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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Who Leads NPP?

NPP presidential election voting underway
NPP presidential election voting underway
Predictions from observers and party functionaries so far put two of the aspirants, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a lawyer and 2008 presidential candidate, and Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, also a lawyer, as the lead contenders.

The rest are Isaac Osei, MP for Subin in Kumasi, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, former CEO of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Apostle John Kwame Koduah, an evangelist in Kumasi.

The contest is akin to the 2007 one at the University of Ghana, where Nana Addo emerged the winner with a little less than the 50 percent plus one vote, after a grueling contest.
It is therefore not clear whether any of the front-runners can win the elections by one-touch or a run-off will be needed to declare the winner.

Results of the congress will be counted and declared at the various polling centres, according to the Electoral Commission (EC). The EC is conducting the election.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE, the deputy Ashanti regional director of the EC, Isaac Owusu, said the results would be counted and declared immediately the polls end at 3:00pm.

The polls start at 8:00 am and end at 3:00 pm in all the polling centers in nationwide.

National Chairman of the party Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey promises the election would be a successful congress since according to him, everything including security and logistics had been put in place.

The party has indicated some venues at the various constituencies where the delegates will vote, apart from the national officers who will be voting at the party’s national headquarters at Asylum Down, Accra.

In the Greater Accra region, elections are scheduled to take place at the following venues; Adenta party office, Ayawaso West Wuogon-Dzorwulu JSS, Ododiodioo-Sacred Heart Church (James Town Police Station), La Dadekotopon- Government Secretariat, Klottey Korle- Accra High School, Ashaiman- Reno Night Club.

Other constituencies include Ayawaso Central-Alajo Park (near Presby Church), Ayawaso East-New Nation (ACP Nima cluster of schools), Ablekuma Central- J.T School, Mataheko, Dome Kwabenya- Atomic Energy University, Obom Domeabra- Intergral Farm, Ningo Prampram-old Ningo D.A Primary/JSS, Shai Osudoku-Dodowa- Regional House of chiefs and Osudoku local council.

Those in other constituencies are also to vote at Kpone Katamanso-Apollo Spot, Ledzokuku-Ford School; Weija- Apostle Kojo Safo School- Awoshie; Trobu Amasaman- Kingsby Hotel; Okaikoi North-Sunny Side School (Nii Boi Town); Krowor-Preseco Secondary School; Tema East-Olam Secondary School (Community 1); Tema West- Star Basic School.

The rest include Okaikoi South-Prince of Peace; Ada-Kasseh Presby Chapel; Sege- Sege Secondary Technical (ASTEC) and Abokobi Madina- Presec Assembly Hall.

Unlike previous congresses where the delegates assembled at one place to elect a candidate, this election is taking place in all the 230 constituencies nationwide with about 115,000 delegates voting.

The results will be collated at the various centres and the final result announcement will be made at the Efua Sutherland Park, near the National Theatre in Accra.

Major political parties in Africa have sent their representatives to observe the congress so that they could replicate it in their respective countries.

Nana Addo, who emerged victorious in the 2007 elections, is asking the delegates to give him another chance for 2012 because he is best cut out to win power for the party.

He contended that having come close to winning the 2008 election, he was best placed to regain power from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) since he had already been marketed.

Nana’s other point was that he is a tried and tested politician who had demonstrated real commitment and loyalty to the party and that he was instrumental in the massive expansion of the Electoral College, making him the best choice for the delegates.

Nana Addo rebutted accusation that he was an old man.

“For myself, I don’t think that that argument ever has a chance of really succeeding as a first political weapon because at the end of the day, what people are looking at is the quality of leadership that you offer. Are you somebody who is capable of responding to the demands of the time and being able to mobilize people behind the project that you represent as a political leader? I believe that those are the perennial questions of politics,” he told an Accra radio station yesterday.

“I think that those are not the matters really that clinch arguments one way or another. And I believe that on the round, they are never the issues, the issues are always the same – your record, your capacity, your ability, how people respond to you, your capacity for mobilisation, for being able to set out and articulate the concerns of your fellowship, your ability to defend those concerns.

I think those are all the matters that go into the mix of what is called political leadership. They are very much more important enduring qualities, much important qualities in analyzing people’s capabilities than the mere question of age.

“There are many, many young people out there who are extremely enthusiastic about me and my record and what I represent in Ghanaian politics. I tend not to think that there are such simplistic responses and attitudes towards political leadership,” he said

The veteran politician said some respected world-class leaders like Winston Churchill of England, Mahatma Ghandi of India and Nelson Mandela of South Africa became leaders of their respective countries at an advanced age. The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice observed that one’s ability to lead a country proficiently has nothing to do with age.

For his part, Alan Kyerematen emphasized that it was time the party elected him as flag-bearer, stressing that he was in the best position to capture power for the party in the forthcoming polls because of his appeal.

According to him, he was appealing to floating voters and that when he was elected, he would be able to win the votes of such electorate to make the party’s dream of coming back to power a reality.

The former Minister of Trade, Industry and President’s Special Initiatives (PSI) had also been saying that he represented the real hope for delegates because even when the polling station executives were not part of the Electoral College, he made them central to his plans.

He was loud and clear with his message that he is a young, energetic, dynamic and visionary leader who the country was awaiting to entrust its destiny to.

For Mr. Kyerematen, his critics consistently indicated that he was just not the right person to lead the party because he had not suffered enough in the struggle of the party.

Again, they criticized him for not demonstrating real loyalty and commitment to the cause of the party over his decision to resign from the party in protest against alleged maltreatment of his supporters after the 2007 congress.

They also questioned his abilities to lead the party and to a large extent the country because he could not even manage the growing of cassava under the PSI.

Alan repudiated the claim that he had not toiled enough for the party, stressing that as a founding member and member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, no one could say that he had not done enough for the party. Similarly, he repudiated allegations that he did not manage the affairs of the his ministry well, stating that he recorded praiseworthy achievements such as the textile, oil palm, salt and the other initiatives.

He denied the allegation of his resignation from the party.

Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a heart surgeon, has been campaigning that he was the perfect candidate to win power for the party for the reason that Ghanaians had realized that the nation required a scientist of international repute to turn her fortunes around.

Calling himself ‘Bohye ba’ to wit ‘the chosen one,’ Isaac Osei, the only parliamentarian among the lot, has been telling the delegates that God had destined him to lead the party into the upcoming battle and that he would surely win power for the party. The chances of Hon Isaac Osei have been questioned on the basis that he is not a familiar face with the delegates.

He has also been saying in his campaign that he is the ideal person to unify the ranks of the party in the heat of the perceived rivalry between Nana Addo and Alan Kyerematen, the two leading contenders.

The chances of Professor Frimpong-Boateng, on the other hand, have been thrown into doubt against the backdrop that the renowned heart surgeon was not a real grassroots member of the party and so he would not win the mandate of the delegates.

Lawyer John Kwame Koduah believes he is the God-chosen candidate that the party needs to be able to win power.

Evangelist Koduah, who has contested almost all the presidential congresses of the NPP since 1992, is not rated as a favourite candidate because many believe that he is not well connected with the delegates.

Source: Daily Guide/Ghana

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