Kwesi Botchwey causes panic in NDC

The long silence of Professor Kwesi Botchwey on the presidential race of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is causing sleepless nights for some of the candidates who have already declared their intentions to contest the party’s highest position.

Today newspaper is reporting that the NDC leading member in the coming days will put to rest speculations about his political future with the NDC as he will make public his intention to lead the party to win the 2020 general election. 

Denying media reports yesterday that he had picked forms to contest the chairmanship race of the party, Prof.Botchwey said he would, in due course, state the capacity in which he intends to marshal the party to victory in the next election.

“In the coming days, Professor Kwesi Botchwey shall publicly declare his intention and the capacity in which he will decide to lead the party for victory in 2020,” a statement issued on Monday, August 27, 2018 by his office, stated.

The statement, therefore, assured the party’s supporters that Prof Botchwey would “remain resolute to the agenda agreed on” but it fell short on details of the said agenda.

Our further checks at the office of the Yale trained scholar pointed to the fact that the man who chaired the 13-member committee that investigated the worst defeat of the party in the 2016 election is likely to join the NDC presidential race which about eight leading members of the party including former President, John Dramani Mahama, had already declared to contest.

And since Monday, when the office of Prof Botchwey issued that statement, our sources at the various flag-bearer hopefuls of the NDC, said, “they are all living in fear as they know the political stature of Prof Botchwey in the NDC, and how he is adored by the ‘kingmakers’ of the party.”

According to our investigations, if Prof Botchwey carries out his intention to join the race, it will be difficult, particularly for former President Dramani Mahama to win the NDC flag-bearer race.

For instance, a source from one of the presidential aspirants told this reporter that Kwesi Botchwey has the respect of all the supposed factions in the NDC, including the founder of the party, former President Jerry John Rawlings.

This will become his second attempt at the topmost position of the party should he [Kwesi Botchwey] go ahead to declare to contest the flag-bearership race.

Prof Botchwey made his first attempt in 2002 when he contested Prof John Evans Atta Mills for 2004 NDC flag-bearer slot.

He is Ghana’s longest-serving finance minister having held the ministerial portfolio from 1982 to 1995.

 Meanwhile, former President Dramani Mahama has been advised to legally interrogate his eligibility to contest for President in 2020.

According to the Director of European Studies (CES) at the University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo, it will even be best for the former president to seek the legal clarification before contesting the party’s upcoming presidential primary, slated for December 7, 2018.

Prof Gyampo was speaking on Adom FM last Monday on the back of former President Dramani Mahama’s intention to contest the upcoming NDC’s presidential primary.

“The former President or lawyers around him should seek interpretations from the [Supreme Court] as stipulated in Article 66 of the 1992 Constitution on his eligibility to contest the upcoming 2020 general election,” Prof Gyampo urged.

Prof Gyampo said the opposition NDC may face severe challenges if former President Dramani Mahama is elected as a presidential candidate after the primary only for the Supreme Court to rule against his candidature.

President Mahama lost power after serving his first four-year term.

Although the Constitution allows a President to stay in power for two four-year terms if he is elected after each term, many have said the law may not allow Mr Dramani Mahama to contest again.

So far a total of eleven members of the opposition NDC are expected to contest in the party’s presidential primary.

They include former President John Dramani Mahama, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Bagbin, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, Dr Ekwow Spio- Garbrah; a former Trade and Industry Minister; former Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof Joshua Alabi, and the Cape Coast South MP, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan.

The rest are Goosie Tanoh, Stephen Atubiga, a member of NDC communications team; Elipklim Agbemava, a lawyer; David Doste Kwame Kuwadah; and a banker and oil and gas consultant, Nurideen Iddrisu.

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