Monday, October 20, 2014

Ghana: Akuffo-Addo gets a landslide victory in opposition's flagbearership race

It was predicted that he will win. But even the septuagenarian politician himself could not have predicted that his third-term bid for the flagbearership of the New Patriotic Party would turn up such dramatic results.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo polled 117,413 representing 94.35 percent of total votes cast at the NPP’s Delegates’ Congress Saturday to seal his third shot at the presidency. It was total annihilation and an embarrassing defeat for former Trade Minister Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen who polled a paltry 5,908 votes representing 4.75% of total valid votes cast.
New kid on the block and MP for Mampong, Francis Addai-Nimoh did not pull any surprises. He was the underdog in the election and the result proved this.
The Mampong legislator polled 1,128 representing 0.91 percent.
With this result, Nana Akufo-Addo makes history as the first presidential candidate to obtain such a massive win at a competitive primary.
The results also show a progressive growth in his share of votes over the last three primaries.
In the 2007 primary held at the University of Ghana campus he barely crossed the line and had to rely on a valuable concession from Mr. Kyerematen to avoid a second round of voting. There were 17 aspirants in that election.
In 2010, Nana Akufo-Addo secured 79 percent of the 141,000 votes in an expanded delegates’ congress.
In this year’s election, a constitutional requirement forced a Super Delegates’ congress to prune the number of aspirants from seven to five.
That election served a perfect precursor to Saturday’s delegates’ congress because Nana Akufo-Addo obtained 80.81 percent of the 740 votes cast.
Commenting on the results of the Super Delegates’ Congress, Spokesperson for Alan Kyerematen and former General Secretary Nana Ohene Ntow, said the vote was not indicative of what will happen in the main primary.
He insisted that the 740 delegates were not representative of the 144,000 that will vote in the main primary.
Nana Ohene Ntow maintained Mr. Kyerematen could turn the scales in the October 18 poll.
He was wrong.
Delegates of the NPP have renewed their confidence in the man who led them to two successive electoral defeats (2008 and 2012).
Mr. Akufo-Addo now has one last chance to be president of Ghana; a life-long aspiration for the celebrated lawyer, a consummate politician, and renowned diplomat.
Former Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen lives to fight another day.
He should, however, be worried about his dwindling electoral fortunes in the party.
He campaigned on the message of attracting independents which he called floating voters, but delegates didn’t buy it.
Delegates believe he has not shown enough commitment to the cause of the party in the previous two elections.
His decision to resign from the NPP in 2008, protesting alleged attacks on his supporters may have proven fatal to his ambitions in the last two presidential primaries.
But of course, Mr. Kyerematen will point to intimidation and vote-buying by Nana Akufo-Addo for his poor showing.
Throughout the campaigns, Nana Ohene Ntow has consistently complained of violations in the process.
He blamed all the infractions and violence on supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo.
These complaints suggest the flagbearer has a lot of work to do to win the support of Mr. Kyerematen and his supporters which he needs in the national elections.
Political analysts believe the NPP failed to retain power in 2008 because of divisions.
Mr. Akufo-Addo will be keen to mend the cracks and go into the 2016 elections with a united party – something he has vowed to do.


No comments:

Post a Comment