NDC battle ready, Ato Forson not a 'novice' - Ransford Gyampo
Sharing his views on the the reshuffle in the leadership of the Minority in Parliament, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, Ransford Gyampo has said the changes was no surprise to him.
He said the battle for the “soul of Ghana” in the lead-up to the 2024 general election would be fought on the grounds of the economy and finance.
“And so, I believe that the battle needed somebody who could pontificate on matters of the economy on the floor of Parliament as a way of giving hope to Ghanaians and as a way of letting the international community know the stance of the Minority in Parliament on matters germane to the economy of Ghana,” he said.
Prof. Gyampo added that the 2024 election was not going to be an easy battle as things were very hard and not going on well today, and things may turn around.
“Therefore, a party that is seeking to annex power in the next elections cannot be complacent,” he said.
Prof. Gyampo also stated that the reshuffle pointed to the fact that the NDC party was battle-ready, since the economy and finance issues would be dominating much of the issues that would shape voter behaviour in the next elections.
“Haruna Iddrisu is not an economist but a sociologist and lawyer from the University of Ghana and so you need somebody who has grasp over the economy to be able to pontificate matters of the economy,” the political scientist said.
“When you bring Cassiel Ato Forson, you free Isaac Adongo so that he can also be a Ranking Member on the Finance Committee and he can look at matters of finance, while Ato Forson looks at the economy,” Prof. Gyampo posited.
‘Forson has what it takes’
Describing Dr Forson as not being a novice in Parliament, Prof. Gyampo indicated that the MP was an experienced person as he served as a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the country.
“I believe that he has what it takes to properly position the NDC party in bracing themselves to use matters of the economy to determine how ideas are contested in the coming electioneering campaign,” Prof. Gyampo said.
Analysing changes in the Minority Whip position, the governance expert said the Greater Accra and the Volta regions were two areas that tended to produce the highest numbers of MPs for the NDC.
With reports that Dr Klutse Avedzi would not return to the next Parliament, he said: “If you want to give representation to the regions that tend to give the numbers in terms of seats for your party in Parliament then you do not have to relegate the Volta Region to the background.”
“If Avedzi is leaving, Agbodza can replace him,” Prof. Gyampo said, and also considered the appointment of Mrs Cudjoe-Ghanasah as a major decision that would help the NDC pull votes from the Greater Accra Region.
On the First Deputy Whip being maintained, he said when the Bono Region was created, it was only Mr Ahmed’s constituency – Banda – that gave a seat to the NDC in Parliament.
“In the 2020 elections, Mr Ahmed worked very hard to get 50-50 representation for his party in the region and for such a person you cannot easily push him aside,” the Political Science professor said.
With the NDC party being recognised as a party of northerners, he said the reshuffle would ensure a balance in regional leadership representation.
“The Speaker is a northerner; Haruna Iddrisu, Muntaka and the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the NDC are northerners and their presidential candidate is also a northerner.
“But the Akan areas that account for about 60 per cent of the electorate in Ghana do not have that kind of frontal representation and so if they decided to go for a Central Regional man in the name of Ato Forson to be Minority Leader and Kofi Buah to represent the Western Region, that is good,” Prof. Gyampo added.