A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Yaw Dabie Appiah Mensah has lauded what he described as a high sense of political maturity exhibited by the leadership and delegates of National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the just ended Presidential and Parliamentary primaries of the party.
As the largest opposition party, he said the credible, peaceful and responsible manner the NDC conducted its primaries were indications the party had “understand internal democracy which is an index to measure the country’s democratic gains”.
He, therefore, called on the leadership of the NPP to emulate by ensuring that parliamentary candidates were not imposed on the party people, instead the NPP conducted credible parliamentary primaries for the delegates to make informed decisions and vote for competent candidates to contest the various parliamentary seats in the Election
The NDC successfully conducted its presidential and parliamentary primaries over the weekend, and overwhelmingly endorsed former President John Dramani Mahama as the party 2024 flagbearer and elected other parliamentary candidates.
Though the party could not conduct the parliamentary primaries in some constituencies due to pertinent internal challenges including court injunctions placed on the elections, the primaries in general have received applause from critics and political pundits.
Speaking in an interview with reporters at Odumase in the Sunyani West constituency, Mr Mensah, a former organiser of the NPP in the then Brong-Ahafo Region said “the NPP must learn lessons” and ensure that a fair playing field was giving to particularly, all the parliamentary aspirants vying for the impeding NPP presidential and parliamentary
“In fact the NDC has proven critics wrong and the party’s successful primary elections are indication that they are yearning to regain political power in the next general election”.
“This is telling us as NPP that if we are not careful and repeat the unpardonable mistakes in the election 2020 by forcibly imposing parliamentary candidates on our people, then we are heading for political doom”, Mr Mensah stated.
The former NPP organiser indicated that the choice of the party people remained paramount, if the NPP could recapture lost parliamentary seats and also maintain the incumbent seats in the next general election, saying “we must also do our homework well”.
“As a strong party under a great elephant which cherishes internal democracy, the NPP leadership must ensure that every qualified parliamentary aspirant is given the opportunity to contest in the party primaries devoid of bias, skirmishes and unhealthy political considerations”, he stated.
“We can’t afford to allow some few people in the party to decide our feat in Election 2024, because that would be politically suicidal for us. We have to strive hard and get the simple majority in parliament and if we do our homework well we can regain many of the parliamentary seats, particularly our traditional seats we lost in 2020”, Mr Mensah added.
As a government in power, he said the NPP had all it takes not only to “break the eight”, but also won majority of the parliamentary seats as well, saying, “we need to do a lot, make the NPP more attractive for the masses to make inform decision and vote for us in 2024”.
Mr Mensah said perceived political complacency and voter apathy threatened the fortunes of the party’s election victory in 2024, and made an urgent call to the leadership of the party to ensure that various committees set up by the party to investigate pertinent challenges confronting the party at some constituencies speed up their work.
“Certain internal challenges which emanated during the last parliamentary elections in the Sunyani East, Jaman South, Berekum East, Sunyani West and Wenchi constituencies remained unresolved. The party is going through other similar challenges in some constituencies nationwide and the leadership must be proactive enough to tackle those challenges before it’s too late”, he added.
That notwithstanding, Mr Mensah appealed to disgruntled supporters and members of the party to give peace the chance to prevail, saying “despite our differences, we must remember we are fighting a common enemy in the political space in the Election 2024, which is the NDC”.