All set for PNC Congress on May 29
Accra, May 26, GNA - The People's National Convention (PNC) on Tuesday said it was ready for its National Delegate's Congress fixed for May 28 and May 29 to elect a Presidential Candidate and members of the National Executive of the Party.
The Congress is also expected to amend portions of the Party's Constitution and endorse a memorandum of understanding signed by the Leadership last year for grand coalition with the Great Consolidated People's Party (GCPP), EGLE Party and the National Reform Party.
Delegates would be choosing between Dr Edward Mahama, a Surgeon who had been Party's Presidential Candidate since 1996, and Mr Charles Kofi Wayo, a Businessman and a former Parliamentary Candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), who defected to the PNC last year.
The two contenders have agreed that whoever lost would automatically become the Running Mate for the general polls in December.
The positions to be filled in the National Executive are: Chairman; Vice Chairman; General Secretary; Treasurer; Women and Youth Organisers and Education Secretary.
Barring any hitches at the Congress, the PNC would be the fifth out of 10 registered political parties to elect a Presidential Candidate for Election 2004.
The NPP has re-elected President John Agyekum Kufuor as its candidate for the third time running while the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has also elected Former Vice President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills for the second time.
The Convention People's Party (CPP) has Mr George Opesika Aggudey as its Flag Bearer while the Great Consolidated Popular Party chose its founder Mr Dan Lartey for the second time to carry its mantle. The PNC Congress, to be held under the theme: "The New Ghana, a Mandate for Change," would be attended by more than 2,000 delegates; five each from the 230 constituencies, and representatives of the Council of Elders, Regional Executives, Founding Members and Overseas Branches in Canada, USA, Britain and Germany.
Dr Mensah Bonsu, a Ghanaian resident in Canada, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, an Accra-based Businessman and Mr John Ndebugri, a Private Legal Practitioner are vying for the position of National Chairman, while Mr Gabriel Pwamang, also a Lawyer and Mr David Nibi, a Businessman, are contesting for the position of General Secretary. Candidates for the National Vice Chairman are Mr Hassan Ayarigah, a Ghanaian Businessman based in Germany and Mr J. C. Akai-Nattey, a Founding Member of the Party.
Dr Somtim Tobigah and Alhaji Abdul Moomin, both Leading Members, are vying for the position of National Treasurer while Alhaji Mustapha Osman stands unopposed as the National Vice Treasurer. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Nibi said the Party was expecting delegates from political parties from the West Africa Sub-Region to attend the Congress as observers. He said the purpose of inviting political parties from the Sub-Region was to lay the foundation for the building up of united regional block in the spirit of Economic Community of West African States.
On the chances of the PNC in the Election 2004, Dr Mahama said the ground for PNC electoral victory had been prepared by the ruling NPP Government, which he accused of not implementing sound and strong economic policies, saying bad and non-pragmatic policies adopted by the Government for nearly four years had unleashed untold hardship on the average Ghanaian.
"The nation is facing serious economic crisis and the educational, health and agricultural sectors are in a mess." Dr Mahama said it was particularly shameful that Ghana was still relying on food imports when the country abounded in so much potential to even become net exporter of food.
The PNC Leader said the Party would make the country a net exporter of food when voted into power.
He explained that the strategy to achieve this would be a combination of prudent State interventions, including the re-introduction of the Workers Brigade in a modified form, selective subsidies and competitive pricing of farm produce. He said the Brigade approach would focus on the preparation of agricultural fields, which would then be allotted to individuals and groups to cultivate.
"There will be guaranteed prices for agricultural produce at the farm gate to enable farmers to break even and sustain production." Dr Mahama said: "The only option for Ghanaians to come out of the woods is to vote for an Nkrumahist Party in the December elections".