The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) last Wednesday marked its 18th anniversary with the resolve to re-energise and re-position the party for election 2016.
According to Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, the acting leader and the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the party, “although 18 years in a human being’s life will be regarded as the beginning of life itself, GCPP’s moderate achievement over the years is an indication that Ghanaians will soon buy into the party’s vision and ideology’’.
The party was founded by Mr Daniel Augustus Lartey, otherwise known as Dan Lartey, after it received final certification from the Electoral Commission (EC) on June 18, 1996 to operate as a registered political party.
When the founder died in December 2009 at the age of 83, his eldest son, Dr. Lartey, succeeded him.
Commemorating the 18th anniversary in Accra, was a three-hour event held at Osu to highlight the successful journey of the party.
The occasion brought together some supporters and leaders of the GCPP, who dined and wined over the achievement of GCPP.
Present at the occasion was the 2012 Independent Presidential Candidate, Mr Joseph Osei Yeboah, popularly referred to as JOY.
Representatives of other political parties, including the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), also graced the anniversary.
Plans for 2016 election
Speaking at the ceremony to mark the 18th anniversary in Accra, Mr John Amekah, running mate of Dr Lartey in the 2012 election outlined some of the plans the party had put in place ahead of the 2016 general election.
He said the party had so far established offices in all the 10 regions, which would facilitate the organisation of various conferences and programmes ahead of the 2016 election.
Aside that, Mr Amekah said the GCPP would soon go for its congress to elect national and regional executives who would steer the affairs of the party in 2016 and beyond.
Already, he said, the leadership of the party was in constant dialogue with the grass roots supporters of the party, especially those in remote communities.
Mr Yeboah commended the leadership of the GCPP, particularly its chairman, Dr Lartey, for maintaining the domestication concept of governance since, according to him, it was the key to growing the economy of Ghana.
“GCPP has over the past years conducted their activities and operations so well that the party has become one of the peaceful political parties in Ghana,” he said.
According to Mr Yeboah, the growth of every political party relied heavily on the party’s ability to deal with internal conflict and work together to achieve its goals and objectives.
GCPP’s vision and philosophy
Since its establishment, the party continues to maintain its relevance in propagating the message of domestication– “Grow what we eat and eat what we grow”.
The vision of GCPP, which seeks to pursue an economic policy to free the Ghanaian economy from foreign control and domination, led to the introduction of the Domestication Concept of Governance.
In spite of the party’s inability to convince Ghanaians to believe in the domestication policy in four consecutive national elections, the leadership of the party, led by its current chairman, Dr Lartey, continues to stick to the domestication policy.
According to him, the only way to transform the economy of Ghana was for the government to create a system where the country would depend largely on the production of goods and services instead of overly relying on foreign products.
Compared with the two leading political parties in the country, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), GCPP’s achievements could be described as modest.
The party was part of a four-member committee responsible for rewriting the code of conduct of political parties in the year 2000.
The party also played a leading role in the amendment of the PNDC Law 284 (Political Party Law) into an act of Parliament (Act 574). It also took part in the rewriting of the code of conduct of political parties by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
Impact on elections
Among the eight political parties that took part in the 2012 elections, GCPP secured the fourth place, marshalling a total vote of 38,223.
Although the party did not organise any massive campaign compared with the other political parties, it was able to beat the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), which had 24,617 and 20,323 votes respectively.
The party’s position in the 2012 general election was perhaps the best place after its poor showings in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections.
One of the major challenges that confront smaller political parties in Ghana is their inability to access funds to run their activities and the GCPP is no exception.
Apart from election 2000 that the then presidential candidate of the party, Mr Dan Lartey, managed to organise some nationwide campaign trips and was also able to mount few billboards in the capital, GCPP has virtually remained quiet in all the remaining three presidential elections the party contested.
During the 2012 election, unlike the NDC, NPP, CPP, PPP and PNC, which organised massive nationwide campaigns, the GCPP did not organise any major rally to drum home the message of domestication.
The party, however, took part in the presidential debate organised by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) for political parties. Currently it has no representatives in Parliament.
The party could not contest election in 1996 as a result of delay in the issuance of its final certificate.
Interesting fact about GCPP
One unique and distinguished feature about GCPP is the fact that since the party was formed, the two main presidential candidates who had emerged to contest the presidential election are related, a father and his son.
In the 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections, the senior Lartey, who is the founder, led the party but failed to make any impact. After his death in 2010, the baton was passed on to Dr Lartey, the son, who has since been its leader.