Former Finance Minister Prof Kwasi Botchwey says the absence of decency, honesty and integrity which sum up what ethical politics is about were the reason for the defeat of the National Democratic Congress in the 2016 elections.
Speaking at the 6th Atta Mills commemorative lecture, the longest serving Finance Minister in the country’s history said, the issue about ethical politics are as important in internal party politics as they are in the national discourse.
In what may perhaps be his first public utterance after leading a committee to investigate the cause of the NDC’s humiliating defeat in the 2016 elections, Prof Botchwey said bitterness, integrity defects in the appointments of party executives and a general absence of ethical politics contributed to the party’s defeat.
He was quick to add that the party is working feverishly to restore ethicality in its organizational set-up.
Prof Kwesi Botchwey was speaking on the theme: “Ethicality democracy and national development; the legacy of President Atta Mills.”
A classmate and friend to Atta Mills, a person with whom he shared a common passion, Prof Botchwey spoke fondly and highly of the late president who passed away on July 24, 2012 after a short illness.
He said the late president John Mills was a symbol of ethicality- honesty, humility and decency- who pledged to be guided always by making the right decision and not a hasty one.
These values he said must be expressed and exhibited at all times if the country will develop through democracy.
“There is a relationship between democracy and economic development,” he stated, adding, many policies of national development, policy formulation and taxation need cross-partisan support even when there is the dominant party in parliament.
He said in assessing the risk of their investment decisions, investors use the ability of opposition parties in parliament to cripple government’s policy and challenged leaders, especially those in government to be able to consult widely on issues of mutual interest and national development.
Seed of debilitating conflict
Prof Botchwey expressed worry over what he said is the increasing polarization of the country’s politics, a development, he said has caught the attention of the clergy, professionals and other stakeholders.
He stated the country is slowly sowing the seed of debilitating conflict if it does not do something about the polarized country.
“We need to step back from the brink and begin to ethicalize by curbing the case of vengeance and recrimination,” he stated.