Presidential contest, friendly affair - Alan Kyerematen

Presidential contest, friendly
affair - Alan Kyerematen

The New Patriotic Party presidential hopeful, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has said the party presidential contest is a friendly competition whose loser must support the winner to clinch power in the 2016 Election.


He also discredited allegations that he had a grudge with the party’s 2012 Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, saying he does not “hate” his arch-contender in the race.

“He’s my brother”, the former Minister of Trade told supporters and delegates in Accra last Saturday as he officially launched his campaign.

The former Ambassador to the US and Nana Akufo-Addo are two of five aspirants who made it to the second phase of the contest following the August 31 Special Electoral College which pruned down the number of contenders from seven to five.

The other successful candidates include MPs Francis Addai-Nimoh, Joe Ghartey and Kofi Osei-Ameyaw. The last two have voluntarily opted out of the race.

Launching his campaign, Mr Kyerematen said he and Nana Akufo-Addo are on good terms, but just engaging each other in a healthy competition for the flag bearer slot.

Mr Kyerematen, who spoke at the launch at Lapaz, pledged to unite the party ahead of the 2016 elections. 

“We need a strong united party for the battle front; otherwise, it will be a difficult. If we are serious about power in 2016, we must start the process of rebuilding our party,” he said.

On a day when the party’s faithful defied the scorching sun and congregated at Lapaz in the Okaikoi North Constituency to witness Mr Kyerematen’s third bid at the presidency, he said he was the party’s key to victory in the 2016 elections.

Before his speech, Mr Kyerematen, who was flanked by his wife, Pat, his spokesperson, Nana Ohene Ntow and his Campaign Manager, Mr Kofi Dzamesie, showed his religious side as he led the cheering crowd to thank God by singing praises.

With the thanksgiving out of the way, he launched into the business of the day, touting himself as the next alternative to Nana Akufo-Addo.

The NPP Congress

The party would on October 18, this year, go to congress to elect a presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.

At the congress, some 140,000 delegates have a choice between Mr Kyerematen, Nana Akufo-Addo, who has had two failed attempts at the presidency in 2008 and 2012 and Mr Francis Addai Nimoh, a fresh face in the race.

Calls have come from many quarters for the other two competitors to step down, particularly after the party’s special delegates congress when Nana Akufo-Addo got a little over 80 per cent of the more than 700 votes cast to cut down the seven candidates to seven.

However, Mr Kyerematen maintained that the call was an attempt to disenfranchise polling station officers who were the backbone of the party’s existence and campaign.

Throwing baits at the potential delegates at the event, he said the party’s rebuilding process was dependent on the party’s polling station executive members.

“You are the people who understand the groundwork of the campaign. Let’s put power and resources in the hands of power station leaders and we would see the campaign the NPP would run in 2016.”
Financing the NPP
Mr Kyerematen said when elected, he would resource the party and harness financial resources from the more than six million supporters who vote for the party.

He said when elected, he would find means to ensure that constituency party executive, polling stations officers and coordinators were paid.

While urging the delegates to vote for him, he said they were not just electing a flag bearer but someone who could win the 2016 election—a feat he said he could achieve by winning a one touch victory for the party.

“The decisions you take today will affect the results in the future. Therefore, think of tomorrow’s general election and vote for the candidate who will win the general elections,” he said.

Mr Kyerematen said it was obvious Ghanaians were unanimous with their conviction that the Mahama administration was not performing.

 He, however, admitted that kicking the NDC out of power would not be a foregone conclusion nor be easy.
Pillars for presidency.

A former minister of trade and industry in the Kufuor regime, he said the three pillars of his administration would be infrastructure, industrialisation and export development when elected President of Ghana.
Other speakers
Nana Ntow called on the delegates to vote for Mr Kyerematen to unite the party.

According to him, a victory for Mr Kyerematen would also end violence in the party.

He described Mr Kyerematen as a grassroots man who had over the years championed the cause of the party since its formation.

He also added his voice to the call on the delegates to disregard the call on Mr Kyerematen to step down from the race, saying “he will contest.”

A former Minister of Roads and Highways in the Kufuor regime, Dr Richard Anane, expressed dissatisfaction with the time frame before the elections.

According to him, the three months period for the campaign was inadequate. 

Before the main speakers took their turn at the podium, known NPP serial callers, including Yahya Kota, K.B, and Nana Bonsu endorsed the candidature of Mr Kyerematen.

On the sidelines, brass band music and the sale of party paraphernalia flourished.


FACT SHEET
•    This is the third time Mr Kyerematen is seeking the party’s ticket to become President. He was in the race in 2007 and 2010.

•    On the two occasions Mr Kyerematen contested in the party’s primaries, he placed second to Nana Akufo-Addo.

•    Mr Kyerematen is the only contender in the Presidential race who has not been in Parliament on the ticket of the NPP.

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