I write in response to the above story carried on your front-page today and written by your political reporter, Bismarck Bebli.
While your reporter spoke to me for the story, I never indicated who I would support for the NPP flag-bearer for the 2012 election. Indeed, the story accurately reports “Arthur Kennedy on his part contended that such internal arrangements are to be discussed within the party, but not for public consumption”. Elsewhere in the story, your reporter concedes that Prof. Frimpong Boateng also never indicated preference for any candidate.
While the 2008 Presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, if he were to run, would be a very formidable candidate, there are no declared candidates now. Therefore, endorsements are premature.
The careless leaking of confidential discussions followed by sensational reporting, can, inadvertently undermine delicate negotiations that may be underway.
As I told your reporter, there are serious consultations amongst those who contested the NPP Presidential primary with a view to finding a constructive role that would help return the party to power in the 2012 elections. The goal of these discussions, regarding the next flag-bearer is to help build consensus around one candidate, or failing that, to ensure a primary devoid of acrimony. This process would involve widespread consultations within our party, far beyond the ranks of former Presidential candidates.
While your reporter reports that some may be campaigning for the Presidential nomination already, my view is that it is premature to do so. The NPP must objectively find the reasons for our defeat to reform our constitution and elect new party executives before turning to the election of the next Presidential candidate.
It is the view of most of the aspirants I am in communication with that our choice of the next Presidential candidate must be guided by the deficiencies of our last nomination contest and subsequent defeat, the lessons therein, and the urgent and widespread national need for our return to power in 2012.
Finally, I urge your reporters to take care not to unduly exacerbate differences in our party.
To return to power in 2012, unity is indispensable.
Let us move forward, together. Arthur Kobina Kennedy