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General News of Thursday, 18 January 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Mahama era is over; NDC needs new flagbearer for 2020 victory – Sylvester Mensah

National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer hopeful, Sylvester Mensah, has given a thumb down for a possible return of former President John Mahama as the party’s candidate in the 2020 polls.

Mr Mensah says although his former boss was a good President when he took over the reins of government from 2010 – after the demise of John Evans Atta Mills – to 2016, the outcome of the last election sends a strong message about his favourability as a leader.

Former President Mahama polled a paltry a little above 44% of total votes cast in the last election, the lowest for an incumbent President, and losing the Presidency to the New Patriotic Party's Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“At the time [Mahama] burst onto the political scene he was the best for our party and for this country and he played his role. But we have gotten to a completely new era that requires a completely new set of [leaders],” he said on current affairs programme, The Hard Truth, on Joy News Wednesday evening.

The comments by the former Chief Executive of the National Insurance Health Authority (NHIA) and former MP for La-Dadekotopon add to the growing disapproval of key party members for a Mahama-2020 bid.

Legislator for Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Bagbin, also recently cast doubts over John Mahama’s chances of winning the NDC primaries to lead the party in the 2020 general elections.

In an exclusive interview with Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah, Mr Bagbin said the chances of the former President – who is yet to declare his intention to run – are slim

“We are now going to go out there with our messages and we will give the good people of our party as to which personality and which message they prefer and I believe that by the end of the day, I don’t see His Excellency the former President [Mahama] winning. I don’t see it,” he had said.

Speaking on The Hard Truth, Sylvester Mensah also told the host of the nightly show, Nana Akosua Konadu, that the results of the 2016 elections show that there was a high level of disaffection and withdrawal from political participation within the rank and file of the party in the run-up to the polls.

“You could also tell that there was anger, there was frustration, there was disaffection and I guess that these are very loud statements emanating from the numbers. It tells clearly that we have gotten to a crucial junction in the life of our party that we need to re-strategise. We need to put in place a new set of vision that can accommodate the emerging trends and expectations of our party,” he said.

He was emphatic that he represents this “new set of vision” and charged the party’s delegate to confirm him as the flagbearer during primaries later this year.

“The delegate of our party has a responsibility to determine what is useful for our party. I have always trusted their views, I have always respected their views and I think they have never been wrong and they won’t be wrong this time and I guess that God willing, I will be rhyming with their choice and I will emerge as the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress,” he said.