The sky is already gathering clouds, the allegations have started flying around as to who and who are in bed with who, the finger pointing and mouth slinging, the mistrust, the suspicion and the fear mongers, are also in town as the 2016 election inches closer.
When the President of the United States of America (USA), Barrack Obama, came to Ghana in 2009, he told us, to build strong institutions, not personalities.
We applaud him and do not hesitate to quote him anytime, we have the chance, yet we are all over each other tearing down our institutions.
Since 1992 and even before then, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), have both played critical roles in organizing free and fair elections.
Although, the biggest causality is the EC, the IEA have not been completely absolved of the mistrust and the suspicion of doing the bidding of one political party.
Since 1992 The EC, has become the victim anytime the New Patriotic Party or the National Democratic Congress losses an election.
The EC, have been raised to the status of a god in this country, when they are supposed to be a referee in the game.
Which intelligent student, will go into an exam hall, write the exam and when the results are out and he or she fails, will blame the invigilator. That is the kind of politics, politicians in this country are engaged in.
At best they are all lazy and will always want to blame someone for their misfortune.
An election as we are aware is lost and won at the polling stations, what happens afterwards is not the duty of the EC but the political parties.
The NDC and The IEA
A Presidential Debate is a conventional way of getting presidential aspirants to sell their programmes directly to the people before an election in
While, it is not a substitute for proper campaigning, its format, medium and moderation try to encapsulate the visions of the aspirants in a nutshell for prospective voters.
So far, our limited democratic experience means the format itself is a work in progress. Perhaps, over time, we will need to establish a permanent non-profit and non-partisan body to sponsor this, rather than leave it for the Institute of Economic Affairs.
This is because it is important that a process of this nature is given the concentration and seriousness required as the performance of candidates on the forum helps voters in decision-making.We have never lacked people with great ideas in politics, if by ideas we meaningfully churn out a wish list of what they think the country needs at any point in time.
Personally, I do not think that, the decision the National Democratic Congress has taken to boycott this year’s debate is a good one. In the first place, no matter how lopsided and bias the process will be, President John Dramani Mahama, is more than capable to face off any candidate, he will come up victorious.
The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is no match for him. His grasp and understanding of issues puts Mahama miles ahead of Nana Addo.
The posture of some executives of the party and some ministers, speaking to the issue is repugnant, smacks of arrogance and a blatant disregard to the democratic process. We can agree to disagree, the NDC, has every right to boycott any debate organized by the IEA, but the manner in which that
is communicated is very important.
Debates anywhere is supposed to influence the so-called floating voters, who constitute a sizeable percentage of the voters, you do not take them for granted, especially when in 2008, the NDC, won the election by a little 30,000 votes and in 20012, a little over 300,000 votes, the party and the president, need every vote to win a very crucial election this year.
A word of caution to them, wow betides them, if they make a mistake of losing this election, we will chase them out of town. Party people are angry, the despondency, is very high, given rise to a likely apathy, so if any party needs the floating voters it is the NDC, so they should think twice over the decisions they take.
I have confidence and complete trust in my president, I hope they don’t doubt his ability and capacity, what is this decision that, they will not take part in the IEA debate. Today you are IN power, so you are blinded by the trappings, tomorrow when in opposition the IEA, could become an ally.
In 2008, we were witnesses to the total control by the NPP of every media house, the NDC, had hard time, getting space to advertise candidate Mills, the party does not need to go through that again, so every friend is very important no matter your circumstance, i.e. either in power or opposition.
The President has indicated his readiness to debate Nana Addo, anytime, anywhere, any day, so the party must take chilled water and relax it stance.
The NPP and The EC
Even in 2008, as a governing party, the NPP cried foul, accusing the EC of stealing the election for the NDC. A clandestine attempt was made to place an injunction on the EC from going ahead to announce the results then, it took the intervention of some responsible Ghanaians, who appeared as friends of the court, to stop what was clearly an attempt to undermine the will of the people.
Since then anything the EC does, never pleases the NPP, every reform the commission has implemented since 2009, has been opposed by the NPP. Everything they asked for, for the 2012 elections, they were given, yet when they lost, they turn round to blame the same system, they forcefully asked for.
They are always crying wolf, where they is none. We cannot build any system and sustain it, when we are always quick to condemn it.
They have started again, by disagreeing with every decision the EC, has taken since 2013, the madness has heightened this year, because, it is an election year. They go and sit at IPAC, debate every decision, vote for or against it, and come out to talk as though it was done at their blind side.
To the NPP, anything either than a win, means the EC is in bed with some political party.
What we are doing to ourselves!
And what is Hassan Ayariga, also boycotting? Tweeaaa