Alan Cash and NPP Running Mate Issue

On Thursday June 6, 2024, Daniel Owusu’s report on ModernGhana, started by quoting Nana Akomea, saying, Bawumia’s running mate issue would’ve been resolved if Alan is still a member of NPP.

In the story, Nana Akomea, the Managing Director of State Transport Company (STC), expressed sadness over Alan Kyerematen’s departure from the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Believing that had Alan, a prominent figure within the party, remained, he would have been a prime candidate for the running mate position.

Simply put, what Nana Akomea is telling Ghanaians is that the issue of running mate for the NPP, would have been resolved long ago, with Alan as the sole choice, if he had been in the party.

I am very sorry, but Nana Akomea should know that everything is now in the past and Alan is moving on.

The NPP is a party which should not have been lacking any replacement for Alan, if he was the one pencilled for running mate, unless he is saying that there is truly no one with the calibre of Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen to take-over that slot.

If the NPP is facing challenges, Alan should not be blamed at all. Solutions must be found immediately and I mean credible solutions, to put the party on track for Election 2024.

It is not right to be trading blames, long after Alan left the NPP. It is about time for all the political entities in Election 2024, to do clean and respectful campaigning.

I will wish Ghana adopts Section 106 in the UK’s Representation of the People’s Act, 1983, which addresses false statements in campaigning.

Section 106 of the Act, makes it illegal for any person to publish any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct, unless he or she can show that he had reasonable grounds for believing that statement to be true. Similar provisions in previous laws have made this illegal since 1895. It is also illegal to publish a false statement of a candidate’s withdrawal from an election.

In September 2007 Miranda Grell was found guilty under this section when she made allegations of paedophilia and having sex with teenage boys against her gay opponent during the 2006 United Kingdom local elections.

Grell was elected in the May 2006 local election for the Leyton ward of Waltham Forest London Borough Council.

However, in September 2007, she went on trial on charges under the Representation of the People Act 1983 of making a false statement of fact about a candidate’s personal character or conduct for electoral advantage, specifically that she made allegations of paedophilia against her gay Liberal Democrat opponent, Barry Smith. In addition to losing his seat Smith stated he was verbally abused in the street, spat at, and forced to relocate to the north of England as a result of the false allegations, fearing for his life.

Grell admitted to outing her opponent and falsely claiming he had a 19-year-old Thai boyfriend (Smith’s partner was actually 39 and Malaysian), though she denied making the false allegations of paedophilia to four residents. On 21 September 2007, she was found guilty on two counts, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 towards the prosecution costs.

She appealed against the verdict. On November 30, 2007, Grell’s conviction for making false statements about another candidate to gain electoral advantage was upheld. She vacated her seat and was banned from holding public office for three years.

On 28 May 2010, Labour MP Woolas’s, Liberal Democrat opponent, Elwyn Watkins, issued an election petition against the result under section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, which makes it illegal to make false statements of fact about a candidate. Watkins claimed that leaflets issued by Woolas falsely portrayed Watkins as taking unlawful foreign donations, and linked him to Islamist extremists.

In November 2010, Labour MP Phil Woolas was found by an electoral court to have breached Section 106. The judges ruled that a by-election for the seat should be held. Woolas said that he would apply for a judicial review into the ruling. In a statement released through his lawyer, Woolas stated that “this election petition raised fundamental issues about the freedom to question and criticise politicians” and that it “will inevitably chill political speech”. The judicial review failed to overturn the ruling of the election court.

As a result, his victory of 103 votes at the election was declared void, he lost his seat in the House of Commons and he was barred from standing again at the subsequent by-election. He was also suspended from the Labour Party until January 2011, when his suspension was lifted.

These two examples show how to conduct a clean and respectful election campaign and this is what Ghana must adopt. The two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, must take the lead and do a clean campaign.

Bigotries, blame games, false accusations and statements should not make rounds in this year’s campaign. The NPP want to send a false message to Ghanaians about Alan, but I will suggest that Nana Akomea should leave this Alan’s departure to rest. It is past and gone and with Alan making inroads, let everyone, politicians and the general public, conduct themselves in a manner that will make democracy thrive in this country.

By Hon. Daniel Dugan

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s stance.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here