Convention People's Party (CPP) flag bearer in Election 2004, Mr George Aggudey, has formally declared his intention to contest the party's presidential slot in his bid to lead the CPP once again in the 2008 general election.
"If the litmus or acid test for one to lead the CPP at the next polls is competence, commitment and loyalty, then I stand streets ahead of others to be endorsed as the party's candidate for the next presidential election, which is scheduled for 2008,"he said.
Mr Aggudey, who made this known in Accra, said, "My voice on matters affecting the party's well-being and development has never been discordant. I have always displayed an unswerving loyalty to the CPP, placing the party's interests above any other interest, development and consideration."
According to him, his political track record, his untainted, committed and massive financial support for the party and the public exposure he had gained as the CPP candidate in the 2004 presidential election made him the ideal candidate to lead the party to victory in the 2008 general election.
Mr Aggudey said the people were better judges of events leading to the last elections and how certain high-ranking elements within the CPP "pitched their tents with other political parties to derail the efforts of the CPP to register a positive impact at the polls".
"Even after the 2004 elections, such functionaries continue to dine and wine with our political opponents, defend their policies at workshops and seminars and have sadly contributed little or nothing at all towards the advancement of the CPP," he said.
Mr Aggudey said the 2004 elections had given him a better insight into his own shortcomings and that of the party with regard to "our organisational strategy, state of the party's structures, failure to establish polling station executives and raise polling agents which, invariably, led to my unimpressive performance at the polls".
When asked to comment on the internecine bickering among the ranks of the CPP, resulting in resignations and some members going to court, Mr Aggudey described the situation as "no big deal" and added that every political organisation had internal problems.
"All the political parties in the country, including the NPP, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the People's National Convention (PNC), also have serious internal problems which have been with them since their formation in 1992," he contended.
He advised CPP members with grievances to use laid down procedures to resolve them, stressing that "the CPP has internal mechanisms for dealing with conflicts and problems like any other political party".
On efforts by the leadership of the CPP and the PNC to form a political alliance to contest the next elections, the 2004 CPP presidential candidate said he would abide by whatever decisions were taken by the national leadership of the party.
"The interest of the party stands supreme and far above mine and for that matter I will abide by whatever decisions are reached on the matter of unity between the CPP and the PNC," he said. He said it would be in the interest of the Nkrumahists parties to have a united front but cautioned that in doing so, care must be taken to ensure that a level playing field existed for all members to contest positions at every level of the party, from the constituency, regional and national levels to the presidential slot.