On behalf of the leadership and the entire members of CAF, I congratulate the victors for winning the confidence of the delegates. In fact, this is just the beginning of an assiduous journey and that elected candidates must bring on board candidates who lost in the primaries to advance the core of winning the 2016 General Elections.
Frankly, I monitored the elections very closely and I must confess that elections are full of surprises especially when the unexpected happens. If you believe in wonders, then delegates are full of wonders at any given election.
The fall of certain heavyweights who were perceived by many as unsinkable due to their vast knowledge in the Parliamentary duties were humiliated and shown the red card to 2017 Parliament in the just ended primaries.
It is not that these heavyweights who lost their seat were incompetent? My search on the grounds reveals that certain factors attributes to the loss of these heavyweights.
· The thoughts of many delegates are such that long stay in Parliament is seen as a canker and that “Anything bottled for long gets contaminated” or “Moko Aya Moko Aba” syndrome hence another person should be given the nod to lead the party in the constituency.
· It is believed as statistics has proven that many candidates who are doing their 2nd and 3rd term etc in Parliament have their margin votes reduced in election after elections by its opponents hence the desire to replace such candidates. For instance, Hon Simon Osei Mensah of Bosomtwe for the first time in 2004 was the toast of the constituency. He had 81.1% of the valid votes. In 2008, his valid votes was reduced to 69.87% and in 2012 which was the subsequent election, his votes came down to 66.057%. The NDC candidate on the other hand, keep reducing the margin votes election after election. It was 14.01% in 2004, shoot up to 27.067% in 2008 and had a huge leap in 2012 to 32.97% in the constituency. There are many examples elsewhere that we can site which shows indicates that the NDC keeps closing the gap.
· Undoubtedly, a constituency which happens to be a stronghold of a party favors a new candidate with high votes and as such delegates sacrifice candidates with experience for new ones.
· At a point, petty intra politics swayed the delegates in voting for the preferred candidate.
· Some of the heavyweights lost touch with the delegates and as such the delegates shown them that indeed they are the “King makers”.
That notwithstanding the concerns raised, I am tempted to disagree that long stay in Parliament should be a yardstick to determine the fate of a candidate in Parliament. Rather, long stay in Parliament should be considered as a huge asset which strengthens the legislative functions in making of a public policy.
It is alleged that some Members of Parliament desert the house apparently because debates on the bills are dominated by legal jargons and procedures that confuse them. This confirms that experience in Parliament matters a lot in executing Parliamentary duties and as such electors should be guided by this when voting.
More so, to be effective and efficient MP requires sacrifices, hard work and relevant skills including time management and analytical skills. Delegates in exercising their democratic rights must be careful by electing capable, honest and hard working people who will devote their time and energy to their role as parliamentarians.
Again, delegates should not be swayed by empty promises and offers of money and commodities. To be at parliament is not an opportunity to make money but a chance to serve the people of this country.
Parliament is where the people who represent the citizens of a country come together to debate, discuss, reflect and make decisions about how the country’s policies, laws and finances work to reflect the public will and the public interest.
Long live Ghana!
Long live CAF!
And God bless us all!
Ernest Kojo Smith, a Political Analyst and the Executive Director of CAF (0265279564)
Source: Ernest Kojo Smith, a Political Analyst and the Executive Director of CAF
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