FOLLOWING THE perceived rejuvenation of the hitherto weak Convention People's Party (CPP), the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have each initiated moves to solicit the support of the Nkrumahist party in the 2008 general elections.
Executive members of the two dominant political parties in the country, having recognized the fact that the CPP was currently a force to reckon with, have each passionately appealed to the CPP family to support their parties to win next year's presidential election.
Mr. Robert Amankwaah, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP and Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, aka General Mosquito, General Secretary of the NDC, made the appeal when they represented their respective parties to present goodwill messages at the third CPP national delegates' congress held in Kumasi over the weekend.
The NPP guru stormed the congress venue in the company of the regional secretary, Mr. Sam Cudjoe, while Asiedu Nketia arrived with Mr. Baba Jamal, NDC deputy General Secretary in-charge of operations and Alhaji Mohammed Sannie, Ashanti Regional first vice chairman of the NDC.
Mr. Amankwaah caused a stir at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) where the congress was held, when he enjoined the CPP to abandon its quest for political power and rally behind the NPP to consolidate power in 2008.
To him, the CPP at the moment does not have the requisite resources to win political power so he urged its members to continue to lend support to the NPP.
These remarks incurred the wrath of the delegates and bigwigs of the party, who jeered and booed at the NPP regional chairman, bringing proceedings to a temporal halt.
The remarks were met with a big 'NO' as delegates and the rest of the party members including Mr. Kwasi Pratt Jnr., Director of communications of the party and editor of the Insight newspaper, shouted and threw up their hands in disapproval.
It took the intervention of the chairman for the occasion, Mr. Railey Poku, a CPP kingpin and a former Defence Minister in the Limann Administration, to restore calm.
Meanwhile, the NPP man has paid a glowing tribute to the CPP for clinching independence for the country in 1957 through the able leadership of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
He urged the party's leadership to consider establishing youth wings to attract the youth, who would propel the growth of the party.
For his part, the NDC scribe wished that one day CPP would add black to its colours to identify with the NDC or the former would remove the black from its party colours for the purpose of showing that both shared a common ideology.
Meanwhile, Asiedu Nketia has stated that a vibrant CPP can pose no threat to the fortunes of the NDC in the forthcoming general elections.
He was of the opinion that a vibrant CPP would rather enhance the chances of the NDC in the December 2008 polls.
Describing the organization of the CPP congress as very impressive, the NDC chief scribe pointed out that multiparty democracy is the best practice for the country if good governance is to be achieved.
"The country cannot afford to have only two vibrant political parties competing for power all the time," he said, adding the resuscitation of the CPP was a step in the right direction.
According to Asiedu Nketia, the underlying challenge of the CPP and the NDC in their political ambitions was their ability to win power by kicking out the elephant party from government in 2008.
He said it was about time opposition parties in the country held the elephant by the horns and feet and pulled it to the ground to mark its downfall.
He therefore entreated the rank and file of the CPP not to fight among themselves or against any member of the opposition parties but rather strive to see the exit of the NPP government in the next elections.
General Mosquito commended the entire CPP, particularly its leadership for running clean campaign programmes towards its congress, and expressed hope that the party would share positive signals of reactivation in the 2008 polls.
He averred that a congress characterized by corruption and open display of opulence would automatically elect corrupt winners, who when voted into office would run a corrupt government.
Representatives of the other opposition parties including the People's National Convention (PNC), Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) and the Ghana National Party (GNP) were at the congress to present solidarity messages.
Prior to the commencement of the first session of the congress, supporters of the various aspirants had grouped at the congress grounds wishing their presidential 'idols' well in the primaries amidst singing and dancing.
At the start of proceedings, seats reserved for delegates from the Ashanti Region were empty and party officials who were contacted could not assign reasons for the development.
Although the congress was going on peacefully, speculations were rife that one of the aspirants was camping the delegates from the Ashanti Region so that his campaign team could talk to them to vote for him.
Some 2,500 delegates selected and bussed from the 230 constituencies of the country as well as hundreds of party supporters converged on the university campus to elect one of the six presidential aspirants to lead the party in the 2008 elections.
They include Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Prof. Agyemang Badu-Akosa, Mr. George Aggudey, Dr. Kwaku Osafo, Mr. Bright Akwetey and Dr. F.W Asante Akuffo.
At the time of filing this report, at about 5:45 pm yesterday, the aspirants were addressing the delegates and the party leadership to precede the voting exercise.
Among the high placed personalities in the CPP who showed up for the big political event was Hon. Freddie Blay, MP for Ellembelle and first deputy speaker of Parliament.
From James Quansah, Morgan Owusu & Stella Danso, Kumasi