Aborampah, Emmanuel Website
the Kwesi Botchwey, Spio factor An International think-tank based in Vienna in Austria, the African Intelligence Unit (AIU), has cautioned Ghana's leading opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the easiest trick to come to power is only by forming alliance with other opposition parties. The NDC has gone into overdrive, presenting Professor Kwesi Botchwey's chance meeting with Assistant Professor Atta-Mills at the funeral of Mrs. Shirley Ababio as a reconciliatory one to counter the established fact that there is no such thing, despite the two men having their residence, very close to each other. The caution document translated from German into English and in the possession of The Chronicle revealed "One factor that many observers and analysts do not seem to have paid adequate attention to, but which the AIU believes could be the critical deciding factor in Ghana?s 2008 elections, is that of alliance formation." The document which has been confirmed to be authentic by one of AIU's activists, Mr. Samuel Fletcher, lamented that the Prof Atta-Mills-led NDC lacked alliance skills. It stressed that in European politics, especially in Italy, Germany and also in Japan and Israel, the need to form alliances in order to win an election was a common phenomenon.It continued that in one of Ghana's neighbouring countries, Benin, the current President, Yayi Boni, reportedly came to power through alliance with more than 20 political parties after he had won less than 40 percent in the first round of the elections. AIU observed that in 2000, it was candidate Kufuor's ability to get some five smaller parties based on a number of secret pre-election pacts he had astutely arranged, that enabled him gain the 54 percent with which he eventually came to power. On the other hand, research conducted by AIU indicated that NDC did not attempt or succeed in forming an alliance with even one of the other parties during the 2000 elections, due mainly to overconfidence. LACK OF RECONCILATION, A BLOW TO NDC The unit intimated that in the then ruling NDC, not only did Prof. Atta Mills as party leader, fail to reconcile with Goosie Tandoh and his Reform Party before the 2000 elections, but also failed to gain their confidence and establish any meaningful working relationship. The report, quoting high level officials of the Convention People?s Party (CPP), said then candidate Kufuor personally lobbied the CPP's Presidential Candidate, Prof Hagan, prior to the 2000 elections, and had obtained his solemn commitment to support the NPP should there be a second round. "Similar assurances had been obtained by the NPP from Dr Edward Mahama of the PNC and from Dan Lartey of the GCPP, according to our intelligence sources," AIU maintained. It emphasised that NDC under Prof Mills still did not seem to have learnt its lessons, there by failing to form any electoral alliance for the 2004 elections. Our on-site research findings reveal that far from trying to forge alliances, the NDC was even more fractured in 2004 than it was in 2000. Its then Chairman, Dr. Obed Asamoah, was barely on talking terms with Prof. Mills and former President Rawlings. Obed was reportedly peeved because Rawlings failed to nominate him to take over from him. Then Mills also exacerbated the situation by refusing to accept Asamoah as his running mate and, instead, settled on Martin Amidu. "It is to be noted that so far the attention of Asamoah's newly formed Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) has been directed against the NDC. If, as it is speculated, Dr Kwesi Botchwey, a former Minister of Finance becomes the candidate of the DFP, that alone could make the NDC and Atta-Mills lose about 5 percent in the national votes, almost certainly sealing their doom," AIU re-emphasized. The NDC suffered from the break-away of a group of intelligent and enthusiastic strategists, led by Goosie Tandoh, who was angered by the unilateral choice in 1999 of Prof. Atta Mills as presidential candidate by former President Rawlings. The NPP, on the other hand, formed alliances both in 2000 and 2004 with all or some segments of the CPP, PNC and GCPP, including Dr Wereko-Brobbey, who had broken away from the NPP in the mid-1990s to form his own party. President Kufuor also demonstrated further his alliance-building skills by inviting all six of the candidates who had competed against him for the NPP presidential position in 1999 to campaign with him in 2000 and to receive ministerial positions after victory in 2001. It argued that both in 2000 and 2004, neither Rawlings nor Mills tried to persuade a former NDC heavyweight, P.V. Obeng, to become more active and visible in NDC affairs. P.V. Obeng, who performed functions comparable to that of a Prime Minister between 1982-1995 under Rawlings, was considered in his heydays as a possible successor to Rawlings. The AIU investigations further revealed that Mr. Kwesi Botchwey reportedly lived less than 200 metres from the Accra home of Mills, and supervised Mills when the latter was Commissioner for Taxes. In spite of their long-standing friendship before the 2003 NDC contest, Mills had made even little effort to reconcile with Botchwey. This behaviour could encourage Botchwey to stand on the ticket of any Party to destroy Mills? votes. THE SELECTION OF MILLS? RUNNING MATE The AIU admonished that many undecided voters, with no party affiliation, strongly preferred Spio-Garbrah to Mills. According to AIU an informal survey by their analysts indicated that the floating voters had openly advised NDC to consider pairing Spio-Garbrah with another popular former Minister and MP, John Mahama.Most Ghanaians our team surveyed confirmed that that would indeed be the NDC?s best pairing for 2008,? it said. NDC's MISTAKES It noted that if NDC truly wanted to win the 2008 elections with less difficulty, they would have chosen in December 2006, a dynamic, energetic and persuasive younger candidate, such as Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah or someone else apart from Mills. But many were those in Ghana who believed that Rawlings and Mills conspired to defeat this better candidate mainly because of the former?s independent mind and the fear of most of the NDC hierarchy that Spio might not be subject to manipulation. BACKGROUND OF AFRICAN INTELLIGENCE UNIT The African Intelligence Unit is made up a group of level-headed Africans living across Europe with their headquarters in Vienna (Austria). Membership ranges from University professors, journalists, ex-service personnel, through private businessmen and political analysts, with origins from countries like South Africa ( Steve Mwase, Elvis Iruh); Nigeria (Ali Balyniwa); Uganda (Brown Seo); Liberia (Jefferson Dueh) Ghana (George Quayson); Ghana (Lawrence Amo); Kenya (Lydia Kitingulu) and more. Other non-African collaborators of the unit are Otto Klietzke (Austria), Hans Sloos (BELGIUM), Jens Calay (Austria) and Jim Maltzen (Germany). The AIU was a spin-off from the African Media Forum (AMF), which operated in the interest of African journalists living in Europe. The association also has analysed elections in other African Countries in the past. This is a registered association under European laws in the form of a foundation.
Source: The Chronicle