Twenty-five years in one’s life could be described as youthful, but in politics, the party has come a long way and as the longest ruling party under the Fourth Republic, has paid its dues in the governance process of the country.
Since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1993, the NDC has for four times assumed the reins of governance with each time lasting four years.
Rawlings’ government (1993–2001)
Prior to assuming the presidency under the Fourth Republic, President Rawlings was the Head of State of Ghana from 1981 to 1993 through a military coup d’etat.
However, when the ban on multi-party democracy was lifted in 1992, Flt Lt Rawlings took part in the November 1992 election and was elected the first President of Ghana under the Fourth Republic from 1992 to 1996 and re-elected in 1996 till 2001.
The NDC lost the presidency in the 2000 election with then Vice-President John Evans Atta Mills as the party’s presidential candidate.
It was not until the 2008 election that they came back strongly to regain the Presidency with candidate John Evans Atta Mills.
The Atta Mills government
The 2000 election was the first presidential election since 1992 that an incumbent President was not on the ballot. Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings’s eight-year tenure had expired as per the Constitution of Ghana, and John Atta Mills, who was then the Vice-President, became the presidential candidate of the NDC.
Prof. Mills lost in 2000 to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) John Agyekum Kufuor after two rounds of voting.
President Agyekum Kufuor was re-elected in the 2004 election. John Atta Mills ran again for the NDC in the 2004 election, losing to the NPP in the general election held on December 7, 2004. Prof. Mills was overwhelmingly elected by the NDC for the third time on December 21, 2006 as its candidate for the 2008 presidential election. On January 3, 2009, he was declared the victor of the December 28, 2008 run-off election and became the next President of Ghana with John Dramani Mahama as his Vice-President.
John Mahama’s government
President John Atta Mills died after a short illness on July 24, 2012 while still in office.
Vice-President Mahama was, therefore, sworn in as President that evening in a smooth transfer of power that won Ghana’s democracy international acclaim.
The NDC elected Mr Mahama as their presidential candidate and he also nominated, with the endorsement of the party, Mr Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur as running mate for the 2012 election.
Within four months of vigorous campaign, President Mahama proved himself a capable heir to the late Atta Mills and won an emphatic victory for the party in that year’s election. However, President Mahama’s attempts to help the NDC win the 2016 election for the third time running was fiercely resisted by the main opposition party, the NPP, who won the 2016 election. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP was in the presidential race to become the fifth President under the Fourth Republic.
Currently, the NDC has formed the Prof. Kwasi Botchwey Committee to investigate the cause of the party’s defeat. The committee is due to present its report later this month.
The defeat has come as the party celebrates its 25th anniversary and is seeking ways to capture political power in 2020.
NDC silver jubilee
Many party stalwarts, including its founder, Flt Lt Rawlings, are expected to play key roles in the upcoming anniversary celebrations with the theme: Mirroring the Past into the Future.
Today, the party will hold a panel discussion at the party’s national headquarters with Messrs Huudu Yahaya, Dan Abodakpi, Alban Bagbin, Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe and Mrs Edith Haizel as panellists. The event will be chaired by the Minority Leader of Parliament, Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu.
Muslim prayers will follow tomorrow, June 9, 2017. On Saturday, the party will hold a durbar at the Ashaiman Mandela Park.
Speakers billed for the event include former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama; the Chairman/Leader, Mr Kofi Portuphy; the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu.
Christian prayers are slated for Sunday, June 11, 2017 as part of the year-long activities.