Accra, Dec. 17, GNA - Voting started at NPP National Congress with 128 Members of Parliament casting their ballots in a competitive election in, which a total of 1,432 delegates are voting for persons contesting nine national executives positions. They are National Chairman; First National Vice Chairman; Second National Vice-Chairman; Third National Vice Chairman; General Secretary; National Organiser; National Treasurer; National Youth Organiser and National Women's Organiser. The most crucial among the seven are the positions of the National Chairman, General Secretary and the National Organiser. Of the 1,432 delegates, there are 1,150 from the 230 constituencies; 128 Members of Parliaments; 90 regional representatives; three overseas representatives, nine National Executive Council Members, three past National Chairmen of the Party and the past National General Secretary and National Council members.
The main contest is between Mr Peter Mac Manu and Mr Steve Ayensu Ntim, who are vying for the position of National Chairman. Mr Haruna Esseku, incumbent chairman, withdrew from the contest at the eleventh hour through letter he sent to the Electoral Commission, informing the national delegate conference that he had honourably stepped down from the chairmanship race. Contestants for the various positions took turns to address the delegates. They focused on Party unity and hoe to make its structures to function to ensure victory in Election 2008.
Mr Lord Commey, National Organizer noted that the bane of the Party had been the distancing of Government functionaries from the Party, saying; "the Party structures are in place and that there was the need to restore the link between the Government and the Party if we are to win the 2008 general election". He said the Party had rested on the shoulders of himself and the former General Secretary, Mr Dan Botwe and it could not continue that way to 2008.
Nana Ohene Ntow, Government Spokesman on Finance, who is vying for the position of General Secretary also acknowledged the missing link between the Government and the Party and told the delegates that under his principle of 'No Party, No Government' he would ensure that the link was restored before 2008. He also told the delegates that he would use his position to combat National Democratic Congress (NDC) negative propaganda against the NPP and to protect the integrity of the Party. Mr Ntim told the delegates of continuous financial support; unbiased leadership, internal reconciliation, change and hope if voted as national chairman for the Party.
Mac Manu said he was bringing a wealth of political experience gained through his service under former Party Chairmen J. B. da Rocha, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey and Haruna Esseku. He said: "Mac Manu signifies leadership with track record of integrity, dedication and recognition for committed people in the party."
Madam Hawa Yakubu, who is vying for the position a National Vice-Chairman, urged the delegates to make history by voting for the first time for a woman as Vice-Chairman of the Party. Others contesting the Vice Chairmanship positions are Mrs Agnes Okudzeto; Mr Edmund Annan; Amadu Kaleem; Alhaji Sanni Iddi and Mrs Margaret Acquaye and Mr Abdul Rahman Musa. Others contesting the General Secretary position are: Mr Kwadwo Afari; Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid; Mr Francis Kojo Smith; Mr Andy Appiah Kubi and Mr Abeeku Dickson. Alhaji Moctar Bamba and an US-based Mr Iddrisu Musah Superior are gunning for the position of National Organiser with the Incumbent Lord Commey.
Madam Gifty Ama Asantewaa-Ayeh and Mr Kwesi Arthur are contesting the position of National Treasurer. Ms Tina Gifty Mensah; Mrs Halima Mahama Appiah; Mrs Rosemary Ekwam and Ms Rita Asobayire are gunning for the position of National Women Organiser. For the National Youth Organiser position are Mr Abdul-Majeed Bawa; Mr Michael Kwabena Ampong; Mr Pius Enam Hadzide; Mr Arnold Kwaku Boateng and Mr John Boadu.