NEW PATRIOTIC Party (NPP) flagbearer hopeful, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been placed first on the ballot paper for the Special Delegates’ Congress slated for Saturday, October 18, 2014.
Francis Addai-Nimoh, Member of Parliament (MP) for Mampong in the Ashanti Region, had the second slot while Nana’s main contender, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, former Minister of Trade and Industry, picked the third position.
The various positions—as they are supposed to appear on the ballot paper for the party’s presidential primary—were arrived at when the three contenders gathered at the party head office yesterday to pick them (positions).
There was an initial suggestion that yesterday’s exercise should have been done according to how the candidates placed after the Super Delegates’ Congress of August 31, 2014.
Five NPP stalwarts were supposed to compete on October 18 for over 141,000 delegates to select a winner to lead the party to contest the crucial 2016 presidential election after the number of aspirants had been pruned from seven to five at the August 31 Congress – per the NPP Constitution.
However, 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey, as well as MP for Asuogyaman, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, withdrew from the race and have since thrown their weights behind Nana Akufo- Addo.
Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, also former Trade and Industry Minister, crashed out of the first round, securing only 10 out of the 737 votes cast, representing 1.36%; while former Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, obtained 13 votes, representing 1.76%.
Nana Akufo-Addo had come first with 599 votes, representing 81.81%; Mr Kyerematen with 59 votes, representing 8.28% while Addai-Nimoh and Joe Ghartey tied it up with 21 votes each, representing 2.85%. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw picked 14 votes, representing 1.90%.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who is highly tipped to lead the NPP again, has resumed his nationwide campaign for the impending congress and has consequently urged his two contenders to lace their boots for a good show.
Contrary to claims that the leading contender wanted his fellow contestants to step down for him, the two-time presidential candidate of the party has called on them not to step down, saying that the NPP encourages competition.
Those who wanted Nana Akufo-Addo to go unopposed were of the view that the 81.18% margin of victory recorded was indicative of the choice of the party.
A former Finance Minister under the Kufuor administration, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, joined the growing number of party elders calling on all other aspirants to step down for Nana Akufo-Addo.
He had said, ‘They should voluntarily quit the race and allow Nana Akufo-Addo to run unopposed.’
However, Mr Kyerematen’s spokesperson, Nana Ohene-Ntow, was of the view that there was a deliberate and well-orchestrated ploy to force his boss out of the race.
‘This looks like some kind of a scheme to put pressure on Alan…Even before Sunday’s congress, there had been a lot of pressure on Alan not to run, not to contest and after the Sunday election, they want him to step down…,’ he had said during an interview on Accra-based Citi FM – an independent radio station.
Meanwhile, Mr Kyerematen is launching his campaign today at Abeka Lapaz in Accra.
By William Yaw Owusu
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