Five leading members of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), has declared their intention to contest for the party’s flagbearership slot for Elections 2016.
The five are: Lawyer Bright Oblitei Akwetey, an Accra-based legal practitioner; Ms Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah, former CPP Chairperson; Dr. Onsy Anwar Nathan Kwame Nkrumah, son of Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah; Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster, CPP Election 2012 Presidential Candidate; and Mr Joseph Agyepong, a Ghanaian based in Canada.
Information gathered by the Ghana News Agency indicate that the five aspirants used the platform of the recent National Delegates Congress of the party at Sunyani to engage the delegates.
Some of the aspirants openly displayed flyers, banners, posters and pictures at the congress grounds, whilst others campaigned and supported some of the contestants for the National Executive positions.
In the last flagbearership race, Dr Sakara who was Election 2008 vice-presidential candidate of the party, polled 1,130 votes, representing 55.2 per cent of the votes cast, as against 917 or 44.8 per cent obtained by his only contestant, Mr Akwetey, to win the slot.
However, in the Presidential race, Dr Sakara had only 20,109 valid votes cast representing 0.18 per cent; in Election 2008, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom who was the CPP flagbearer had 112,673 votes representing 1.32 per cent; and in Election 2004, Mr George Aggudey CPP Presidential Candidate, had 85,968 votes representing 1.00 per cent.
In Election 2000, the CPP Presidential candidate, Professor George Hagan had 115,641 votes representing 1.80 per cent.
Professor Edmund N. Delle, the newly elected CPP Chairman, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview of an immediate plan to re-brand the party to make it attractive to the masses.
“The new executives will work with all urgency to energize and make the CPP poised to re-capture its past political glory. We will offer credible alternative to Ghanaians at Election 2016.
“CPP is ready to shift the political paradigm. Election 2016 is not going to be as business as usual for National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ghanaians have credible alternative,” Prof Delle noted.
Prof Delle said considering the crucial nature of Election 2016, as the CPP sought to redeem its dwindling electoral fortunes and re-position itself as a formidable political force, the current leadership would reach out to all and sundry to form a formidable campaign team.
The CPP Chairman noted that since the advent of the Fourth Republic, the party had been on the fringes of the country’s political system… “The situation seems to be getting worse, given the party’s dwindling political fortunes”.
He said the current leadership of the party would overhaul and reactivate the party’s structures from the polling station to the National Executive level, in order to ensure greater impact in Election 2016.
“There is the need to build the party in such a way to link all constituency offices to regional offices, and then regional offices to the national office, all in a bid to ensure effective communication,” he said.
Prof Delle said the CPP needed renovation and innovation to shore up the party’s fortunes in the next general elections, adding that such an endeavour required unity, consensus building and tenacity of purpose.
“As your chairman, I am calling on all contestants at the just ended National Delegates Congress especially those who lost to join the leadership to build a viable team within the party for effective campaigning.
“In that respect, there is the need to replenish the party human resource base through capacity building of its leaders, as well as identifiable groups, such as the Youth and Women’s wings; Tertiary networks; Council of Elders; past and present Members of Parliament and leading members of the party”.
Prof Delle noted that since no single individual could achieve this, such an exercise required “all hands on deck,” to enable the party to make good use of the skills and resources of members.
The CPP Chairman commended the immediate past National Executives led by Ms Samia Nkrumah, and Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, Chairperson and General Secretary respectively, for their contributions towards developing and deepening the country’s democracy.
He also appealed to all Regional and Constituency Executives to work closely with their predecessors at all levels, to build a formidable team for Election 2016 and beyond. GNA