Mahama camp worried NDC is not focusing on Akufo-Addo’s “misgovernance”

The John Mahama campaign team has expressed concerns over the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) fixation with the party’s impending presidential primary as against what it termed as the “misgovernance” of President John Akufo-Addo. The team in a statement Saturday suggested it is not happy about the delays in electing a flagbearer. In its view, the completion of the internal electoral processes would provide the party leadership space and time to begin the process of formulating comprehensive strategies towards the NDC’s victory in 2020. “It is our humble view that the party has been so pre-occupied with internal elections that it has had very little time to focus on the full extent of the misgovernance of the Akufo-Addo administration,” it said. The team said though they have the “most marketed candidate” in the person of Mahama, in the most unlikely event of a different person emerging as the flagbearer, a longer campaign period will suffice. “We have to be mindful of the 2019 timetable announced by the Electoral Commission and the need to ensure that the party provides ample space to participate in those activities,” it advised. The statement from the John Mahama team comes on the back of an earlier one issued Thursday by the party’s Functional Executive Committee to announce changes in the guidelines on the primary, including the review of the election date and reduction of filing fees. Some eight aspirants petitioned the NDC Council of Elders to intervene in resolving some breaches in the drawing up of the guidelines and also to reduce the 400,000-cedi filing fee which they said was too high.

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They also asked the Council of Elders to intervene and push forward the timelines announced for the picking of nomination, filing and conduct of the primary, originally scheduled for January 19. A meeting between the eight aspirants, the party’s National Executive Committee and the Council of Elders concluded the primary date be pushed to January 26 and extended the date for the picking of nomination from December 3 and 4 to December  8. The filing fee was also slashed to 300,000 cedis. But the John Mahama campaign team is not happy the former President was invited to the meet that led to the changes in the timetable. While it said the Council of Elders had the prerogative to meet with the eight aspirant petitioners, “the said meeting could have included all other aspirants or their representatives, especially as the matters in issue border on the interest of all concerned”. It said the election should be seen as a contest among individuals desirous of leading the NDC in the 2020 elections and not as one between a group of persons against a particular candidate. The team disagreed with the eight aspirants that the original dates set would interfere with the Christmas festivities, noting all aspirants have had unimpeded access to delegates across the length and breadth of the country “As regards the concern that the Christmas festivities may interfere in campaign activities, we wish to note that in both 2000 and 2008, Ghana held presidential runoff elections in the Yuletide season” it noted.
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