Former president and founder of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Jerry John Rawlings, has admonished members of his party to exercise restraint in the face of criticisms.
According to him, since it is an election year, opposition parties in particular may want to capitalize on the weaknesses of the incumbent party for political gains, and in the process make assertions which may not be palatable to government.
Tempers may rise
He said in such situations “tempers may rise and angry words exchanged, but the NDC must not allow its desire to stay in power compel its leaders at various levels to descend into the gutters and contribute to an atmosphere of insecurity.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”gFmv2Zed9GILmSJ8LQOOLpwjIb1jLpp2″]Former president Rawlings was speaking at the commemoration of the NDC’s 24th anniversary.
“2016 is an election year and the media is awash with political rhetoric. Naturally the incumbent government must be feeling the heat of the criticism, being the party facing critical assessment from the electorate including me, and an opposition feeling justified and hungry to unseat the NDC.”
“We have to accept criticism in good faith and recognize the fact that criticism is the best form of praise. It offers you an opportunity to assess your weakness and better appreciate how others perceive you.”
Unpardonable contradictory statements
Former president Rawlings also warned the NDC to desist from making contradictory statements when responding to criticisms saying such things are “unpardonable.”
Rawlings also called on the party leadership to consult widely before making decisions to ensure participatory democracy.
“I implore party leaders at all levels to also endeavor to consult members on all decision-making processes to ensure true participatory democracy, the bedrock of the NDC.”
Organise peaceful election
Rawlings also charged the NDC government to ensure a peaceful electioneering process on November 7.
“The NDC would have to lead all in ensuring that this year’s election is conducted in an atmosphere of transparency. Ensuring free and fair elections devoid of unfortunate incidents will be a huge credit to the NDC and we have a responsibility to direct all our operatives to comport themselves during the most trying moments of the campaign and election period. We cannot win the trust of the people by putting up aggressive and abrasive behavior. It will sour the electoral result and poison an already challenged political environment,” he added.
In attendance was President John Dramani Mahama and a host of NDC stalwarts.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana