8 November 2012

Ghana: Rawlings Dumps Konadu for NDC

Ever since President Rawlings hosted his longtime political rival, the New Patriotic Party's Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at his Ridge office last October, political pundits have since been trying hard to solve the puzzle that lay deep at the heart of that historic meeting.

During the meeting, the two discussed issues of common interest and problems affecting the people of Ghana that need urgent solutions, even as the country gears up for elections next month.

Mr. Rawlings had subtly assured his new friend that he (Rawlings) might not be an obstacle to his campaign, as he might not be on the trail for the National Democratic Congress, a party he founded.

"The next point I will like to draw your attention to, is that I may not be very active on the campaign trail... So you can rest assured that you probably won't be hearing the 'tie tia' [short]."

The uncertainty in Mr. Rawlings' assurance to Nana Addo had kept pundits wondering what he was up to, especially when his promise came at a time he was in a deep rift with his party over the mismanagement of the economy.

Barely a month into elections, it appears the New Patriotic Party (NPP) might not be going into the elections with an advantage of Mr. Rawlings staying off the campaign platforms.

Mr. Rawlings, in a meeting with former national executives of the NDC yesterday, gave the strongest indication that he would soon hit the ground running and campaigning for the NDC.

Mr. Rawlings admitted that the NDC had failed in some aspects of governance, but urged them to rally behind the party to retain power.

"As a party, we have failed in several aspects of governance, particularly, with respect to offering confidence to the people that they will receive justice at all times...

"I enjoin all of you here to hit the campaign trail. Your input is valuable to the cause, so don't go back home and watch from the sidelines," he urged his visitors

He, however, made an appeal to the NDP, led by his wife, to consider withdrawing some of its parliamentary candidates in NDC strongholds.

"We may, however, have to call on our dear brothers and sisters in the NDP, the party leadership, and membership to consider seriously withdrawing parliamentary candidates from constituencies where the NDC has credible candidates."

On the heels of this new development and request is Mrs. Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, who is fired up in her campaign against the NDC.

Yesterday, she urged all her supporters to kick the NDC out of power for reneging on its promise to reduce poverty, corruption and economic hardship.

Nana Konadu, who looks more certain to make her presence felt in the December elections, despite her disqualification by the Electoral Commission, has been spurring on her parliamentary candidates not to yield to financial inducements, allegedly by the NDC, to talk them out of contesting their various parliamentary seats.

According to her, in the event the court rules in her favour to contest the December elections, they could use their numbers in parliament to change policies

Mr. Rawlings, shortly after the NDC took over power in 2008, began his criticism of the party and the late President Mills, for surrounding himself with people who were only self-seeking and lacked the passion to execute the principles on which the NDC was formed.

He often times accused the NDC of corruption and gross mismanagement.

Should Mr. Rawlings mount the campaign platform for the NDC, he would have entrenched himself as one of the most unpredictable politicians of the time, and one who has managed to endear himself to even his sworn enemies.

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