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25.04.2007 Politics

Presidential aspirant highly tipped to win

By The Point

New Patriotic Party (NPP) insiders have predicted that for the first time in the history of the party there would be a run- off when the party goes to congress in December 2007 to elect its flag bearer.

“I don't see how any of the candidates would win the first round" a staunched party supporter said.

Going back to the memory lane a source closed to the top echelon of the party referred to the 1992 congress where the party elected the late Professor Adu-Boahen as the flagbearer of the party with Dr. Selby as runner-up and Mr. J. A. Kufuor placing third position.

The source pointed out that there has always been a struggle between the UNC faction which was lead by the late Adu- Boahen, and Hon. Akufo Addo and the PFP faction which is the main stream of the Busia Danquah tradition.

The source disclosed that apart from 1992, the leadership of the party has always come from the PFP faction.

"Party supporters have vowed never to forgive the UNC faction for what they did in 1979" the source added.

It would be recalled that in 1979 some party dissidents broke away from the PFP and backed the PNP at the presidential run- off to help the late Dr. Limann to win the elections.

The source again stated that all the primaries conducted by the party the PFP faction have won citing 1996 and 1998 as examples

"Candidate Kufuor as he then was won the 1996 primaries with over 60 percent beating the late Adu -Boahen and Dr. Kofi Apraku and candidate Kufuor repeated his victory in Sunyani in 1998 beating Akufo- Addo" the source recalled.

Reports clutched by The Point indicates that the political track records of all the candidates are going to count in the party's quest to get a credible candidate to help the party retain the presidency.

Out of about 18 candidates who are in contention, only two of them, namely Nana Akufo Addo and Kofi Konadu Apraku were on the ballot paper in 1998 when the party went to congress, in Sunyani to elect President Kufuor as the candidate for the then opposition, NPP.

The former Senior Minister, Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah's disposition that the NPP presidential race was not a beauty pageant that should warrant such a preponderant number of candidates was far-fetched.

Some of the candidates jostling to hold the flag of the NPP are Nana Akufo Addo, minister of Foreign Affairs and NEPAD, Yaw Osafo Maafo, former minister of Finance and Education, Hackman Owusu Agyeman, minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Felix Owusu Adjapong, Majority Leader and minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Kwame Addo Kufuor, minister of Defence.

Others are Kofi Konadu Apraku, former minister of Regional Integration and NEPAD, Kwabena Adjei Adjapong, former Presidential Press Secretary, Alan Kyeremanten, minister of Trade, Industries and PSI, Professor Frimpong Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Arthur Kennedy.

The rest are Dan Botwei, former General Secretary of the NPP, Papa Owusu Ankomah, minister of Education, Science and Sports, the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, minister of Tourism and Diaporan Relations, Nkrabeah Effah Darteh, former deputy minister of the Interior, Professor Mike Ocquay, minister of Communication and Boakye Agyarko