The National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay has indicated that the party does not anticipate any member to contest the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in its Presidential Primaries in 2020, ABC News can report.
He explained that although the NPP will not bar any member who has the ambition to lead the party in the 2020 general elections from competing with the President, they do not foresee any such situation.
According to the chairman, President Akufo-Addo is working tirelessly and steering the party to its desired destination and that it will be absolutely needless to change “a winning team”.
“I don’t anticipate anybody challenging Akufo-Addo. We will allow everybody to pick up forms but what I am saying is I don’t anticipate anybody challenging him, it is different from saying we won’t allow people.
“I mean the President is doing well; you don’t change a winning team. It is a good winning team. You know Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is doing very well and we are all supporting him. But that doesn’t prevent anybody who thinks he can do better from the horizon to come up,” he noted on Asempa FM Wednesday.
When asked what would become of the party should the President decide not to contest for the 2020 elections, Freddie Blay answered: “Don’t even speculate on that, please because it is not part of our calculations. It will happen that he will go again.”
The NPP’s presidential primaries scheduled for April 25, 2020, will be the party’s seventh primaries since 1992.
The party’s first presidential primaries in 1992, which saw seven persons vying to lead the party, had Mr Albert Adu Boahen emerging the winner after garnering 1,121 votes out of 1,998 votes cast, representing 56 per cent.
The other candidates were Dr. Dsane Selby, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Dr. Safo-Adu, J.A Addison, John Kwame Koduah and Peter Ala Adjetey.
In 1996, there was another contest in which former President John Agyekum Kufour emerged victorious with 1,034 votes out 1,996 votes cast, representing 51.99 per cent. His contenders were Albert Adu-Boahen, J.H Mensah, Dr. Jones Ofori-Atta, Dr. Kwame Safo Adu and Dr. Dsane Selby.
Two years ahead of the country’s general elections in 2000, the party held another contest which saw John Agyekum Kufour beating his competitors convincingly with 67 per cent of the total vote cast. Current President Nana Akufo-Addo, Kofi Apraku, Mr Kwame Kodua, Malik Alhassan Yakubu and Joseph Henry Mensah were Kufour’s contenders in the elections.
It took the NPP a decade to hold another presidential primaries in 2008 since the party was in office from 2001 to 2009. Ideally, the party should have held a contest in 2004 to have the then sitting president John Agyekum Kufour challenged, but that did not happen.
The 2008 primaries saw an unprecedented 17 people jostling one another to lead the NPP in the 2008 general elections. It was a tight competition between Akufo-Addo and Mr Alan Kyerematen who obtained 47.7 and 32.30 per cent respectively.
But for a decision by Mr Alan Kyerematen to concede defeat and pull out of the contest, the election would have entered a run-off.
The party’s last primaries in 2010 and 2014 saw Nana Akufo-Addo securing emphatic wins.
One would have expected that since there was no primaries in 2004 when the NPP was in power, history would repeat itself but it does not appear it would.
The party will be going to the polls on April 25, 2020 to elect its flagbearer for the 2020 general elections as it seeks to retain power in 2020.