…Leaves “Pata-Paahene” Kennedy Agyapong and others far behind
The Vice President, has convincingly won the New Patriotic Party (NPP) super delegates conference with a total of 629 votes, representing 68.15percent of the votes, leaving Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP) Kennedy Agyapong and former Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, a long time contestant since 2007, placing second and third respectively.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s margin of victory, has left many asking about the significance of the November contest where Kennedy Agyapong’s 132 votes, or 14.30percent and Alan Kyerematen’s 95 votes, or 10.29percent, would pitched against a man who obtained 68.15percent in the next 68 days.
For, Dr Bawumia and Agyapong, this is the first time they are running for the presidency, however, Mr Kyerematen, has been in the race since 2007, but has never been able to secure the party’s nomination. Each time his votes dwindle. Ex-President John Kufuor’s incumbency worked for him in 2007, but since then he had been on a downward spiral.
The November primaries, will be a major test for Bawumia and Agyapong, as they will need to win the support of over 200,000 delegates from across the country, in order to become the NPP’s flagbearer.
The winner of the primaries, will then face off against the opposition National Democratic Congress’s (NDC’s) John Dramani Mahama in the December 2024 general election.
Bawumia’s victory is seen as a major boost for his presidential ambitions. He is the incumbent vice president and is seen as a safe pair of hands by many party members, having been marketed since 2008.
Agyapong’s surprise second-place finish is a major upset. He is a controversial figure, but he is also a popular one. He is known for his outspokenness and his willingness to challenge the status quo, even if he is massively benefitting from the government in terms of procurement contracts among others.
The Board Chairman of Ghana Gas’ strong showing in the super delegates conference, suggests that he could be a dark horse in the November primaries, according to Accra-based Citi FM adding, the November primaries are shaping up to be a close race.
Dr Bawumia is the clear favourite, but Agyapong, is not to be underestimated. The outcome of the primaries will have a major impact on the 2024 general election.
After the declaration of the result, Dr Bawumia, called on the party leadership to remain united ahead of the main presidential primaries scheduled for November 4, since the main battle for the NPP is winning the December 2024 elections, hence, the need for unity to defeat the NDC.
Speaking to journalists at his residence, Dr Bawumia, thanked the party for the confidence reposed in him, but added that any disunity amongst the aspirants would scuttle the party’s chances of winning the 2024 elections.
“I am very humbled and very grateful for this election but this is only the first step of winning the flagbearership of the party, so I know that there is work ahead,” Dr Bawumia said, adding “The main event is December 2024, and as we all work together we have to keep in mind that what we are working towards is a win in December 2024.”
Dr Bawumia, urged the party’s leadership to put aside their differences and focus on winning the elections.
“This will require a lot of unity amongst ourselves and amongst all the flagbearer hopefuls. It is very important that as we go on this journey towards December 2024, we don’t have cracks in our ranks. We have to all work together and not destroy this very important unity that we have.”
Kennedy Agyapong, before the results were declared last Saturday, threatened to expose President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Bawumia over attacks on his agents in the super delegates congress.
In a viral video, the presidential hopeful was seen angrily speaking on the phone and calling out the president and vice president’s names after his agent was allegedly chased out of a voting centre, threatening to take action against them.
He was heard saying, “President Akufo-Addo, I will give you a showdown in this country, I swear to God. Vice President, I will give you a showdown for chasing my agent away. I swear to God. You will hear what will happen here. I swear to God, I will challenge President Akufo-Addo big time.”
His supporters were later excited that he emerged second out of the ten candidates in the Super Delegates Conference, securing a spot in the NPP’s Presidential Primaries in November.