Politics of Monday, 21 April 2014
A National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist, Mr Kwaku Obrako-Sarpong says the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will be making a mistake if they assume Prof. John Evans Atta Mills won the presidency upon contesting for the third time so Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo can also win when he contests for the third time.
He said that assumption on the part of the NPP had no basis in the sense that the Prof. Atta Mills had been Vice President for two consecutive terms and was, therefore, known by the electorate.
He stressed that President Mills did not get his nomination on a silver platter; he competed with other personalities in the party during the primaries.
He said even in the last one, he competed with the wife of the founder of the party, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, a situation which was dicey, but Prof. Atta Mills won.
He noted that one could win his party’s primaries but the Ghanaian electorate would reject that person.
Mr Obrako-Sarpong also used the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential results to buttress his argument that the NPP assertion was not tenable.
He said in the first round in 2000, Kufuor had 3,104,393, representing 48.4 per cent, while Mills got 2,871,051, representing 44.8 per cent. In the run-off, he said, Kufuor got 3,538, 990, representing 57.4 per cent, to win the election, while Atta Mills had 2,627,110, representing 42 per cent.
He said in 2004, Kufuor won a straight fight when he had 4,524,074, representing 52.45 per cent, while Mills had 3,850,368, representing 44.64.
He said in 2008, Akufo-Addo had 4,1524,439, representing 49.13 per cent, while Mills had 4,066,634, representing 47.92, and in the run-off, Mills came back strongly to turn the table around when he had 4,521,032, representing 50.23 per cent, to win against Akufo-Addo, who had 4,480,446 representing 49.77 per cent.
In 2012, Mr Obrako-Sarpong said, John Mahama took over as a result of the demise of President Mills. According to him, Mahama took only three months to defeat Nana Akufo-Addo who had 4,480,446, representing 47.81 per cent, against Mahama who had 5,573,572, representing 50.63 per cent.
He stressed that when Prof. Atta Mills was beaten by Kufuor, his figures were always shooting up, unlike Nana Akufo-Addo whose figures were always going down.
Mr Obrako-Sarpong also said the NPP campaign message would include the state of the economy which they (NPP members) said was in shambles.
He said there was nothing permanent in life, and stressed that what was permanent was change, pleading with Ghanaians to bear with the government to fix the economy for the better.
He gave the assurance that the government was making frantic efforts to resuscitate the economy, and urged the NPP to look for another campaign message.