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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Columnist: Amankwah-Sarfo, Fred

Enhancing the electoral fortunes of the NPP in 2016


The race for the flagbearership position of the largest opposition party in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is open for contest and in the name of the Almighty with respect, decorum and circumspection, the man of peace and vision and the NPP’s presidential candidate in the 2008 and 2012 elections, Akufo Addo would once again humbly seek the mandate of the NPP delegates to become the flagbearer of the party for the 2016 presidential election.

This would be the third time Akufo Addo would be contesting to become the president of Ghana should the NPP delegates renew his mandate and the good people of Ghana magnanimously decide in his favor during the 2016 elections.

This attempt is not a novelty in contemporary Ghanaian elections. The late Professor J.E.A. Mills contested the 2000 elections as an incumbent vice president and lost to President J.A Kuffour. In the 2004 elections, the late President contested again and lost to President Kuffour. In spite of the fact that the odds seems against the then candidate Mills, the NDC delegates gave him a third chance to contest the 2008 elections for the third time and he won to become the president of Ghana.

Persistency and consistency in marketing a presidential candidate is the best to strategy in winning elections. The discerning Ghanaian electorates would want to give their mandates to a candidate who has proven his mettle and tenacity of purpose to lead the country. The presidential candidature of Akufo Addo is the most persuasive strategy for the New Patriotic Party going into the 2016 election.

Some NPP presidential hopefuls have been testing the waters to find their levels in contesting for the NPP’s presidential candidature in the 2016 election. The contest for the 2016 flagbearership position is gradually becoming very interesting.

A very clean internal political competition and campaign is expected from all aspirants as the electoral time for the election of the flagbearer draws closer. While some aspirants would want to rely on statistical analysis to make a point for themselves others are adopting very pragmatic measures to ensure that the mistakes made during 2008 and 2012 elections which caused the party dearly at the polls do not repeat themselves. Experience is best teacher as the saying goes.

The roll call of persons nursing presidential ambitions include persons who have worked closely with Akufo Addo during the 2012 campaign. Persons who were given very sensitive and strategic implementation roles in Akufo Addo’s 2012 campaigns are lacing their boots to contest the man of peace and vision.

It is intriguing that the selflessness of Akufo Addo seems to know no bounds. This man of peace and vision always draws everyone to his side and give them roles and responsibilities likely to adversely affect his own political fortunes. He is selfless to a fault.

It is well within every party member who is qualified per the party and national constitution to contest the flagbearership position and lead the party. This is a fundamental right which cannot be questioned nor hindered.

It is however ironical to note that some aspirants go round the country using statistical results from past elections as “evidence” to joining the flagbearership race. One have would expected that potential aspirants would go to the delegates with pragmatic policies and programs that would help enhance the electoral fortunes of the party and indicate how for example resources earmarked for polling stations executives would actually get to them.

Attempts by some aspirants to push an agenda have actually motivated many party delegates to rally behind the man of peace and vision – Akufo Addo to lead the party for a third consecutive time to the 2016 elections.

The overwhelming evidence provided by the petitioners at the supreme court during the electoral petition trial showed that one of the key reasons the NPP lost the 2012 election was not because the presidential candidate did not receive the votes of the electorates, but that per the verdict of the justices of the supreme courts the polling agents refused to protect the votes cast in favor Akufo Addo. In effect, the security of the ballot cast was gravely compromised to the disadvantage of the NPP and the court was not ready to do the work of the party’s polling agents.

The entire security arrangement of the NPP elections machinery completely broke down. This gave the NDC a field day to do ballot stuffing and all the other electoral malpractices and statutory violations without a single complaint being filed within the entire 26,002 polling stations across the country.

The popularity of the man of peace and vision – Akufo Addo has been further enhanced after the electoral petition verdict and put him miles ahead of the competition. The electoral fortunes of the NPP would be greatly enhanced when Akufo Addo is retained as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.

Let’s give Akufo Addo a chance again.


*Kwaku Amankwah – Sarfo*

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