State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) Director-General, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, has disclosed that, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) only contested in the 1996 elections to prepare for 2000 because, they were certain about losing it.
In 1992, the NPP boycotted the parliamentary elections on grounds that the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by the late Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, rigged the preceding Presidential elections which got the latter to the seat of government.
According to Mr. Asamoah Boateng on Angel FM’s Anↄpa Bↄfoↄ morning show, the win for the NDC in the 1992 election portended that Rawlings will take every necessary step to retain power in the subsequent election.
The SIGA Director-General who is seeking to be elected as National Chairman of the NPP, said it was possible because at the time the 1992 constitution, introduced under Rawlings’ watch, made provision for a two-term run (four years each), and with clauses entrenched in it to protect him, it was impossible for the military coup leader to be prosecuted.
“When we began democracy in 1992, I told the party members we would not win. Rawlings had been a pain the neck. Having taken off his military uniform and assumed a civilian posture, he should contest and lose? And then we drag him to court? How? Someone who has put all the measures in place and entrenched clauses in the constitution to protect himself?” he queried.
Mr. Asamoah stated that realising how difficult wresting power from him would be, they prepared towards the 2000 elections instead.
“We also had to slow down and get things organized. Some of the members said they wouldn’t vote in the referendum, but I encouraged them to vote so he [Rawlings] can begin his processes, and let’s remind ourselves that he would run the full eight years at all cost.
“In 1996, Kuffour came to London to tell us we wouldn’t win the elections and warned us not to tell anybody. So we contested and did our best to prepare for the 2000 elections,” he added.
The SIGA Director-General however was regretful that the NPP decided to boycott the parliamentary elections in 1992. “The little mistake we did was not to contest the 1992 parliamentary elections,” he said.