Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ghana: The New Patriotic Party tries internal democracy again

As the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) braces itself for an acrimonious primary contest for the party's presidential nomination in the 2012 elections, the opposing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is also organising primary contests to select its parliamentary candidates for the elections. Last year, the NPP held its own presidential primaries which elected Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo as the party's candidate with a massive majority.

The two parties, however, have different internal electoral systems. The NPP has chosen a much more open system of selecting candidates which involves as many as 117,000 delegates, all of whom are established members of the party. They form the basis on the electoral college which chooses candidates and office holders within the party. This system appears to be more open and democratic and less vulnerable to techniques of bribery or intimidation which in the past have been used to influence the choice of candidates. The result seems to be that of an internal democracy and a less competitive and independently-minded party.

By contrast, the NDC has stayed with the old-style party election system and will be choosing its presidential candidate at a special party congress with a much narrower list of delegates than its counterpart.

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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