Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen appears to have hit the road following his decision to contest for the flagbearership of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) when the party opens nomination for the 2016 contest.
‘I have indicated that I will be contesting but I will not make a formal announcement until the process is officially launched,’ he told Paul Adom-Otchere during the Good Evening Ghana programme on Metro TV in Accra yesterday.
Mr. Kyerematen, popularly called Alan Cash, was of the view that it was in the interest of the NPP to encourage people to contest and make sure the best was selected, adding that he was ready to lead the party.
‘If we lose two successive elections which we should have won by any stretch of the imagination, then something must be wrong and we should be bold enough to interrogate that and get answers to it.’
Let Nana Run
He said, ‘I have heard people in our party say that I should let Nana Akufo-Addo run. The foundation of our party is based on the core element of democratic governance and much as we think about such principles at the national level, we need to reflect that in what we do in our party. Part of that is fair competition.
‘Allowing people who have interest to put themselves up for the party to be able to do so without any fear of intimidation or as it were encouraged not to put themselves up, I think that is the spirit of what we believe in, it should be a free process,’ he said.
‘I have a very good relationship with Nana Akufo-Addo. I have contested him on two occasions and I am not sure you hear either Nana or myself in our rounds give any indication that we were at each other’s throats.
‘Obviously, in any competition, you need to position yourself as a preferred candidate and that comes with its own limitations. But beyond that, I think the spirit of what we believe in should encourage us to have a process that is unlimited in terms of people who may want to put themselves up. It is not just myself. There are others who obviously might have the same interest… I don’t see the logic that we encourage people not to contest.’
He said in his view, there were significant flaws with the 2012 general elections and the party was right in going to the Supreme Court to get things corrected.
‘We should interrogate our own internal processes, organization, campaign structure…We need to understand the Ghanaian voter’s psychology particularly in Presidential elections. What are Ghanaians looking for?
‘Politics is about power. Any party that stays in opposition for too long stands the risk of becoming irrelevant and I am not interested in continuing to be part of a process that does not deliver victory.’
‘I have heard people say Alan did not help the campaign in 2012. That is not only false but it is vicious. I was not given any specific role in the campaign. Besides, I was on duty outside the country.’
He said he made sure Nana Akufo-Addo knew what he was doing outside and the 2012 NPP flagbearer was very supportive and encouraged him.
‘People who are not interested in unity in the party have maliciously created or introduced this propaganda element. If this propaganda is intended to hurt my political future, when Nana himself has on several occasions thanked me for my support then I will not allow that,’ he warned.
Congress results in favour
When Mr. Kyerematen was asked if he had heard that the results of the just ended National Delegates’ Congress in Tamale ‘favoured’ him, he replied that ‘everybody knows how I do my politics. I don’t need anybody to convince people about who I am and what I can do for this country.
‘Obviously, we have friends who vote within and outside the party. Kwabena Agyepong (new General Secretary) has been my long time friend. He was contesting me in 2007. You can check with him, I sought not to influence this election in any way.
‘Paul Afoko (new Chairman) has been a good friend and he was in my campaign in 2007 but if you ask him, he will tell you probably that I was too distanced from what was going on.
‘I have heard people say that because Paul (Afoko) and Mr. Agyepong (Kwabena) are close associates of mine, they were going to work to support my candidature if I put myself out. If you know both of them as individuals, the last thing they would do would be that,’ he stated.
By William Yaw Owusu
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