General News of 2013-12-17

NPP flagbearership not a birthright - Arthur Kennedy

A member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Arthur Kennedy is cautioning the party leadership against imposing a candidate on members.

He said the flagbeareship position of the NPP is not a “birthright” or a preserve of some individuals, therefore, all interested persons must be given equal opportunity to contest.

Arthur Kennedy made the comment on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday, while reacting to the barrage of attacks hurled on party stalwart, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, for demanding a change of candidate ahead of the 2016 general elections.

The flagbearer hopeful said the NPP lost the 2008 and 2012 elections because its candidate did not appeal to floating voters.

Dr. Apraku believes the party risks returning to power if it maintains the same candidate for a third time.

In a rebuttal, fanatics of NPP’s 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, launched a scathing attack on Dr. Apraku for insinuating their preferred candidate is the cause of the party’s defeat.

They also accuse him [Apraku] of deliberately running down Akufo-Addo to pave way for him to run for the flagbearership position.

But Arthur Kennedy on Ekosii Sen said he is not surprised about the attacks on Dr. Apraku because some people want to turn the election of a flagbearer into a coronation of Akufo-Addo.

According to him, some national executives are bent on retaining him [Nana] as the flagbearer without weighing the advantages and disadvantages of their actions.

Arthur Kennedy maintains that until there is a level playing field for all aspiring candidates, the NPP cannot win power.

“I am interested in electing a president not a flagbearer, so everyone must be given equal chance. The NPP must practice what they preach,” he stressed.

He bemoaned the growing spate of intolerance creeping into the NPP – a party, which claim to be pacesetters of democracy.

The NPP man indicated that Dr. Apraku as an elder in the party deserved some courtesy and respect, regardless of whether people agreed or disagreed with him.

Arthur Kennedy called on Akufo-Addo as a matter of urgency to call his people to order because such misguided comments will harm his chances to the presidency.