President Kufuor's gamble to throw his big light weight behind billionaires and candidates with zero ratings on the integrity scale ended with a Palace Coup at Last Sunday's NPP Congress when top ministers and party heavyweights ganged up and voted against all his favorites. This latest development seems to confirm credible speculation within the party and government that the President's popularity in the party is at an all-time low.
Political analysts said they saw this particular National Delegates Congress as a thermometer to gauge the popularity of President Kufuor. Others also described the congress as a 'referendum' on President Kufuor's popularity. Deep throat ministers with Presidential ambitions have said that the President's decision to throw his light weight behind some particular candidates is part of his strategy to seeking to have some influence whilst on retirement.
With the exception of some 'no-nonsense' ministers, most of the top ministers whose body language smells presidential ambitions refrained from identifying publicly with specific candidates for fear that if they did not win, they (the candidates) would find it difficult to work together when they (Ministers) become presidential candidates.
Judging from their body language, it was undisputable that they were all against the President's choice of candidates. At the end, the national delegates of the New Patriotic Party decided and elected Mr. Peter Mac Manu as the new national chairman of the party. Mr. Manu is the immediate past western regional chairman of the party.
It has been confirmed that during the recent crisis meeting at the Kokomlemle headquarters of the party, Mr. President asked Manu to step down for Mr. Stephen Ntim (what is now referred to as the Kokomlemle Declaration) but Manu defied the President's 'order'. Mr. Manu rather accelerated his campaign and on Saturday shocked the President by polling 711 votes to beat his rival Stephen Ayesu Ntim who had 635 votes.