The major problem facing the New Patriotic Party now without any doubt, taking into consideration the results of the 2020 elections, is the race to select the Presidential Candidate for the 2024 elections in which Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and John Alan Kyerematen appear to be in a “comfortable lead”.
By the NPP constitutional provisions, the internal election that will settle this matter is due in three years just before the main elections in which NDC is expected to repeat John Mahama but with a likely new running mate to replace Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman who many say added virtually nothing to John Mahama ticket especially in her home region.
Crisscrossing the country in submarine manner is sacked former Energy Minister, Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko who is not new NPP internal contest as he stood against Akufo-Addo and 16 others in 2007 Legon Congress of the NPP which Akufo-Addo won with Alan Kyerematen conceding before second round.
Also interested is former Deputy Interior Minister Bryan Acheampong who MyNewsGh.com sources say is building a war chest ahead of the showdown.
Joe Ghartey, former Railway Development Minister has already confirm his interest by dropping his hat into the ring. He is also not new to NPP internal Presidential Primaries.
As Brig-General J. Odei (Rtd) noted in a recent analysis, from Prof Adu Boahen’s era to President Kufuor and to President Akufo-Addo, the race to select NPP leaders in the Party had gone through “rough and very muddy waters” and therefore steps must be taken to limit the damage to the Party unity and its chances to 2024 victory.
Ashanti Region world bank support
All the major candidates are jostling to win the support of a key constituency in the NPP, which is the block of voters and delegates from the Ashanti Region which is crucial not just for internal elections but for the general elections as well.
In the 2020 election, the NPP would have lost the election but for the overwhelming votes gaps it obtained in the Ashanti Region where three or four candidates are lining up from- Dr. Akoto, Alan Kyerematen, Mathew Opoku Prempeh and to some extent Boakye Agyarko who allegedly has links to Jamasi in the Ashanti Region.
Bawumia to struggle over Ashanti votes
While the odds favour Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, the Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, Benjamin Emmanuel Ephson said that voters in the Ashanti may not vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) he happens to be elected the party’s flagbearer, as MyNewsGh.com covered earlier.
Many have tipped the current Vice President to replace Akufo-Addo as according to his supporters, he will enjoy incumbency advantage at the party’s congress but also suffer the tags of Akufo-Addo’s alleged “bad” deeds in government.
It has been argued that the NPP wouldn’t want to ditch him for another candidate because he is from the Northern part of the country which wills send wrong signals to the entire country.
Commenting on this on Angel 102.9FM’s Morning Show, Anopa Bofo, Ben Ephson opined that he wasn’t sure that Dr Bawumia will garner the needed votes to ascend the presidency when he becomes flagbearer.
His reason, he said, lie in the fact that Ashantis, who are the spine of the NPP would want a to vote for a Northerner to lead them as President.
“If they go for straight elections and Bawumia wins, Ashantis won’t vote for him because they think it’s their turn…if Kyeremanten also wins, the NPP supporters in Northern Regions won’t also vote because they may think the NPP is just using them…,” he said.