THE OPPOSITION New Patriotic Party (NPP) seems to be making a huge fortune out of its flagbearership contest.
The NPP is almost pocketing GH¢4.3 billion just a week after opening nominations, as five aspiring presidential candidates have picked their nomination forms after paying GH¢10,000 (or ¢100 million). Additionally, they would pay GH¢75,000, upon the return of the forms – to make a total of GH¢85,000 (¢850 million) each. They have up to July 6, to file their nominations.
Each aspirant is therefore expected to make the full payment of GH¢85,000 before being allowed to run for the presidential primary slated for the latter part of this year.
So far, five aspirants, including twotime flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; former Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Offinso North, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, have stuck out their necks to run for the position.
The rest are the sitting MP for Asuogyaman, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw and his colleague MP for Mampong, Francis Addai Nimoh, who have all picked forms to contest.
Each of them has therefore paid an ‘advance fee’ of GH¢10,000 for the forms – amounting to GH¢50,000 or ¢500 million.
They are left with GH¢75,000 each as filing fee – totalling GH¢375,000 – that is if all five would proceed to file, summing up to GH¢425,000 (the equivalent of ¢4.3billion).
More persons are however, expected to pick forms at the party headquarters to join the race. Chief among them is twice defeated flagbearer aspirant, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, popularly known as Alan Cash. Others are MP for Subin, Isaac Osei; celebrated heart surgeon, Professor Dr. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng; 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey and his colleague MP for Nyiaeso, Dr. Richard Anane.
It is not clear if all the remaining aspirants who had earlier shown signs of interest in the race would pick nomination forms and proceed to file them.
What is however, certain is that Alan Kyerematen would show his face on the big stage since he has declared his intention to lead the NPP ahead of the 2016 general elections, just like Joe Ghartey, who is attributing his entrance into the race to spirituality, like Asabee.
Should all 10 individuals decide to contest for the single slot, leadership of the party would be compelled to prune down the number to five with a special electoral college – in keeping with the NPP constitution.
The fate of the remaining five would then be decided by a national delegates’ congress scheduled to take place between October and December 6.
The National Council of the party is expected to meet on Thursday June 19, 2014, to take a decision on the date for the congress.
Even before then, suggestions have been made for the NPP to go to early congress to bring to an end the attacks and counterattacks among supporters of potential aspirants – some of which have been vicious and personal.
While some have asked for congress to be held between the month of August and October, others have also specifically proposed December 6, 2014.