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Politics of Monday, 15 January 2007

Source: Daily Guide

NPP Prez Race: Alan, Nana Lead Pack

Even though the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has several more months to select its flagbearer, a snap survey conducted amongst delegates during the recently held conference in Koforidua, highlights the chances of the presidential hopefuls. The survey has thrown up Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade and Industry and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as front runners for the party flagbearership race, putting Alan ahead of the other presidential hopefuls.

The poll was conducted on January 6, 2007, by some concerned NPP activists, using the services of university students who sampled opinions of 690 of the nearly 2,000 delegates at the party’s conference, on 13 presidential hopefuls. The pollsters asked 10 questions from the delegates, including who they would vote for, among the 13 presidential hopefuls.

Alan Kyeremanten and Nana Akufo-Addo made a strong showing, receiving 23.62 percent and 19.13 percent respectively. The Vice President, who picked the third spot on the chart, had 9.85 percent while the New Juaben North MP and Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, polled 7.39 percent.

Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor and Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, CEO of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, jointly picked the sixth position with 6.8 percent each, ahead of Prof Mike Oquaye, Minister of Communications, Dan Kwaku Botwe, former NPP General Secretary and Yaw Osafo-Maafo, former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

Prof Oquaye, Dan Botwe and Yaw Osafo Maafo polled 4.34 percent, 2.75 percent and 3.33 percent respectively. Ahead of them were Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, former Minister of Regional Integration and NEPAD who picked 8.69 percent to take fourth position just after Vice President Aliu Mahama.

Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, former press secretary to the President, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister of Education, Science and Sports and Boakye Agyarko, Vice President of the Bank of New York, together had less than five percent.

However, 22 respondents were undecided. This latest opinion poll adds to a number of such sampling conducted by various pollsters ahead of the Koforidua confab, which also made interesting reading.

A poll conducted by Daily Dispatch, between July and October 2006, also placed Alan ahead of other contestants with 21.2 percent, while Vice President Aliu Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo picked 20.1 percent and 19.5 percent respectively.

Capt (rtd) Nkrabeah Effah Darteh, former deputy Minister of the Interior, Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy, a US-based medical practitioner, Felix Owusu Agyapong, Majority Leader and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations did not make the list.

In a related development, aides to Vice President Mahama have expressed optimism, describing the Koforidua conference as good for the Number two man in the country.

“Koforidua has given us the taste of things to come in December. In any case, if the Ghanaian in the street and not the delegate is to decide who to choose for president, then Koforidua has voted for Aliu Mahama.

His opponents have to put in a lot of work to unseat him in public eyes,” they said in apparent reference to the rousing reception the Vice President received in the Eastern Regional capital.

Analysts believe the race for the NPP slot is yet to begin, in view of the fact that more aspirants are expected to enter the fray.