Dr Alidu Seidu, Senior Lecturer, Political Science Department, University of Ghana, says he supports Professor Ransford Gyampo’s call for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to adopt a “One-Man, One-Vote” principle in selecting its flagbearer for the 2024 presidential elections.
He said that principle would mean that the person who emerged as the flagbearer of the Party was somebody the majority of the Party’s supporters had trust and confidence in.
Dr Seidu said that would translate into massive votes by supporters of the Party for the candidate in the national election.
“If everybody within the Party has the means to vote for that particular person that they think can lead the Party and is competent enough to do that, then it translates into continuous loyalty and voting capital for that particular flagbearer moving forward,” he said.
Prof Gyampo, Senior Lecturer, Political Science Department, University of Ghana, in an open letter to the NPP leadership, urged it to adopt a “One-Man, One-Vote” principle in the selection of flagbearer for the Party’s 2024 general election.
Dr Seidu noted that Professor Gyampo’s letter was informed by the fact that there was over monetisation of the processes when a few delegates were given the opportunity to select the flagbearer.
He said the call made by Prof Gyampo was a call that was grounded in the internal institutions of the NPP as a political party and said it was important the Party heeded it.
“… That principle is actually provided for by Article 3 (1) of the NPP’s Constitution, which provides that at the Party’s polling station and in the office of the Party, a constituency register of all membership, which should be updated every six months and sent to the Party’s regional office.
“My initial reaction to his submission is the fact that it is not technically an imposition, he (Prof Gyampo) is not advocating for something new to be done within the NPP’s rank and file. But he is just calling for an implementation of a specific provision of the NPP’s Constitution,” Dr Seidu stated.
He said the principle, if adopted by political parties in the country, would go a long way to deepen their internal democracies and enhance Ghana’s democratic dispensation; adding that it was actually a fundamental principle and foundation towards building a more prosperous democratically consolidated party system in the country.
Dr Seidu, however, cautioned that executing the “One-Man, One-Vote” principles for the selection of a flagbearer, there were the likelihood of challenges such as infiltration by non-party members and expensive cost of implementation to both the Party and the candidates seeking to be elected as flagbearer.
He said internal democratic dispensations within political parties served as the functioning block to achieving democratic consolidation and democratic development within the state; because political parties were the vehicles through which electoral democracy was built.
“So, if we are able to achieve that level of decency and that level of openness and that level of inclusivity within political parties, it then translates into a national level project that imbibes the democratic and underpinnings of the democratic process that we have in this particular State.”
He indicated that this was not the first time the principle of “One-Man, One-Vote” was being advocated, and that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had attempted implementing.
Dr. Seidu said the principle was worth pursuing and encouraged the NPP to embrace it.