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24 April 2014

Joe Ghartey, Addai Nimoh join NPP flag-bearer race.

Two more names have emerged in the upcoming contest for the flag-bearer position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

They are the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Attorney General in the Kufuor era, Mr Joe Ghartey, and Mr Francis Addai Nimoh, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mampong.

Both have confirmed in interviews with the Daily Graphic their intent to pick nomination forms to contest the presidential primary of the NPP when nominations are formally opened. The two make it nine the number of people waiting for the greenlight to contest the flag-bearer race.

The Daily Graphic, in its Tuesday, April 22 edition, carried a front page story headlined “2016 NPP flagbeareship. . . who answers to roll call?” in which he named some leading members of the party for showing interest in the forth-coming contest.

In that story would-be presidential aspirants of the NPP, including two-time presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, twice flag bearer hopeful, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyeramaten and former flag-bearer hopefuls, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku and Prof. Kwabena, Frimpong-Boateng, were mentioned. Others are Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng a former minister of state, Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw, MP for Asuogyaman, and Mr Isaac Osei, MP for Subin. 

More candidates

“I will be picking nomination forms to contest the presidential primary of the NPP for the 2016 elections,” Mr Ghartey confirmed to the Daily Graphic last Tuesday.

He is currently in Tamale in the Northern Region as part of a series of broad consultations within and outside the party.

According to Mr Ghartey, who is also the MP for Essikado-Ketan, he was ready to serve his party and the nation in the high office of President.

In his view, one unique thing that had made him stand him out was the fact that he was not into factionalism and could rally and work with all groups within the party.

As a compromise candidate from Winneba and Sekondi/Takoradi, Mr Ghartey declared: “I have paid my dues within the NPP and in public service and I think I am ready to serve my party and the nation in the high office of President.”

According to him, he could work with all factions within the party as a compromise candidate.

“The NPP at this stage needs a compromise candidate and I believe the party in broad terms is also looking for such a candidate,” he stated.

Mr Ghartey, considered the dark horse in the presidential primaries, pointed out that it was time for the NPP to place premium on unity else it would not make any headway in the 2016 elections.

At 52, Joe Ghartey is politically mature, experienced and has behaved very well in both public and private life.

Mr Addai Nimoh, who over the years has been working in the background for the NPP, described himself as a “silent pusher of actions in the Ashanti Region, the ‘World Bank’ of the NPP”.

He supported the national campaign of then candidate J. A. Kufuor in the 2000 elections, promoted policies of his administration and has since paid his dues to the party, especially at the constituency and regional levels.

Mr Addai Nimoh touts himself as a unifier who can bring good fortunes as well as ensure the party’s victory in 2016.

Super delegates conference

According to the rules of the party, if more than five aspirants declare their intentions to contest the primary, the party will organise a super delegates conference to prune down the number to five.

It is recalled that 17 aspirants filed to contest the flag-bearer position of the NPP in 2007, while five candidates contested in 2010.

For presidential primaries, the Electoral College of the NPP is wider and seeks to represent a larger proportion of the Ghanaian electorate.

The constitution of the party also demands that when the party is not in government, the national executive will organise a delegates conference to elect a flag bearer within 24 months to a national election.

The 24-month time frame has become necessary, since time is needed to heal wounds and for the winner to reconcile with those who will lose the contest and also offer the party and the elected flag bearer ample time to organise and prosecute an effective campaign.

The NPP traditionally attracts between 40 and 44 per cent of popular votes. But in view of the requirement of more than 50 per cent of voters to win a presidential election, the party will need to attract floating voters to win the 2016 general election.



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