Former Minister for Public Sector Reform and sitting Member of Parlaiment for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Paa Kwesi Nduom has been elected 'one touch' as the Convention People's Party flagbearer for the 2008 general elections by the 1901 eligible delegates at the 3rd National Congress of the party in Kumasi.
He polled 1022 votes representing 53.8%, beating Agyemang Badu Akosah, former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, who had 644 votes representing 33.9%, to second place.
The 2004 presidential candidate of the party, George Aggudey placed third with 139 votes representing 7.3% while Kwaku Mensah Osafo got 48 votes representing 2.5%. Bright Akwetey, a legal practitioner polled 37 votes representing 1.7% and Asante Akuffo had 11 votes representing 0.6%.
Delegates also elected Mr. Lardi Nylander as the party's new national chairman, replacing Edmund Delle. General Secretary, Nii Noi Dowuona also lost his job to Ivor Greenstreet. Seven candidates contested for the position of the National Vice Chairman with Eric Kwabena Dorvako emerging as the winner.
The National Youth Organiser position was grabbed by James Kwabena Bonfeh Jnr with 1054 votes. Hajia Fati Haruna won the National Women's Organiser with 1284 votes whereas Evelyn Alamisi Alabila took the National Organiser position.
Mike Hagan beat four other contestants to win the National Treasurer position.
The elections, supervised by the Electoral Commission were described as largely free and fair.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Nduom thanked the delegates for choosing him over the others. He also thanked the party for letting democracy decide the winner.
He assured party faithful of working closely with all the losing contestants to ensure that the party becomes a formidable force in the 2008 elections.
Dr Nduom said his victory signifies that a new CPP has been born and that they were going to give both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress a run for their money come next year.
According to the former Minister in the Kufuor administration, the CPP was going to embark on a massive membership mobilisation programme in all the ten regions of the country while strengthening their overseas offices.
He said the party would shift into full gear next year, to achieve the twin visions of winning the presidency and making a major impact in parliamentary elections, declaring, "the only obvious choice for Ghanaians is the CPP because both the NDC and NPP have totally failed Ghanaians"
"We are going to put a mechanism in place to monitor all constituency executive activities from now. In this way it will direct us on how to select a marketable candidate to stand for the Parliamentary seats"
Paa Kwasi Nduom promised a well designed, cost effective as well as a scientific political campaign during the election year saying "the CPP is no longer going to have any "mmobrowa campaign this time, we are here to prove that the party is strong financially and positioned now to compete effectively with any one, we are not going to allow money to prevent us form embarking on our vision".
He thanked his campaign team, delegates and all those who supported him in diverse ways to achieve his dream, adding that his doors were widely open for positive views that will win the elections for the party.
All the losers in a speech vowed to join hands with Dr Nduom for victory since they were all fighting a common enemy, which they said was the NPP.
By Gabriel Amoah