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04.08.2006 Politics

John Mahama to dribble them all

By The Chronicle
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Mr John Dramani Mahama, the 47 year old Member of Parliament (MP) for Bole-Bamboi, is poised to dribble and possibly outwit political analysts and presidential aspirants in the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as he remains glued to a tactical ploy to become a consensus presidential candidate.

In an attempt to have a smooth-sailing bid, the legislator seems to place much priority on the outcome of his ongoing consultations with party kingpins, business executives and his admirers, who are said to be top politicians of other political parties, as the basis for deciding whether or not to contest for the NDC's presidential ticket for the next general elections in 2008.

“No, it is not the question of trying to seek the consent of people before I decided. But I have my own advisers on issues and in politics; it is important to consider the views of others,” he stated in a telephone interview yesterday.

“If at the end of the day, the people feel I will be the best material to lead the party, why not? What are we in politics for? He intoned. “I have been in politics for the past ten years, so if it happens that I have to represent the interests of the people, I will have to just do that.”

Mr Mahama disclosed to The Chronicle that he had already had some consultations with the leadership of his party and other key people, including top politicians from other political parties, as well as top business executives, which may lead to the determination of his future political ambitions.

The highly respected legislator did not yield to the paper's request to disclose the outcome of his consultations so far, but it became clear that he seemed poised to battle the party's old folks such as the former Vice President, Professor John Atta Mills, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu and the moneyed Eddy Annan, who have so far declared their intentions to race for the party's presidential ticket.

“I will be holding another consultation with some people on Thursday and yet another week, after which I will make a definite statement about my political ambitions.” He said and stressed that he would definitely decide on what to do before the party opens nominations for aspiring presidential candidates.

The Bole-Bamboi MP was optimistic that the apparent delay in the disclosure of his political intentions was not something that could mar his chances if he finally decides to contest.

He held the conviction that nominations would be opened before the end of this month and congress may be held in December. He also expressed optimism that the time between the close of nominations and congress was enough for any candidate to do enough campaigning.

The party's General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, popularly called General Mosquito, could not confirm to the paper whether nominations would indeed be opened before the end of the month as the MP assumed.

In a short interview yesterday to clarify the issue of when exactly the party would open nominations for the presidential hopefuls, the diminutive but loud general secretary said, “Well there is a proposal advising the opening of nominations before the end of the month. But there are several other proposals on when nominations should be opened; so at the moment, I cannot tell you when nominations are going to be opened.”

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