A political party is an organised group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in government.
The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes it believes will promote its interest. These policies and programmes are normally ironed out at party conferences.
The conference is attended by delegates who represent the members of the party. In most parties, the conference elects the party’s leadership and sets the party’s policy and agenda.
As the 6,000 or so delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) gather at Koforidua Technical University in the Eastern Region to hold its 26th Annual Delegates Conference today, the nation’s eye is on the party and the outcome of the conference.
So far, it looks good for the ruling party as the processes leading to the organisation of the conference have been largely smooth and peaceful, with the party maintaining its corporate integrity quite well.
A major test case, however, is for the ruling party to come out of its conference successfully with its flag flying high. One major such case for the party is the election of new national officers to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years.
This is where the Daily Graphic will like to call on delegates of the NPP to go about their duties at the conference with the foremost interest of the party and that of the nation.
No doubt, as a party in government, it is important that the party shows positives for the benefit of the nation at this national conference.
As a democratic institution, the NPP has travelled this path many times and in the past had elected stalwarts, such as B.J. Da Rocha, Rt Hon Peter Ala Adjetey, Ambassador Samuel Odoi Sykes, Peter Mac Manu, Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey and Paul Afoko as national chairmen.
With the conference unfolding, who gets to be elected as national chairman of the party is crucial. The fate of the other candidates seeking other national positions of the party also hangs in the air.
Clearly, all the candidates are currently sitting on tenterhooks waiting patiently for the 6,000 delegates to go to the polls to determine their fate.
The NPP has always prided itself on being a pacesetter and colossus of democratic ingenuity and, therefore, this conference constitutes a major platform for the party to buttress its democratic credentials and show to the entire world that it has a truly embedded the culture of democratic tolerance, rank-closing, effective mobilisation and progress.
The old adage says “better is the end of a thing than the beginning,” and clearly, the journey this far has been commendable but the finality is much of essence here and that must be the overriding concern of all.
Thus, the election of officers to handle the affairs of the party should not be seen as a do or die affair but an exercise whose occurrence is demanded by the party’s constitution and that the elected executives would not be in office forever but would serve a successful term after which another opportunity will come up for others to contest.
Therefore, anyone who fails to make it this time must take solace in the fact that it is not the end of the road and that there are more opportunities in the future. We keep our fingers crossed as we wish the party and all contestants a successful conference.