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NPP primaries: Can Alan replicate Kufuor?

"Even before the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirants pick their nomination forms next month, it is obvious that the two main contenders are Alan Kyeremanten and Nana Akufo-Addo."

Source: The Finder

Posted on : Wed 28 May 2014

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Even before the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirants pick their nomination forms next month, it is obvious that the two main contenders are Alan Kyeremanten and Nana Akufo-Addo.

This is because others who have declared their intention to contest are not considered as serious threats, as they currently cannot boast of any serious following in the party.

Political scientists, election watchers and the general public may be surprised if Alan Kyeremanten is able to beat two-time flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo.

However, it must be said that in 1996, John Agyekum Kufuor was able to beat Professor Albert Adu Boahen, who at the time was considered the most popular candidate in the NPP.

In 2007, a total of 2,293 delegates participated in the party’s National Delegates Congress to elect Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo as the flagbearer for the 2008 general elections.

He garnered 1,096 votes, representing 47.96%, to beat Alan Kyerenmanten, who got 738 votes, representing 32.3% of the total 2,293 votes cast. Even though the elections should have gone into a second round, as both candidates fell short of the 50% plus one vote, Alan conceded defeat and congratulated Nana Akufo-Addo.

In the 2010 primaries, Nana Akufo-Addo polled 83,361, representing 77.92% of total valid votes cast, to beat Alan, who could manage only 21,820 votes, representing 20.40%.

On the two occasions that Nana Akufo-Addo beat Alan in the NPP primaries, he ended up losing the general elections to the candidates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

As Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan lock horns for the third time in the NPP primaries to be held in December, the delegates will have the choice to either maintain Nana Akufo-Addo or try Alan.

Alan, a two-time Presidential aspirant of the NPP in 2007 and 2010, is said to be perceived as appealing to floating or undecided voters, and he and his supporters are touting this credential.

After declaring his intention to contest, statements Alan and his supporters made on various media platforms emphasised that a new candidate should represent the NPP in the 2016 elections because Nana Akufo-Addo had lost two elections to the NDC as flagbearer.

However, Alan stands accused by some NPP die-hard supporters as someone who is not committed to the party, because he resigned from the party in 2008.

Alan was said to have stated in the letter that his supporters were being harassed since his defeat at the party’s Legon Congress, and therefore he was left with no option than to quit.

Alan, however, said he would rejoin the party at the appropriate time.

On the other hand, Nana Akufo-Addo is seen as a man committed to the cause of the NPP, and this is his strongest trump card.

He first competed in the NPP presidential primaries in 1998, where he polled 628, representing 31.65%, to place second in a contest won by John Agyekum Kufuor, who polled 1,286, representing 64.82%.

This year’s primaries will be Nana Akufo-Addo’s fourth, and political analysts, election watchers and NPP die-hard supporters have tipped him to win the December primaries.

It must be emphasised that in 1996, John Agyekum Kufuor was able to beat Professor Albert Adu Boahen, who at the time was considered the most popular candidate in the NPP.

Kufuor polled 1,034, representing 51.99% of valid votes cast, to beat Prof Adu Boahen, who obtained 710 votes, representing 35.70%.

Kufuor subsequently beat the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills in the 2000 general elections and was sworn into office in 2001.

Nominations for the NPP flagbearer contest should open next month once a tentative date of June 6 is approved by the National Executive Council.

December 6 has also been proposed by the party’s Steering Committee as the date to organise the congress to elect a presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.

The proposals are in fulfilment of requirements in the party’s constitution which demand that when the party is in opposition, a flagbearer is elected two years before the next election.

The constitution also requires that nominations be opened six months before the congress.

The proposals are subject to approval by the National Executive Committee and the National Executive Council of the party.

Last Thursday, a meeting of the National Executive Committee to approve the proposal from the Steering Committee was postponed to this week.

After the Executive Committee approves the proposal, the National Executive Council would also have to approve it.

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