If the results of the 2019 presidential primary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are anything to go by, then former President John Dramani Mahama who is seeking re-election to lead the party for the 2024 general election is in a pole position to win the contest for the flagbearership.
Former President Mahama, who was the flag bearer of the NDC in 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections will have a sole contender in the race, a former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Kojo Bonsu. after the withdrawal of a former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor from the race.
Dr Duffuor announced his decision to withdraw from the presidential primary at a news confernce held at his Institue of Fiscal Studies at the Airport Residential area in Accra yesterday’s night.
He cited lack of tranparency and fairness in the polls as his reasons.
Mr Mahama, if he gets the nod from the delegates of the party, will be the Presidential candidate for a third time, after winning the 2012 general election and losing the 2016 and 2020 presidential polls.
Mr Mahama in the party’s 2019 presidential primary secured an overwhelming 213,487 votes representing 95.23 per cent of the total valid votes cast with the other six contenders managing about four per cent.
The other aspirants in that contest were Professor Joshua Alabi, who obtained 3,404 votes, representing 1.52 per cent; Alban Bagbin, the current Speaker of Parliament who polled 2,301 votes, representing 1.03 per cent; Goosie Tanoh who secured 2,091 votes, representing 0.93 per cent; Ekwow Spio Garbah, 1,447 votes, representing 0.65 per cent; Sylvester Mensah, 934 votes, representing 0.42 per cent and Nurudeen Iddrisu, 520 votes, representing 0..23 per cent.
Will today’s presidential primary follow the same pattern after he had toured the length and breadth of the country to sell his message to the party’s delegates as to why he was the right candidate to be voted for to lead the party in the 2024 general election?
A recent report of the United Kingdom (UK)-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) indicated that the NDC stood the chance of winning the 2024 general election with a fresh candidate such as the former Finance Minister, Dr Duffuor.
If their prediction is anything to go by, then the contest for the flagbearership would be an interesting one.
However, that fine opportunity appears to have been lost even before the election today.
Dr Duffuor’s action of taking the NDC to court to restrain the party from holding their primaries due to what he claimed were discrepancies in the voter’s register, coupled with his last-minute withdrawal from the contest according to some political watchers should rather help deepen the internal democracy of the party.
Some delegates the Daily Graphic interacted with yesterday after the announcement of the withdrawal of the case said they were going for former President Mahama.
These included some of the delegates who claimed to have bought into Dr Duffuor’s message of empowering the grassroots to build a strong party to recapture power in 2024.
According to them, their love and support for the former Finance Minister had been dimmed by his decision to resort to the courts instead of employing the internal mechanism of the party to resolve the matter.
However, the action by Dr Duffuor to ensure transparency and fairness in the internal elections of the party should not be seen as a move to derail the forward march of the NDC to reclaim power in the 2024 general election, but rather to help deepen the internal democracy of the party.