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13.04.2007 General News

NPP sets December 15 to elect leader

By myjoyonline

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) goes to congress on Saturday, December 15, 2007 to elect a flagbearer for the 2008 elections.

The Statesman newspaper disclosed that though the date is provisional, the venue is tentatively the campus of the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra. About 2,500 delegates will be mandated to choose a candidate to lead the party in the forthcoming elections.

At the moment, 18 people are expected to file when nominations open on Friday, September 14, 2007. Eight Cabinet Members are expected to resign before September ending, after filing to contest. The Statesman said at least, one such high profile Minister is making plans to vacate his seat in May to spend more quality time with his presidential ambition.

It says its findings are that, so far all the high profile aspirants have tested enough of the party waters to form an initial opinion of their own chances of success.

The Statesman can reveal that from Vice President Aliu Mahama to former Press Secretary Kwabena Agyapong, an average of 70 percent of all 230 constituencies have been intimately covered by all the aspirants and the results have been very revealing for those willing to see beyond the legendary Ghanaian polite Akwaaba that they receive from the party's constituency executives.

Communication lines are opened and cross-lobbying is on and running. However, attempts to draw ethnic or regional lines around aspirants are proving difficult.

The country's two biggest regions, with a combined total of 57 constituencies, are from where more than half of the aspirants hail.

The Eastern region alone is currently presenting six aspirants, Nana Akufo-Addo, Hackman Owusu-¬Agyemang, Dan Botwe and the rank outsider, Boakye Kyerematen Agyarko. Paapa Owusu-Ankomah even has ethnic claims to Kwahu. Meanwhile, attempts so far by the Eastern Regional Chairman of the party to present some form of united front to delegates have failed.

Ashanti region is also being represented by Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Kofi Konadu Apraku, Alan Kyerematen, Kwabena Agyapong and Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng. But, there too the competition is stiff, with no signs of compromise.

The horse-trading, The Statesman is learning, is based on considerations other than ethnocentricism.

Culled from The Statesman

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