Sam Okudzeto, lawyer and a former Member of Parliament (MP) says the decision to boycott the 1992 parliamentary election was one of the worst blunders of his life.
Speaking on the Town Hall Talk on Asaase Radio, Okudzeto said “It [the boycott of the 1992 parliamentary election] was one of the worst blunders I have ever committed in my life but I think the most important issue now is for us to appreciate that we’ve made errors.
“…Because sometimes at the end you can find out that you are the losers. Just imagine that that first Parliament that we boycotted when Adu Boahen lost the elections, we said stolen verdict because of that we did not put candidates to go to Parliament, so we actually had a one-party state for four years.”
Okudzeto said the country lost valuable contributions from the then opposition in Parliament because the New Patriotic Party (NPP) boycotted the first Parliament.
“Now, just imagine the contribution that could have been made by our members to a lot of the issues that had arisen. Perhaps some of the mess that we are in now we will not have been in… so those were errors we have made and we should learn lessons from them,” he added.
The 1992 parliamentary election, the first in 13 years, was postponed first to 22 December and then by another week in order to allow more time for the nomination of candidates following the decision by four major opposition parties to boycott the poll.
The four parties that had contested the presidential election (People’s National Convention, National Independence Party, People’s Heritage Party and New Patriotic Party) decided to boycott the parliamentary election.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) won an overwhelming majority of the seats, 189 while eight went to the NCP and one to the EGLE. The two other seats were won by independent candidates.
Okudzeto said Ghana has not really made any significant progress in its democratic experiment, saying “Well, I will confess that perhaps we have not really progressed because some of the issues happening right now some should not be occurring.”
He added, “That fight for instant in Parliament I have never seen it before…so we have not made the progress as we ought to make. We need to engage one another and not in a hostile attitude because I see hostility at every level.”