Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has vowed to win this year’s general elections despite reported divisions in the party. This comes after some incumbent parliamentary members of the party who were rejected by the party’s National Executive Committee vowed to contest their various parliamentary seats as independent candidates in the upcoming General Elections. Some political analysts believe the divisions could have an adverse effect on the party’s success in the general elections, especially with the reported growing strength of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Party.
The NDC, led by Ghana’s former Vice President John Atta-Mills, claims it is poised to wrestle power from the ruling NPP. Peter Mac Manu is the chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). From the capital, Accra he tells reporter Peter Clottey that his party is sure of victory in this year’s elections.
“Certainly any sitting MP (member of parliament) who loses the primaries will nurse some pains; that is a natural phenomenon. But I am happy they are sorrowful, but not angry. Then also, permit me to say that the NPP has the highest number of MP’s in the legislature. Currently, we have 128, so if a number like 10 or 12 are dropped at the primaries, I don’t see this as a major blow or major tears in the NPP. The NPP has always believed in internal democracy, and multiparty democracy,” Mac Manu noted.
He said the party is simply working within the confines of its constitution.
“The NPP’s constitution states clearly how parliamentary candidates are elected. They are elected through primaries or where there are no primaries by acclamation. And they go through a vetting process and those that pass through the vetting and approved by the National Executive Committee are handed over to the constituency delegates conference where they are voted upon,” he said.
Mac Manu denied there are tensions within the rank-and-file of the party ahead of the general elections.
“I expect losing candidates or those who were not able to meet the criteria set in the guidelines or the constitution to be sorrowful, I don’t expect them to be angry. I have asked people, I have sent texts to people that they should set emotions aside in this game of parliamentary primaries, and lets facts guide us. I share their sorrow and at that material time they can go berserk. But I know with time the wounds will heal and the NPP family will continue to dominate the political forces of this country,” Mac Manu pointed out.
He reiterated the ruling party’s readiness to win the general elections.
“So, our fortunes remain the same. The same is to get the NPP succeed come December 2008. NPP is solid; it is the most well-organized and structured party. We have structures in all the 23 thousand or so polling stations. Our constituency organizations are vibrant; our campaign committee is solid and running. Late last week all the regional teams were inaugurated some of them have initiated some fund raising moves, our campaign plan is on course, and I’m telling you that the NPP is upbeat in winning the elections in December,” he noted.