Return to social democratic roots: Botchwey to NDC
The Kwesi Botchwey committee set up to probe the defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in last year’s elections has recommended, among other things, that the party should reconnect to the social democratic principles upon which it was founded.
Additionally, the committee has recommended that steps should be taken to restore the integrity of the biometric register and the expanded Electoral College.
Presenting the 455-page report of its findings to the leadership of the party on Monday June 19, Prof Botchwey said: “We did a very comprehensive job of listening to everybody.
“Everybody spoke frankly and honestly. We do make a number of recommendations including a recommendation that the party puts together a group of credible and eminent members of our party to undertake a peace-making and healing tour of the country and visit all key sectors and constituencies. We believe this is extremely important for purposes of creating the necessary conditions for any serious work that needs to be done in the way of the party restructuring and renewal.
“We also have a recommendation that the party takes steps to restore the integrity of the biometric register and the expanded Electoral College. Additionally, we recommend that steps be taken to restore the capacity and effectiveness of the party’s organs, especially to the branch level. We believe these organs are most critical because they are the party’s immediate connections with the people. We are, after all, a truly mass party.
“We also have recommendations on ways in which we can and must improve the collation of election results. We also believe that steps ought to be taken by the party to reconnect itself properly to our social democratic roots and the principal actors in these social democratic roots – the social forces that populate our social democratic base.
In a subsequent interview with Class 91.3FM’s Paa Kwesi Parker-Wilson, Prof Botchwey explained what he meant by the party should reconnect to the social democratic principles.
“The Founder of the NDC, of course is a very important member of our party but the point we are making is a larger one, that the party should go back to reconnect itself to its social democratic roots.
“Social democratic party is a mass party and in all social democratic parties, the focus really is on the working people, ordinary people and vulnerable people in the society who must be helped and championed to ensure that their living conditions improve; that they have access to proper health care and also have the freedom to go about their business freely.
“So in saying that we should reconnect to the social democratic rules, we are saying that the party should walk the talk, that it should behave like a social democratic party and introduce policies that really advance the objective interest of the various classes of people.
“The party must begin to conduct itself in a way that will help advance the interest of working people – farmers, small-scale businesses, students and all the vulnerable people in the society who need to tap into the range of the values the party stands for,” Prof Botchwey noted.
“We also do recommend that steps ought to be taken to strengthen research and intelligence in the party. This should involve crowding in a larger body of the party’s intellectual capacity which has not been particularly active in the last few years,” Prof Botchwey added.