General News of Wed, 8 Aug 201840
NDC flagbearership: Mahama has declared his intention to contest - Asiedu Nketia
Doubts over the candidature of Former President Mahama in the race to lead the NDC ahead of the 2020 polls seems to have been cleared after General Secretary of the party emphasised the former president has declared his intention to contest.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia stated John Mahama's declaration is no secret within the party as many are aware he will contest the flagbearership position.
Asiedu Nketia revealed his declaration and inclusion in this year's race was the basis on which the party decided to open campaigning ahead of the date initially scheduled by the party.
The party believed strongly, former President Mahama would have an upper hand in the race had the date for campaigning not been reviewed because he is well known within the party.
Asiedu Nketia explained, reviewing the date will provide enough time for the least known candidates within the party and in political circles to tour the country to garner support.
The NDC General Secretary did not mince words when he asserted "President Mahama is known and he has since declared his intentions to contest so everybody in the party knows that this is a candidate."
He went on to remark, "We reckon that if we have to elect the flagbearer at the end of the year, the longer we keep the campaign season closed the more disadvantageous it will be for some of the candidates, particularly those who are not well known".
"Everybody knows President Mahama who has declared his intention to contest so everybody knows him but we do not know how many people are out there who want to contest. So if we keep the campaign season closed and we just go to open it one month to the election it would have looked like a done deal for President Mahama and we thought that it will have been unfair" Asiedu Nketia stressed during an interview on the AM Show on JoyNews.
The country's main opposition party has slated December 7, 2018, for the election of its flagbearer for the 2020 presidential election.
On September 1 2018, it goes to the polls to elect new regional executives and subsequently national elections to elect a new crop of executives to steers the affairs of the party.
Asiedu Nketia who is vying to be re-elected into office as General Secretary against his deputy, Koku Anyidoho insists the current executives are limited with their involvement in the organisation of the elections and major decisions ahead of the election of a flagbearer of the party will be taken by the next crop of elected national executives.
"we are not going to be the executives who will be preparing for the parliamentary and presidential primaries at all. We would have to re-elect the national elections who will then proceed to prepare the regulations, fix the filing fees and then actually organise the election that will select a flagbearer but we reckon that if we want to wait until after the Congress before we allow people to campaign it will go to the undue advantage for President Mahama and undue disadvantage to the other contestants that why we decided to open the space for campaigning now"