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05.02.2009 NPP News

Who leads NPP:Jake, K. Pianim, S. Ntim lace boots

By The Statesman

This year's New Patriotic Party national delegates" conference, where elections will be held to choose the national leadership of the party, is set to be a tension-packed event.

While the leadership and rank and file of the New Patriotic Party assess what went wrong in last year's epic general elections, there is also a small but growing number of party people gearing up to challenge for leadership positions.

Reports reaching The Statesman say if Peter Mac Manu plans to hold on to his national chairmanship, he might have to fend off interest from Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Kwame Pianim, and Stephen Ntim. Stephen Ntim contested the national chairmanship in 2005 but lost to Peter Mac Manu.

Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey contested and lost the NPP flagbearer race in December 2007 but was later appointed chairman of the Akufo-Addo for President "08 Campaign. He is a former Greater Accra Chairman of the party.

Kwame Pianim is a veteran of the Danquah-Busia tradition, and has been a quiet but influential force in directing the affairs of the party.

Nana Ohene Ntow may face a challenge from Dr Arthur Kennedy and at least one of the aspirants in the 2007 NPP flagbearer race.

Our sources say some influential party people are encouraging Titus Glover, Steve Amoah and Michael Ampong to contest for either the National or Youth Organiser positions.

However, reports reaching this paper indicate a strong push, captured in a number of constitutional amendments, for the election of only the national chairman and two assistants, with all other national officers appointed by the chairman in consultation with the NPP National Executive Committee.

Also on the cards is a desire that every elective position in the party, including the flagbearer, should be subjected to a vote by all card-bearing members of the party with at least three years' good standing.

Supporters of this push say anybody elected thus would truly be the candidate of the people, chosen by the majority of the people voting according to their conscience.

The recommendations, among others including the election of the party's flagbearer early, are contained in a document submitted by the late Peter Ala Adjetey, then head of the Constitutional and Legal Committee of the NPP. Owing to time constraints, the contents of the document were not discussed at a recent NEC meeting, our sources say.

After a frank and open meeting, attended by among others NPP flagbearer for 2008 Nana Akufo-Addo, the party leadership decided to set up a committee to collate and assess reports from the regions and the national campaign team and make recommendations on the way forward.

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