President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, say power struggle between elements of the late Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills, Jerry John Rawlings and the immediate past President of the land, John Mahama, contributed significantly to the defeat of the then governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections.
This big challenge which the NDC found it difficult to address, he added, made the victory of the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) much more easier.
However, he cautioned that such should be a lesson to the NPP if it wants to stay in power for a very long time.
Addressing the party’s Extraordinary Delegates Conference in Kumasi, Sunday, President Akufo-Addo said internal party wrangling in the both the NPP and NDC has caused the defeats of these political parties when they are in government in recent past.
“In the year 2000, 2008 and 2016, three times an opposition has defeated an incumbent government. Their victory was made easier by breakdown in the relationship between MMDCEs, MPs, and constituency chairmen. In 2000, it was the Swedru Declaration that brought disaffection in the NDC at the grassroots. Even though the country wanted a change, it was made easier by the destruction in the NDC. The same thing happened in 2008 when the NDC took advantage of the division in our party [NPP] at the grassroots as a result of the seventeen competitors for the party’s presidential candidate. Again, in 2016, the conflict between the Mills elements, Rawlings elements and the Manama elements caused the defeat of the NDC,” he noted.
He added “They say people do not learn from history – we must learn from history.”
He said to minimise the internal wrangling in the party, the National Council of the NPP has passed a resolution to bar MMDCEs from competing in Parliamentary primaries.
Anyone who wants to compete must step down three years before the election of the parliamentary primary.
“We don’t want MMDCEs to disturb this party as a group,” he added.
Additionally, he said the such a measure has been extended to cover the constituency, regional and National officers. officers – the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
With this provision, the national Chairperson, the General Secretary and national Treasurer cannot contest the party’s presidential candidate position unless they step down three years before nominations are opened.