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Politics of Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Source: Statesman

Race To Be NDC Flagbearer

Spio-Garbah is on a roll. As the National Democratic Congress launches guidelines for the nomination and election of a flagbearer by December for the 2008 general elections, the head of the UK-based Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation and former Minister under the National Democratic Congress, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has completed a nation-wide tour with a two-and-a-half conference with ND Parliamentarians, here in Accra.

He did not mince his words when he met about 50 MPs at the Kama Conference Centre Tuesday afternoon. He told them he was a ?strong character.? And, described the man who has lost three successive presidential elections to President Kufuor, John Evans Atta-Mills as ?soft.?

Drawing a clear distinction between himself and Prof Mills, Dr Spio-Garbrah told the MPs that he has a scientific plan to win the Central Region, the area its other son, the former Vice President has failed to deliver to the NDC since December 2000.

He said he has received a lot of indications from the Central Region that the people there are wiling to go with him.

But, he veered into areas that may have gone down well with several of the MPs but certainly not with the man he met Monday, party founder Jerry John Rawlings. He told the MPs that NDC former chairman Obed Yao Asamoah ?should not be abandoned.?

He sees the man who is about to launch a rival party as ?very important,? in the scheme of things. He told the MPs gathered that ?I?ll continue to talk to Dr Obed Asamoah.?

The MPs who turned up included Abukari Sumani, Edward Salia, Harunna Iddrisu, and Mahama Ayariga. About ten senior NDC MPs, including John Mahama, Benjamin Kumbour and Alban Bagbin were serving their parliamentary roles vetting the newly appointed Ministers so could not attend.

Dr Spio-Garbrah asked the MPs to encourage and endorse him as their candidate because he has the stature and experience to deliver.

He described himself as ?a self-made man.?

What the NDC was looking for in 2008, he said, was a candidate who could get the illusive 6-7 percent which they need to cross the 50-plus percentage mark in the presidential race. He sees himself as the candidate who can win the crucial pool of floating voters to the NDC.

He ended on a conciliatory note, assuring the NDC MPs about his willingness to support any other candidate, should he fail to win the nod, in the primaries scheduled for December this year.

Meanwhile, the NDC has launched its guidelines for the nomination and election of a presidential candidate for the 2008 elections.

The document will provide fair opportunity to all prospective candidates, according to the party?s chairman.

Launching the document, Kwabena Adjei announced: ?A person wishing to contest for the position of Presidential candidate of the party should have been a member of the party for not less than 4 years, not be a member of any other political party, be a card bearing member of the party with fully paid up membership subscription fees and annual dues, not be facing any disciplinary action from the breach of the party?s disciplinary code of conduct and constitution, can have a qualified in terms of the 1992 Republican Constitution to be elected as an MP and as a President of the Republic of Ghana, and finally have resigned his position 90 days before the day set to hold the national congress if he/she is a member of the national or regional executive committee.?