Recent reports in the media indicate there are ongoing discussions and serious negotiations in the NPP regarding its next flagbearer. Many of the party’s grassroots supporters are of the view that the Party’s 2008 and 2012 Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo should be maintained as the Party’s flagbearer for the 2016 elections.
Nana Addo is the most popular person in the NPP, and arguable the most successful politician in Ghanaian politics, after the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
However, there are others, although in the very small minority, who believe that Nana Addo should be changed. The Ghanaian Palaver has discovered through a series of interviews with leading party members that there is a plot within certain circles to ensure that Nana Addo is not retained as the Party’s flagbearer for the 2016 elections, and to force the Party to remain in opposition until 2020, by which time the NPP would have built itself ready for power.
Further interviews revealed the strategy adopted by those against the candidature of the long serving politician is to force a Special Electoral College to be constituted under the NPP Constitution to restrict the number of contenders to 5. In 2007, the NPP was faced with making a choice amongst 17 candidates, and it is believed that the unreasonable number of contestants contributed to the Party’s humiliating defeat in the 2008 elections.
To force the constitution of the Special Electoral College of about 700 delegates, there have to be more than 5 candidates in the flagbearership race. Thus far, the Ghanaian Palaver can report that more than 5 persons have declared their intention to participate in the flagbearership race, namely, Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyeremanten, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, Prof Frimpong Boateng, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, Joe Ghartey, Isaac Osei, Dr. Richard Anane and Francis Addai Nimoh.
It is expected that once the Special Electoral College is constituted, arguments would be made against Nana Addo’s health, particularly that the Party should not risk the seasoned politician’s life only to end up with a President Mills situation on its hand. It is believe that Nana Addo will suffer a significant diminution in his votes at the Special Electoral College stage, which will then strengthen the case of those against his candidature when the main flagbearer elections are held.
However, our review of the NPP Constitution makes it clear that Nana Addo would easily command an overwhelming majority of the Special Electoral College if it is constituted. Furthermore, the Party’s chairman, Paul Afoko, speaking to TV3 made it clear that the Party may present an unopposed candidate for the 2016 elections.