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General News
Protests as NPP selects running mate 8/16/2008

Accra, Aug. 15, GNA - The confirmation of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as the running mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag bearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has generated intense debate as party loyalists say they feel betrayed.

Political analysts say Dr. Bawumia was chosen over the rest of potential nominees because Nana Akufo-Addo needed a technocrat and a new face to blend the old and new. He is also seen as a brilliant young man who can bring along with him the youth and floating voters.

They describe it as a tactical step that would yield dividends. However, scores of NPP sympathisers, including leading members and some flag bearer aspirants interviewed by Ghana News Agency on Friday expressed dissatisfaction with the choice of the flag bearer.

"How can you market an unknown product within three months to a crucial election? Nana has made the greatest political mistake of his life, betrayed his own declaration for party loyalty and long service which he campaigned on to win the flag bearership slot," Mr. Dominic Owusu Ansah, an activist at Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency said.

"What happened to the ''Ye nim wo fre titi,'' slogan, meaning we have known you since the inception of the party? Now, he brings a virtually unknown personality against the backdrop of hard working known members who have sacrificed over the years for the survival of the party." Mr Owusu Ansah said in spite of the academic credentials of Dr. Bawumia, his choice, instead of uniting the rank and file and win sympathy and floating votes, had rather divided the party.

"We cannot enter into Election 2008 with a divided front, limping on one foot as against determined and potent National Democratic Congress (NDC) dream team of Prof John Evans Atta Mills and Mr John Mahama," Mr Owusu Ansah stated.

A former flag bearer aspirant questioned the rationale for choosing a non-party member over seasoned NPP loyalists, which according to him, is a flagrant violation of the NPP Constitution.

He told the GNA: "Nana has flouted Article 12 of the NPP Constitution which set the criteria for the election of a flag bearer." He said the condition states: "No member shall be entitled to nomination as the Party''s Presidential Candidate unless he or she is a known and active Member of at least five (5) years; is of good character; and is otherwise of good standing."

The former flag bearer aspirant said by reference, the running mate should also fulfil the same conditions prescribed for the flag bearer.."

"We need to avoid another Yendi crisis, we cannot be seen to be taking side," he said.

Dr Bawumia, 45, a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, was confirmed on Thursday night as the running mate to NPP flag-bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo for the December 7 elections.

The decision followed a critical meeting of the party''s National Executive Committee (NEC) that lasted several hours into the night.

Source: GNA

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