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Hot Race In NPP For 2016 [PHOTO]   
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Two weeks after the 2012 Presidential Candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had declared his intention to contest the flagbearership position of the party for the 2016 general elections – when nominations are opened – more names have started popping up as likely contenders for the slot.

The names, which include not less than nine key and influential members of the party, have started making some advances in the media and consulting the rank and file of the NPP, including persons who supported Akufo-Addo in the controversial 2012 general elections as well as those who were solidly behind Alan Kyerematen, a strong contender for the position in the run-up to the aforementioned elections.

Chief among them is Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, who was in charge of Security for the Akufo-Addo 2012 campaign.

Apart from Dr. Apraku who has openly declared his intention to contest for the position and has been meeting party delegates even ahead of the April 12 National Delegates Congress to elect national officers in Tamale, the name of Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has also emerged as a likely contender.

Some members of the NPP have raised doubts as to whether Alan would indeed contest the race in view of his absence from the country’s political scene for some time now, coupled with the fact that he is a trade advisor at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

That notwithstanding, he is still said to be nursing the ambition to lead the party as flagbearer and his team, including a former General Secretary of the party and a defeated regional chairman, are purportedly working day and night to bring Alan’s ambition to fruition.

Interestingly, Alan’s key allies are also nursing the ambition to lead the party with a claim that the former Trade Minister, who contested for the WTO Director-General position, had lost touch with his grassroots supporters.

The name of celebrated heart surgeon, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has again popped up alongside that of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin, Isaac Osei, who is said to have indicated that he would not contest for the parliamentary seat any longer and was encouraging one Eugene Boakye Antwi to prepare for the parliamentary race.

Both Alan and Prof Frimpong-Boateng contested the presidential but lost to Akufo-Addo in the previous flagbearership slot.

Other new but interesting names have also started popping up as possible contenders for the slot, including incumbent MP for Nhyiaeso, Dr. Richard Anane, who once served as Health as well as Transport Minister in the erstwhile Kufuor-led NPP administration.

Aside that, the name of former MP for Mfantsiman, Stephen Asamoa-Boateng, popularly known as Asabee, is also making the rounds, even though he has not confirmed or denied the speculation about his intentions regarding the flagbearership contest.

The Asuogyaman MP and former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, is also said to be campaigning for the flagbearership slot when nominations are opened sometime after the National Delegates’ Congress.

The MP for Essikado-Ketan and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who is also Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Ghartey, is also said to be interested in becoming the flagbearer of the ‘Elephant’ family.

He has been quietly visiting delegates in the regions, according to sources.

The latest name in the rumour mill is that of the MP for Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai-Nimoh, who according to party insiders, is also nursing the ambition to become NPP flagbearer.

His main supporter is former DCE for Atebubu Amanti, Cassius Opoku. He claims that Mr. Addai-Nimoh is a neutral candidate.

However, the drawback of the two-term MP is that he is not known much in the party outside his Mampong constituency.

Another purported aspirant is Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, who had one vote at the 2007 NPP Congress at the University of Ghana, Legon.

The medical doctor has relocated to the United States after a short stint with the Cape Coast University Medical School.

The contest for the NPP flagbearership position therefore promises to be interesting since the leadership of the party would be left with the obviously daunting task of pruning down the number of contestants to five per the provision of the party’s constitution as amended for the extension of the Electoral College to cover all the 10 elected constituency officers.
Source: Charles Takyi-Boadu/Daily Guide

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