Is it over for Alan? Will Kwesi Pratt run?
Is it over for Alan? Will Kwesi Pratt run?

Is it over for Alan? Will Kwesi Pratt run?

Last Saturday’s New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Super-delegates conference was one of those events in history that leave humankind shocked but not surprised.

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That Bawumia won was no surprise: even and the most enthusiastic campaigners for Alan Kyrerematen foreknew the general outcome. 

But whoever dreamed that Alan was going to be this distant third!

That was shocking, even to Kennedy Agyepong himself, the first runner-up. 

In politics there is a word like “momentum”.

Simply, it says that in a contest, the outcome of the first battle gives impetus to the winner.

In politics, this battle often ‒ 90 per cent of the time – determines who wins the war. 

Thinking aloud

It is the reason I have been left thinking aloud: is this the end of the road for Alan Kyerematen in Ghana politics? O dear, had he always been so disliked by the party elite? 

While all of us attempt to guess an answer, I like to go into the Convention People’s Party (CPP).

Forgive my infatuation with CPP.

For some reasons, I have, even against evidence on paper, considered it the “third most significant party in the Fourth Republic”. 

I have been counting on the CPP to provide the Third Force this country has been looking for to break the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ‒ NPP duopoly, though election results since 1992 prove me wrong all the time.

In the run-up to the last election, I floated the idea of a CPP with Kwesi Pratt as flag bearer and Kweku Baako, Jnr as his Running Mate.

It didn’t fly because neither Kwesi Pratt nor Kweku Baako was interested.

Again, I don’t have any scientific polls to back my claim but I know for a fact that the youth listen to Pratt.

He himself is not so young ‒ he only recently turned 70 ‒ but apparently because of his physical looks, not many Ghanaians will call him an old man.

His brains are as sharp as the surgeon’s scalpel.

Plus, we can count on him for honest leadership.  

Everybody in CPP either fears or respects him but the party is yet to unleash Pratt on the electorate.

There is a certain sizeable youth population in Ghana whose votes, combined with those of the CPP old brigade and Ghana’s floating vote of intellectuals, can earn for the CPP a five per cent showing in a general election – that is, if nobody goes taking bribes from NDC/NPP.

Can anybody begin to imagine what five per cent can do in Ghana’s electoral politics! It will take the election to a run-off.

In the run-off chessboard negotiation, CPP will be the king maker. 

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To throw its five per cent numbers behind any of the two dominant parties, it can name its prize, including a number of ministerial portfolios, ambassadorial postings, board memberships, etc.

That, in my opinion, spells the death of ‘Winner-Takes-All’ politics, which we all hate but which nobody wants to do anything about.

Apart from Pratt, is there anybody in CPP now who can make a dent in the next presidential election? 

Back

Back to NPP and to Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.

Placing second in the Super Delegates Conference could have strengthened his hand in a negotiation with Ken Agyapong to have the latter’s supporters switch allegiance to Alan. 

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In spite of his second place showing last Saturday, Ken is currently not in the hearts of many Ghanaians: a future President doesn’t appear on TV swearing and threatening showdown. 

Talking about Alan’s chances on November 4, I heard communicator Catherine Afeku state emphatically on a number of radio stations this week that Alan does not only have a chance; he will win!

Two polls results released between May and August showed that while Bawumia had the thumbs up of the party elite (the Super delegates), Alan sits comfy in the hearts of the grass roots. 

The Alan Campaign knows this; indeed, has been touting this in the media, but does it have what it takes to turn it into electoral advantage? Can it match up the financial muscle of the Bawumia Campaign?

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Of course, I don’t believe the document that put Bawumia’s vote-buying budget of Super delegates at GH₵70 million.

The November 4 campaign requires what the NPP as a party has lacked since 1992: a deadly combination of “intellectual ruffians” (ruffians with PhDs) and political sense. 

At the risk of being branded anti-this Candidate or pro-that Candidate, I am still waiting for an announcement from NPP concerning the incident in North East Region that led to a polling agent nearly losing an eye. 

If, for merely threatening a showdown, Kennedy Agyepong has been hauled before party Disciplinary Committee, why is the party silent on someone whose criminal action nearly led to loss of eye?  

From the same party!

•    Stop press! There is a mad rush to buy up delegates of the remaining seven candidates.

That will take another GH₵70 million.

The writer is Executive Director, 
Centre for Communication and Culture.
E-mail: [email protected]

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