The New Patriotic Party is not looking for a presidential candidate who is rich, because it is not the person's money that is used to build a party, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, a presidential aspirant of the party has said.
Rather, he said what the party was looking for was a candidate who had demonstrated competence in the political game and had the wherewithal to change the fortunes of the NPP after President Kufuor's exit.
He warned that if the party allowed money to be used as a criterion to elect a flag bearer, it could spell doom for them in the next elections.
Launching his middle-belt campaign towards the party's December Congress to elect a flag bearer of the party for the next presidential election, the former Minister of Education, Science and Sports, said he was the most-qualified candidate to lead the party, because he stood for principles and was a positive transformer.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah gave the assurance that he would establish a multi-million Ghana Cedi Endowment Fund for the party, if he won the presidential bid.
The fund, he said, would help finance a number of party activities to firmly establish the NPP as the strongest political force in the country.
The campaign launch, which took place at the Prempeh Assembly Hall, attracted a large number of party executives and members from various constituencies in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions.
He stressed that the battle ahead of the party in 2008, needed a tried-and-tested candidate, and that he was the most qualified amongst the lot.
Papa Owusu-Ankoma indicated that he stood for “positive transformation” , which he said would start from December 22, when he would be elected the flag bearer of the party.
He said the Kufuor government had done very well to lay a solid foundation for a giant economic take-off, and it was, therefore, necessary that a person with the ability to build on that achievement was elected to lead the party. “This is where I remain the best,” he said.
The aspirant said the NPP had to protect its traditional strongholds and win more others from the opposition camp and that was what he had the ability to do.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah said in percentage terms, the NPP votes dwindled in the 2004 elections as against the 2000 elections, and said this should not be allowed to continue in 2008.
The candidate indicated that both the young and new generations had a lot of confidence in him and hoped this would be translated into his election as flag bearer in December.
Story by Kwame Asare Boadu