Politics of Sunday, 14 August 2016
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has urged the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to address its weaknesses if it is to beat the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
In an address at the party’s campaign launch at the Cape Coast stadium in the Central region Sunday, the founder said the party must re-claim its founding principles if it is to be unbeatable in elections.
His speech was largely evasive as the President said he will not make any explosive commentary until after the general elections in December.
Speaking at the launch however, the President told the grassroot that “we must reach into the principles that emerged from the circumstances that gave us power. [If we do this] no one can ever defeat us”.
The former president did not mention any specific weaknesses but in the past Jerry Rawlings has castigated this own party and suggested an internal cleaning up exercise because he believes corruption has taken hold of the party.
He has said “a certain amount of the current executives must be thrown out and replaced with people with merit, logic and integrity. This is the only way the party can win elections and bring back the value that gave birth to the party.
But he was measured and diplomatic in his Sunday commentary. He, however, said enough to suggest a return to probity and accountability, the party’s stated values.
He explained that it is the NDC’s principles that set the party far apart from the NPP and without it, the party’s political chances could be threatened.Rawlings suggested that the NDC “cannot afford to fight the NPP on their own terms”.
To “mimick” the NPP’s behaviour as some in the party are doing will be disastrous for the NDC, said the former president whose criticism of the governing party has made him a darling of the opposition NPP.
Leaving political analysts to decode his statements, Jerry Rawlings said the NPP has “been in existence for a long time and have been changing their names till this date, the nature of who they are, what they are, where they’ve come from is something they are happy with and they will be there for a long time”.
He warned the governing NDC not to underestimate the threat posed by the opposition NPP ahead of a crucial general election. President Rawlings told a packed stadium of party supporters that defeating the NPP is “going to be quite a challenge”.
“What is ahead of you is not an easy task” the NDC founder said amid cheers from 16,000 supporters.