General News of Monday, 27 August 2018
The man tasked to investigate the defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 elections has picked nomination forms to contest for the party's chairmanship position.
Professor Kwesi Botchwey, Ghana's former Finance minister and Yale-educated academic has signaled his intention to return to rigorous political activity.
He becomes one of five who picked up nomination forms before the close of day last Saturday, Joy News' Parker Wilson has said.
The party has set 29th August to 5th September 2018 for submission of nomination forms with endorsement of at least 100 party members. A former ambassador is also required to recommend or second the nomination of any of the aspirants for all 14 national executive positions.
The party is expected to choose a line-up of national executives whose immediate task will be to return the opposition party to power in 2020.
With the national chairman Kofi Portuphy bowing out of the race, the national chairman position will offer fresh leadership. Ghana's longest-serving Finance minister Kwesi Botchwey who from 1982 to 1995 was tasked with stablising the economy wants the task of stablising the party.
The party turned to him after the NDC suffered its heaviest defeat ever in the 2016 elections which saw John Mahama become Ghana's first one-term president.
Prof. Botchwey was head of a 13-member committee that reported reasons for the party's defeat. The much-sought after report has not been made public. The politician from the era of President Rawlings explained the loss was caused in part because the party's "intellectual vanguard" was weak.
There were rumours Prof. Kwesi Botchwey would contest for 2020 flagbearer. His last attempt at an elective office came in 2002 when he contested Prof. John Evans Atta Mills for 2004 NDC flagbearer.
His economic background, it is believed could prove an asset in the 2020 elections where the Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is expected to once again play a leading role in framing the economic issues.
Prof. Botchwey's interest in the chairmanship position will see him face the party's longest-serving General Secretary Alhaji Hudu Yahaya. Alhaji Hudu Yahaya vied for the position in 2014 but stepped down minutes to the start of the national delegates congress in December.
The first NDC National Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and second NDC National Vice-Chairman Betty Mould have also picked up nomination forms for the national chairmanship position.
The other aspirant is former minister of state and former Keta MP, Mr Daniel Akwasi Abodakpi who also contested in 2014. He returned from jail after having been found guilty of causing financial loss to the state. He was also a member of the party's council of elders.