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Acting Leader Insists Ghanaian Opposition Party Is United

  • Peter Clottey

FILE - New Patriotic Party presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, shown protesting in Accra after the 2012 election of John Dramani Mahama, is "campaigning hard" to defeat him in the next election, NPP acting chairman Freddie Blay says.

FILE - New Patriotic Party presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, shown protesting in Accra after the 2012 election of John Dramani Mahama, is "campaigning hard" to defeat him in the next election, NPP acting chairman Freddie Blay says.

The acting chairman of Ghana’s main opposition party says it's united in its determination to wrest power from President John Dramani Mahama in the upcoming elections, but backers of the New Patriotic Party say infighting may have eroded its prospects.

Freddie Blay became acting chairman after the NPP suspended its chairman, Paul Afoko, over an alleged breach of the party's constitution; he is challenging the move in court. Nyaho Tamakloe, a prominent member of the NPP, called the appointment of Blay, formerly of the Convention People's Party, a "fundamental mistake."

Blay “has no business whatsoever in the NPP, and indeed all our woes are coming from that man," local media quoted Tamakloe as saying. He alleged that Blay had "destroyed" the CPP, and said that "until Freddie Blay is kicked out of the NPP, we have no future."

Most conflicts 'resolved'

Blay disagreed, saying the NPP planned to win this year’s poll despite the National Democratic Congress' power of incumbency.

“I am a team player," Blay said. He contended that the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, was "campaigning hard and letting Ghanaians know what is happening in this country. He is adding his voice to the high voice of Ghanaians against the ineptitude, the corrupt government and incompetent leadership of President Mahama and his NDC party.”

“We’ve resolved most of those so-called conflicts that one perceives the party to be bogged down with," Blay added. "Let me emphasize that. We are more united than what people may think."

The governing NDC has rejected accusations that it is to blame for the opposition party’s woes. Supporters of the NDC say the NPP needs to look itself in the mirror after indefinitely suspending its chairman and its general secretary, Kwabena Agyapong.

Meanwhile, the NPP has expressed concern about voter registration in Ghana, saying a new list should be compiled before the elections because the current one is bloated with noncitizens and minors. If the problem isn't resolved, the “bloated” register will undermine the integrity of the polls, the NPP contends.

“We are definitely not happy. ... Irrespective of that, our foot soldiers are ready and working hard and seeing to it that nothing untoward happens further. Be it as it may, we are definitely not happy with the register which would be used for the election,” Blay said.

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