in the spirit of the Party’s Resolutions, to work with leadership of their constituencies to begin negotiating the processes for collaboration and reconciliation, involving sufficient consultations with key Party stakeholders at the grassroots. This internal contest is a usual family affair, and no matter how heated it may get, and the possible disagreements that are characteristic of our competitive democracy, the candidates and delegates must remain committed NOT to be each other’s opponent. Our major opponent still remains our friends on the NDC side.
All committed NPP loyalists and members are expected to jealously guard the great achievements of our Party across the different sectors of the Ghanaian economy, and remain committed to share our success story with the Ghanaian people. As politicians in general, we must not always be seen to be at each other’s throat at all times. It is my high expectation that the upcoming Parliamentary Primaries will be in the spirit of family competition, friendly hostilities and sportsmanship.
We need not disgorge our eyes from their socket to blind each other, hence, guarding against giving ammunition to our major opponent the NDC for vicious and unnecessary attacks. I rather will urge all aspirants and their supporters to use these competitive processes to energize the grassroots, mobilize our supporters for the compilation exercise of the EC’s new voters’ register, galvanize our energies for the general election campaigning and continue to stay united.
I wish all contestants well.
About author: Freddie Blay is the National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)