The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) could be heading for trouble in future general elections, following the official breakaway of a section of its core membership.
The group, which first hinted the media of its intentions a couple of months ago, and made good its threat when it was issued an interim certificate yesterday by the Electoral Commission (EC) to operate as a political party, is to be known as Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD).
But while the licence now paves the way for the party to start its activities by establishing offices in all the 126 district capitals across the country, the EC says it will thoroughly monitor and make sure all district offices are up to standard.
At a brief ceremony in Accra, the EC indicated that in accordance with Act 574 of the 1992 Constitution, a final certificate of operation as a fully-fledged political party would be issued in the next 30 days after it is satisfied with the initial activities of the new party.
Initial indications, however, are that a number of NPP presidential aspirants may pitch camp with the new party after the December 22 congress.
Speaking exclusively to DAILY GUIDE, Mr. Kwabena Adjei, Interim National Chairman, hinted that at least three NPP stalwarts, including the former Presidential Spokesperson, Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, are possible targets.
Though he was tight-lipped over the other names, the paper gathered that other young aspirants like former Education and Sports Minister, Papa Owusu-Ankomah and ex-Information Minister, Dan Botwe, are also being poached.
Birds have whispered to the paper that some of the aspirants already contacted have asked the RPD leadership to hold on as they are closely monitoring what would transpire in the December 22 congress.
Mr. Adjei added that several leading members and foot soldiers of the NPP are also considering switching camp to the RPD to help chart a new course that will see greater economic transformation.
He said the youth need to be recognized since they possess the tools to turn the fortunes of the country around.
He therefore called on the youth, who according to him constitute over 60 percent of the population in the country, to rally behind the party to wrestle power from the NPP.
“When we come to power, our government will implement pragmatic steps to ensure that everyone is self-sufficient,” he added.
The leadership of the new party is made up of Kwabena Adjei (Interim National Chairman) and Kwame Manu-Sarpong (National Treasurer). Other leading members are Clarence Ankomah and Francis Kyei.
Meanwhile the party has called for the exit of the likes of J.H. Mensah and Professor Adjei Bekoe from the NPP since their continuous stay in the party is causing huge financial loss to the country.
“How can an octogenarian like J.H. Mensah, who was a Finance Minister in 1962, still be in office as the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)? His ideas are old-fashioned and dormant. We need to replace him,” National Treasurer of the RPD, Manu Sarpong suggested.
Touching on the December 22 flagbearership elections of the NPP, he explained that the delegates should vote for a foot soldier such as Kwabena Agyepong since he possesses the technological acumen to propel the country into a new age.
To him, all aspirants above 60 years of age should be disqualified from contesting as leaders in the party.
He urged Ghanaians to vote massively for the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD) because the party has what it takes to govern the country.
Yesterday's development, even though it may not seal the doom of the NPP, is likely to cause serious havoc in the 2008 elections, more so when a chunk of the breakaway faction comes from the Ashanti region, which is the ruling party's stronghold.
It would be recalled that a similar development occurred within the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2000 following the Swedru Declaration.
The political grouping in the country with the highest number of factions is the Nkrumahist front.