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General News of Saturday, 9 July 2011

Source: Francis Owusu-Ansah, Space FM,Sunyani

NDC delegates snub Rawlings and wife

The cheers that usually greet the arrival of former president Rawlings at NDC gatherings were surprisingly missing on Saturday at the Sunyani coronation park when he arrived for the delegates congress.

The reception given the former first lady was equally cold and was virtually booed off-stage when she took her turn to address the delegates before voting commenced in the party’s primary to elect a flagbearer.

The charismatic leader whose presence at NDC events has evoked emotions for several years, this time failed to ignite the crowd. The cheers outside the coronation for the former first family, was however high but that did not affect the voting pattern.

Clad in white attire in the company of his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and their children, the former president looked pensive compared to his usual enthusiastic moods at such occasssions.

After exchanging pleasantries with delegates and invites guests, the former president and his wife quietly took their seats.

Minutes later, the MC for the event, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, tried to solicit some recognition for Rawlings when he reminded the gathering that by the party’s constitution, the former president was the chairman of the council of elders of the party. That too did not receive any applause from the delegates and other party members.

Shortly after the former president and his wife took their seats, the vice president, John Mahama and his wife Lordina Mahama, walked into the congress grounds and the cheers that met their arrival was enough to knock a child off his seat.

At exactly 11:15 am, his Excellency the president of the republic of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills touched the grounds and was met wild and ecstatic jubilations. He was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Dr. Naadu Mills and E.T. Mensah, who led them onto the grounds.

There were rumours before the commencement of voting that the former first lady had been prevailed upon to step down for the president. That according to sources accounted for the delay in the start of the programme for over two hours.

But a leading FONKAR member in the Brong-Ahafo region, Mr. Kofi Vinyo told Space FM’s Francis Owusu-Ansah that nothing was going to make Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings step down for president Mills.

Later when the former first lady addressed the delegates, there were jeers and boos which indicated disapproval of her candidature.

She however reiterated her entry into the NDC flagbearer race was caused by party members crying out about the breakdown in party structures and the level of despondency that has hit the NDC.

At the end of it all, President Mills polled a whopping 2,771 votes against Nana Agyemang Rawling's 90 votes.

President Mill's vote represents 96.7% of the total votes cast, whilst Nana Konadu's votes represents a total of 3.14%. Only five of the total 2866 votes were rejected.