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General News Thu, 13 May 2004

Kwesi Botchwey Joins Mills' Campaign

THE FORMER Minister of Finance in the administration of the defunct Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, is expected to join the campaign bandwagon of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, against whom he contested for the flag-bearership of the party and lost.

The Chronicle has learnt that the former finance minister who arrived in the country barely a week ago, was due to meet the presidential candidate at Apam in the Central Region at about 10.am today to ask what role he could play to help in the run-up to the December elections.

Insiders who confirmed the story told this paper that Dr. Botchwey?s decision to join the NDC campaign trail was in fulfillment of a pledge that he made during the primaries for the flag-bearership.

When Dr. Obed Asamoah, the chairman of the party was reached on phone yesterday, he confirmed his pal?s preparedness to join the flagbearer but could not discuss the details of their scheduled meeting today.

?Dr. Botchwey told me about his intention when he arrived in Ghana. He will meet the team at Apam as you have said,? Dr. Asamoah said. Dr. Botchwey, who had kept a low profile since he lost to Prof. Mills, told The Chronicle: ?Yes, it is true that I will be meeting the team at Apam. This is in fulfillment of my pledge that I made in our last congress.

?Therefore when I got back, I wanted to be part of the campaign team to see how best we can connect our activities constructively and discuss roles which I can play for the benefit of the party.?

Dr. Botchwey and his supporters were said to have suffered intimidation and maltreatment in the rather rancorous events leading to the congress after which some of the alleged victims vowed not to have anything to do with the NDC while others resolved to be only passive members, at least for the meantime.

Contrary to this position, however, this paper can report that Mr. Seth Ofori, then press secretary to the ex-Minister, has gone ahead of Dr. Botchwey to put his services at the disposal of the flagbearer.

Ofori said today?s meeting was a sign of unity, peace and understanding between the two and a fulfillment of the promise by Dr. Botchwey after the congress that he would support Prof. Mills to wrest power from the NPP.

Source: Chronicle