Hot Fight In NPP …Over No ‘Contest’ Or Early Congress Proposal

Even as uncertainties still remain regarding proposals of Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo’s automatic third term ambitions, and in the midst of the ongoing power struggle in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), frontline politician and former deputy Attorney General (AG), Kwame Osei Prempeh has strongly argued that a third term bid of the former flagbearer ahead of the 2016 general election is non-negotiable.

There is stiff opposition especially from one-time flagbearer hopeful, Mr. Alan Kyeremanten and some six others who have picked up nomination forms, declaring their intensions to contest in the party’s upcoming congress. But Mr. Osei Prempeh said: this should be discarded as sound and fury, signifying nothing. 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.

Meanwhile tensions within the largest opposition party are starting to surface in the run-up to the flagbearer election.

But the former deputy AG again appealed to individuals who have continued to antagonize Nana Addo, blaming him for the party’s defeat in the 2012 and 2016 election to give him another chance in order to allow peace and harmony into the NPP.

He stated with great appeal that the constant attack on Nana Addo by supporters and sympathizers of other aspirants in the party was capable of frustrating the agenda of the party ahead of the 2016 elections.

Although the government of President John Mahama has been hit with so many political and economic problems, with widespread criticisms both from within his political party and the opposition, the former AG said that development would not guarantee an NPP victory if the party fails to put its house in order.

“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.

Early Congress
Amidst the controversy generated by Osei Prempeh’s proposal came calls by Regional Chairmen of NPP across the 10 regions of the country for an early Congress to elect a flagbearer.

At a press conference held on Monday, the chairmen said it would be in the interest of the NPP to hold an early congress instead of a long-drawn battle that will come at great cost to the party.

NPP Chairman for the Brong Ahafo Region, Kweku Asomah-Cheremeh said the interest of the party, regarding the 2016 general elections “will be better served if a date is fixed in September for the election of a flagbearer”.

“We are of the firm conviction and belief that a long drown process leading to the election of a flagbearer on 6th December, 2014, if that date is chosen, will inflict more harm than good to the Party and subsequently cost us a great deal in our collective effort at unseating the NDC in 2016 and also to bring back smiles on the faces of the suffering Ghana. It is our considered view that the interest of the Party as regards the 2016 general elections will better be served if a data is fixed within September, 2014, for the election of a flagbearer” The chairmen said

Alan Camp
In response, the office of Alan Kyeremanten described the calls for an early congress by Regional Chairmen as absurd.” This proposal is absolutely unnecessary and totally vexatious;” spokesperson for Alan Kyeremanten, Nana Ohene Ntow said. 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 more time to exhaust all the process involved before the primaries.