Politics of Thursday, 21 August 2014

Source: Al-Hajj

Struggle for NDC flag bearer post

In Motion

As the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) begins processes to elect new executives from the branch, constituency, regional through to the national level and with ongoing secret consultations and meetings amongst some stalwarts of the party ostensibly on the way forward, is still unclear if the deliberations which also include search for a presidential candidate is for the 2016 or 2020 elections.

Flawless information gathered by The aL-hAJJ indicates that due to the shredding of the impending national executive elections of the ruling party into camps with two dominating interest groups scheming to control political turfs, a section of the party’s disenchanted top brass have been meeting in search of a flag bearer.

However, what is not yet too clear is whether the personalities being considered for the flag bearer post will challenge President Mahama ahead of the 2016 elections or step in the president’s shoes for the 2020 elections.
Names emerging as front runners are that of veteran legislator and former Ave-Avenor constituency Member of Parliament and now Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Edward Kwabla Doe Adjaho, and eminent academic and Ghana’s longest serving Finance Minister, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, The aL-hAJJ can report.

Though some self-acclaimed aficionados of the Wlitey-born Speaker Doe Adjaho have since rubbished his flag bearer claim, Prof Kwesi Botchwey, who doubles as a member of economic management team of the Mahama administration, is yet to make any statement on the matter.
Comparatively, Mr Adjaho, now 57 will be 63 years by 2020 while Prof Botchwey, Ghana's Minister of Finance from 1982 to 1995 under Jerry Rawlings’ government and believed to be 69 years is expected to hit 75 by election time in 2020.
The Speaker of Parliament, undoubtedly the present face of NDC stronghold of Volta region, early this year was rumored to be bracing himself up for the task of leading the NDC.

On the other hand, Prof Botchwey, a native of Central region who unsuccessfully attempted to unseat the late Mills in 2002 as the party’s 2004 flag bearer, has been alleged to be considering contesting president Mahama for the leadership of the party ahead of the impending presidential election.

Though some self-professed loyalists of him have denied his interest in the presidency, media reports early this year revealed how Speaker Doe Adjaho has begun series of consultations with different segment of the society particularly NDC stalwarts from his native Volta region to offer himself for the position of president.

Until his elevation as Speaker of Parliament, Mr Doe Adjaho, who acted as president of Ghana pursuant to article 60 (11) when both the president and vice president were outside the country, worked at the Attorney General’s department before turning to politics where he was elected Member of Parliament for the then Ave-Avenor, now Akatsi South constituency, until January 2013.

Party insiders have since spoken of the Speaker’s cherished ambition of becoming the face of the Volta region after former President Jerry John Rawlings, to the extent that his NDC folks in his native region have begun referring to him as “Mr President”.

On the other hand, Prof Kwesi Botchwey, who had long desired to lead the party and the nation, and who is currently at the centre of economic management in the country, is alleged to have his eyes firmly fixed on the presidency. Sources say he is more than ready to once again run for the party’s presidential primaries.
He is said to have aptly calculated the present public disaffection of the Mahama administration, especially on its handling of the economy, and with his impeccable tract record in finance and economy, he is the man to take over at this point in time.
The aL-hAJJ is keenly following current developments within the ruling National Democratic Congress, especial on the leadership struggle and will keep our readers updated. Stay tuned