Today promised to be a good one on the front pages. It emerged yesterday that rumours of the Rawlingses breaking from the ruling NDC party to form a rival outfit – a prospect first floated, but very far from confirmed, by Citifm in March – had some basis in fact, and that a Nana Konadu Rawlings-led “National Democratic Party” was talking to the Electoral Commission to secure its place on the roster of parties contesting this December’s general election.
This is significant. JJ Rawlings still wields a lot of influence, and if his full support goes behind the new party it could split the NDC vote. The 2008 elections saw the two major parties holding half the electorate each, with a paper-thin victory margin for the NDC. If we assume each party’s base has remained more or less the same, the NPP has a lot to gain here.
Roll back through some previous front page posts and you’ll find NPP papers doing their utmost to play up the Mills/Rawlings rift. The Daily Guide strikes a suitably triumphant note this morning, as you can see below.
I pressed Mohammed, the affable chap at the paper stand opposite the US Embassy, for a hardcore NDC paper that had a prominent take on the story, but none of the usual suspects had put it on the front page. He said, “They want to sit on it. They want to keep quiet and think about it.”
The half-exception is the state-owned Daily Graphic, which is a de facto NDC supporter but isn’t openly partisan enough to bury this one. Its story is largely objective, aside from one waspish line:
Ghana’s Fourth Republican history is replete with cases of breakaway parties, but such parties after abysmal performance in general elections find their way back to their roots.
Here come the photos.
Daily Graphic – state-owned