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Ghana Leader to ‘Reconcile’ Ruling Party

  • Peter Clottey

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills (2nd R) turns a valve at FPSO Kwame Nkrumah oil rig at the Jubilee field in Takoradi,(File photo)

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills (2nd R) turns a valve at FPSO Kwame Nkrumah oil rig at the Jubilee field in Takoradi,(File photo)

A leading member of Ghana’s ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) says President John Atta-Mills will soon create a committee to resolve any internal divisions.

Ambassador Victor Smith, Ghana’s envoy to the Czech Republic, said the team will examine concerns and grievances to “see to how best we can bring everybody on board and then to move forward towards [elections in] 2012.”

At a convention, or congress, of the NDC this past week-end, president Atta-Mills defeated former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings with over 90 percent of the vote to lead the party in next year’s polls.

Smith said the “resounding” victory of Mr. Atta-Mills shows he still enjoys credible support from partisans of the NDC, despite the former first lady’s “perceived” popularity and name recognition.

“The party has given complete backing to the president to go for a second term. There is no doubt at all about the figures that came out of the congress,” said Smith.

A section of the ruling party has criticized President Atta Mills for being – in their view -- “too slow and ineffective” in supporting party ideals, a charge senior members of the administration sharply deny.

Some party members also expressed concern displeased “foot soldiers” of the NDC could defect to other parties, and pave way for the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to win next year’s vote, an argument Smith rejects.

He said that President Atta-Mills wants to bring together all factions within the party before next year’s vote.

“This is a genuine reconciliation effort when the president made those remarks after he had won. He has indicated to all of us that he will make that effort so that we can have some peace in the party,” said Smith.

Analysts say the incumbent president will face a stiff challenge from Nana Akufu-Addo presidential candidate for the main opposition NPP in next year’s vote.

A poll conducted by Synovate, a global research company, suggested that incumbent President Atta-Mills will fail in his bid to be re-elected, if the polls were held in May, an assertion dismissed by Smith as not credible.

“The people of Ghana should look at the good work that the president has done, and this has led to this outcome [victory] in nearly 100 percent backing,” said Smith. “You see if you do a good job, you get the blessing of the people. Between now and 2012, we will up the momentum and we will deliver the goods [win general elections].”