The office of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer hopeful, Alan Kyerementen, has described the calls for an early congress by the 10 regional chairmen of the party as absurd.
“This proposal is absolutely unnecessary and totally vexatious,’’ spokesperson for Alan Kyeremanten, Nana Ohene Ntow said.
The call for an early congress, is believed to be a clever attempt by the Nana Addo camp to outwit other flagbearer hopefuls in the race.
They suspect that a delay in holding the congress, could dwindle Nana Addo’s popularity in the party and might affect his chance of leading the party for the third time.
According to the former General Secretary of the party, there was no need for that kind of proposal by the regional chairmen.
Mr. Ohene Ntow said, the Constitution of the party instructs that “once nominations are opened, the party has up to eight months to go to congress’’.
He furthered described the suggestion by the regional chairmen of the party as “absurd and illogical’’.
He added that what the party needs is time to exhaust all the processes involved before the primaries.
All 10 regional chairmen of the party at a news conference on Monday said, they had petitioned the Council of Elders to move the December 6 date to September to allow the elected candidates, have enough time to campaign for the national elections.
But speaking to Citi News, Nana Ohene Ntow said the call is ridiculous.
Meanwhile, the office of John Alan Kyerematen, has debunked media reports that he has bowed out of the presidential race of the NPP.
A statement signed by Nana Ohene Ntow denied the reports saying, “We unequivocally deny the aforementioned publication and further stress that, neither Mr. Alan Kyerematen nor any of his confidants have granted any such interview with the Palaver newspaper or with any news outlet”.
He therefore urged the general public to treat the said publication with utmost contempt and rejection.
Mr. Alan Kyerematen is said to pick up his nomination forms within the week.
In related development, a former deputy Attorney General (AG), Kwame Osei Prempeh, has told Citi News, the NPP is likely to lose the 2016 elections if anyone contests Nana Akufo-Addo in the flagbearership race.
The former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsuta-Kwamang, argued that similar contests in 2008 and 2012, did not only divide the NPP, but also led to the defeat of the party.
The former deputy AG, under the erstwhile Kufuor administration is calling on all other flagbearer hopefuls to withdraw from the race to save the fortunes of the NPP.
He recalled that when the party lost in 2008, some NPP members jubilated because, “they had supported a candidate other than Nana Akufo-Addo and therefore when Nana Addo lost, they were happy.”
According to him, it is evident that the said party members, did not vote for the presidential candidate of their party because he was not their preferred candidate.
Osei Prempeh is convinced that if the party toes the same line by allowing other persons to contest the flagbearership slot, a similar occurrence will be repeated.
Such contests the former AG said divides the party, adding that, the NPP has a lot to lose if it fails to win general elections for a third time.
“It will be very difficult to reconcile the party and move ahead as one people to go and get power. It becomes difficult. We saw it in 2007, we saw it in 2010 and they both have serious repercussions on the party,” he stressed.
He acknowledged that party members have the right to seek leadership positions in the party, but when it will be at the expense of party unity and advancement, the decision should be reconsidered.
So far, six aspirants have picked up their nomination forms to contest the election.
They are two-time presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; former Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, former MP for Offinso North, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, sitting MP for Asuogyaman, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, his colleague MP for Mampong, Francis Addai Nimoh and former Attorney General, Joe Ghartey.
More people are expected to join the race.