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Ghana’s Opposition CPP Party Elects A New Presidential Candidate

Ghana’s opposition Convention People’s Party (CPP) has elected a new presidential candidate to represent the party ahead of next year’s general elections. Paa Kwesi Nduom who is the CPP Member of Parliament for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem recently resigned as sector minister for Public Sector Reform under President John Kufuor’s administration. Meanwhile, a former presidential candidate who represented the party in the country’s last presidential elections is contesting the election of Nduom and has threatened to seek legal redress.

George Aggudey is urging the party's leadership to thoroughly investigate the conducts of some presidential aspirants that led to what he described as malpractices in the national delegates' congress of the party in Kumasi. He is also accusing some of his colleague aspirants of manipulating the electoral system to enable them have unfair advantage. But Nduom said he aims to reconcile the party and make it attractive to the youth.

The CPP was the first political party to win elections in the country after Independence in 1957 led by Ghana’s founding President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He was however overthrown in a coup de’tat in 1966 by the military.

From Kumasi in Ghana’s Ashanti region, Paa Kwesi Nduom tells reporter Peter Clottey that Ghanaians should expect his campaign to be clean and devoid of attacking his opponents in the country’s general elections.

“First of all, what the CPP members themselves should expect is for me to work with the new national executive to come up with a robust plan and also a strategy for finding resources to support our party in general to help in identifying and selecting good Members of Parliament or good candidates to become members of parliament, and also to work, quite frankly to make the CPP proud in 2008,” Nduom noted.

He said his campaign would be issues-based instead of what he described as the blame game.

"As far as Ghana is concerned, I have promised a campaign that is free from insults. I have promised not to engage in blaming past governments for what they weren’t able to do. What I have said is that I would focus on what is it that I believe Ghana needs to be done and Ghana needs to do with a sense of urgency. So I would focus on solutions, solutions to the many difficult problems that we have,” he said.

Nduom reiterated the need to unify the party ahead of next year’s general elections.

“Unifying the party is one of the major objectives not only do I have but also Laadi Nylander, the new national chairman of the party shares that objective. That is something that we are going to work on very quickly, as a matter of fact this evening we would have an initial discussion on that matter on how we approach everybody whom we want to bring together to become a part of what we are calling the new CPP. And so whatever, allegations anybody has been making we are going to look at them,” Nduom pointed out.

He said his campaign would be devoid of personal attacks of his political opponents.

“I want Ghanaians to look forward to an exciting campaign, a clean campaign, a positive campaign, a campaign that would make everybody believe and feel that Ghana has come of age as far as democratic process is concerned. I want everybody to understand that the time has come for the CPP to rule Ghana once again, and we are going to do it by earning the confidence and support of Ghanaians. All over Ghana people are telling us they gave eight years to the NDC (main opposition National Democratic Congress), they gave eight years to the NPP (ruling New Patriotic Party), but Ghana remains where it is where we still have numerous challenges to overcome, and they are looking for an alternative. We are going to make the CPP the alternative that Ghanaians are looking for,” he noted.