“I Didn’t Say That…Pianim Makes U-Turn On Election Petition

In a dramatic u-turn, economist Kwame Pianim, who condemned the NPP for going to the Supreme Court to challenge the December 2012 elections, has denied his earlier comments, saying; “I didn’t say that”.

Mr Pianim told Accra based radio station, XYZ Fm; “I said the party is right to go to Court,” he sought to clarify; however this is contrary to what he said in February 2012.

In a February 2013 interview with US based Afrocentric magazine, Africawatch, Mr. Pianim condemned the NPP’s presidential election petition describing the action as “Intellectual and mental laziness” and “confused”.

Mr. Pianim told the magazine that he preferred the NPP to accept the results of the elections and “move on”. “When the results of an election are announced, we should be ready to accept the results no matter how bitter,” he told the magazine.

However, he told the radio station that never in his interview with the Africawatch magazine, did he say or suggest that the party should accept the results as declared by the Electoral Commission without mounting any legal challenge.

“What I didn’t want was the party selecting what activities of the President to boycott and what not to boycott, ok,”.

In the same interview, he descended heavily on some spokespersons in the party, particularly Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a cousin to Nana Akufo-Addo and the Executive Secretary of pro-NPP research group, the Danquah Institute (DI).

He described the utterances of Mr. Otchere-Darko and some other “self appointed spokespersons” of the NPP as “talking anyhow” and “arrogant”.

“Some of these self-appointed spokespersons of the NPP seem to talk anyhow. Their demeanour and arrogant utterances tend to turn off people from the NPP. They are part of our problem and did not help us in the elections’’.

His statement sent the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) into a frenzy of excitement as some party functionaries sang Kwame Pianim’s praises for confronting his party over the election petition which had made the ruling party uncomfortable.

Conversely, his statement put the NPP on edge as some critics thought Mr. Pianim’s statement in the magazine was aimed at scuttling the goodwill the party was enjoying from its supporters as it pursued the election petition in the Supreme Court.

The confusion generated by the Kwame Pianim’s condemnation threw the opposition party into a state of panic and it consequently forced the party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John), to disclose that the embattled economist was indeed not a member of the NPP because he indeed resigned from the party several years ago.

He said the continuous reference to Mr. Pianim as a leading member of the party was erroneous, because he had not shown any commitment to the party since his resignation.

Pianim’s Beef

Even though the NPP believes it was not defeated in the December polls, Mr. Pianim believed the NPP was genuinely defeated, saying a number of issues led to the defeat of the party at the December polls.

According to him, the branding of the NPP as a “Danquah Busia tradition”, made the party ethnically lopsided.

“We should probably stop branding the party as a Danquah Busia tradition. Why should we continue to call ourselves the Danquah Busia Tradition? We seem to have forgotten other stalwarts behind the building of the United Party or UP tradition,” he quizzed.

Timing

His controversial statement in the Africawatch interview, came at a time when the ruling party was trying desperately to get all sorts of voices on its side as it battled the NPP in the Supreme Court.

The views of Kwame Pianim was similar to what was expressed by another NPP top gun, Charles Wereko-Brobby, a few weeks earlier, where he also condemned the NPP’s decision to head to the Supreme Court to challenge the NDC’s mandate.

Their radical views contravened all the solidarity that the NPP enjoyed among its members as the party’s flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his running-mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and party Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey dragged the NDC and the Electoral Commission to the Supreme Court for what they believe were “massive” electoral fraud during the December polls.

It is unclear why Mr. Pianim is now denying his own statement, particularly at a time when the Supreme Court would next week deliver its final verdict on the election petition.

The NPP tabled evidence in the Supreme Court from more than 11,000 polling stations out of the 26,000 polling stations to prove that the elections were fraught with over 1,000,000 questionable votes.

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