The 13-member Kwesi Botchway committee set up by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to probe the party’s election 2016 defeat, cited rifts between Parliamentary candidates and constituency executives as a major failing, according to the NDC MP for Odododiodioo, Nii Lante Vanderpuye.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Vanderpuye, who was part of the committee, noted that “Parliamentary candidates were not working with the constituency well.”
He explained that on the committee’s work around the country, “what came out clearly was the fact that there was a disconnect between the party grassroots, constituency executives, regional executives and national executives.”
“For example, in certain places we went, the people said that for four years now, we have not seen a regional organizer, we have not seen regional chairman, we have not seen this person, we have not seen the regional chairman, we’ve not seen the MP; so it was all these factors put together.”
Complacency played its part
Mr. Vanderpuye also attributed the NDC’s defeat in the 2016 elections to complacency on the part of “a lot of” party members, including President Mahama.
“Going around the country and listening to some of the people, you could say complacency was one of the factors that affected us… From the local level to the top – everybody. Even the President himself was too complacent. President Mahama himself was too sure of winning so we took certain things for granted.”
Mr. Vanderpuye said “the work we did in 2012, we didn’t do that much work in 2016. I must be frank.”
He further admitted that the NDC’s reliance on infrastructural development may have sent wrong signals internally.
According to him, “we thought that as a government, we had done a lot of work. We had caused a lot of infrastructure social change and there was no reason for us to lose.”
“If you study factors that led to victories in the past, there was no way we should have lost the elections if the same factors had been at play. But I think in 2016, the perception and ideals of the Ghanaian voter changed from those factors we are used to, to other issues.”
The Kwesi Botchway Committee presented its findings to the National Executive Council (NEC) on Monday, June 19.
As part of its recommendations, the committee asked the party to take a holistic look at its biometric electoral register, and take urgent steps to restore the integrity of the register.