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General News Mon, 31 May 2004

No agreement between Wayo and Me - Mahama

Accra, May 31, GNA - Dr. Edward Nasigrie Mahama, flag-bearer of the People's National Convention (PNC), on Monday denied that there was an agreement between him and Mr. Chuck Kofi Wayo that whoever won the presidential slot of the party was to appoint the other as running mate. Dr. Mahama told the Ghana News Agency that it was possible for Mr. Wayo to be his running mate for the 2004 election, but that depended on a number of issues.

He said, "If I win the presidential slot of the Grand Coalition and Mr. Daniel Lartey, who would be my sole challenger, refuses to be my running mate then I would consider Mr. Wayo as a choice of running mate."

Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan second vice-Chairman of the party confirmed Dr. Mahama's explanation, saying that by the terms of the agreement in the Grand Coalition, the positions of flag-bearer and running mate was between the two competitors, namely Dr. Mahama and Mr. Lartey.

He said, "we are very confident that Dr. Mahama would win the presidential slot of the Grand Coalition and we are assuming that by reason of the age gab between Dr. Mahama and Mr. Dan Lartey, the latter may turn down the position of the running mate to the former.

"If that happens, Dr Mahama is very likely to fall on Mr. Wayo as his running mate because we believe that Mr. Wayo, though sometime extremely radical in his ideas, has some very good qualities the Coalitions can tap on to wrestle power from the NPP in the 2004 elections."

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Earlier Mr. Wayo had told Journalists that even if he lost the presidential slot of the PNC, he was automatically going to be the running mate of Dr. Mahama in the 2004 elections.

While voting was on-going under the supervision of the Electoral Commission, Mr. Wayo admitted to a cross section of journalists and his supporters that, "I will be very surprised if I win this election." He said, "I know these people too well, when they need money they run to me but everything happening here indicates to me that my chances of winning are very bleak."

Mr. Wayo, who lost the slot with a meagre 122 votes, representing 14% of 888 valid votes cast, had earlier expressed his lack of interest in the whole idea of the Grand Coalition and the unity of Nkrumahists. He however expressed his belief in and respect for the views of Dr. Mahama and pledged to support him through the Grand Coalition elections to the general elections.

Mr. Wayo described Dr. Mahama as a learned medical doctor and politician, but slow in taking action, adding that he, Wayo, would combine his "fire brand" style of doing things with Dr. Mahama's diplomacy to ensure a smooth progress of the country, when the PNC comes to power.

Source: GNA
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