Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, one of the four candidates contesting the flagbearership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Wednesday filed his nomination papers to contest the election at the Party's congress scheduled for December 20 to December 22 2006.
This brings to three the number of contestants that have so far filed their nominations to beat the December 7 deadline set by the Party.
The first two were Mr Eddie Annan, a business tycoon and Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Secretary of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Union. Speaking to journalists after the presentation of his papers, Alhaji Mahama said he was optimistic that he would get the nod of delegates at the Congress.
He said his campaign, which carried him to all corners of the country went well.
Alhaji Mahama said he was happy that his campaign team had so far lived to his pledge to conduct a disciplined and responsible campaign, stressing that this was important to bring every member of the Party and floating voters on board to win the presidential race of Election 2008. He said he had decided to conduct his campaign without acrimony because whoever emerged as winner would require the support of the three other contestants to win the presidential slot in 2008.
"I am sure to lead NDC to success in the race," Alhaji Mahama stressed, and called for unity to ensure success in the elections. He urged his supporters to campaign without attacks on their opponents and asked the candidates to adopt a similar attitude since they would need to rely on each other to fulfil the dream of the Party. "We are a family. We need not create insults to give the platform to our opponents to abuse us," he emphasised.
Asked whether he was not fronting for Professor John Evans Atta Mills, Alhaji Maham said although he was the campaign manager for Mills in Election 2004, he would not step down for him in this contest.
"I am going all out to contest and will not withdraw at the Congress to lend my support to any of the candidates," he declared. Alhaji Mahama also said if he won the flagbearership he would make in-roads into the Central and Western Regions, two regions in which the Party did not fare well in the Election 2000 and Election 2004.
"I know there is a deep mistrust among the people of the two Regions and that is why they are voting for the United Party (UP) tradition. But I know that they have the faith and trust in me as someone who was once a member of the tradition."
On how he would react if he lost the Elections 2008, Alhaji Mahama said once the process and the conduct of the elections were free and fair, he would not complain.
However, where there was evidence of clear cheating he would make genuine complaints supported by facts.
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketsia, General Secretary of the NDC, said the Party hierarchy was impressed by the conduct and compliance of Alhaji Mahama's campaign team to the general guidelines drawn up for the campaign.
He said the filing of nomination papers was another milestone in the democratic process of the NDC.