Member of Parliament for the Cape Coast South Constituency, Kweku Ricketts Hagan, has served notice of suspending his campaign as flagbearer hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Describing the decision as difficult, he said he had to back off the race because delegates have heavily endorsed the candidature of one particular aspirant hence; it was baseless to continue with his campaign.
Last August, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan declared his intention to contest as a flagbearer of the party saying he was ready to share his message based on the party’s principles to enable it to have a realistic chance of reclaiming political power in 2020.
He further explained that the best candidate to lead the party into the 2020 polls, was him because he represents the new vision and ideas the party needs going into the next presidential elections.
But in a release sighted by citinewsroom.com, Mr. Hagan indicated that party delegates were all rooting for one candidate, which he feels is ‘well marketed and well-resourced’ for election 2020.
“I have taken a difficult decision to suspend my campaign as flagbearer aspirant for our dear National Congress.”
“We gave it everything we have, but the overwhelming majority of our delegates that we came into contact with have chosen another path, so we failed to sufficiently expand our appeal on this occasion. It is therefore pointless to continue to remain in a contest which pretty much looks predetermined. We, therefore, did not pick up nomination forms to advance our contest in the flagbearership race scheduled for 26th January, 2019 set by National Executive Committee (NEC),” he disclosed.
Unsuccessful campaign became an alternative
The campaign team of Mr. Hagan also believes that their plan to call off their campaign provided the NDC an avenue to focus on areas that led to attracting a number of people to the party.
“We are confident that our campaign, while unsuccessful, offered the NDC party an alternative by focusing on issues, which many think, are crucial to the party in expanding our appeal and attractiveness to new people especially young people to our fold beyond our core party members.”
NDC to elect flagbearer on January 26, 2018
After setting an initial date of January 19, the Council of Elders of the NDC extended the election of the flagbearer by a week.
This was after nine of aggrieved aspirants petitioned the Council chaired by party Founder, Jerry John Rawlings, over the filing fee, which they deemed as unreasonable.
The Council then decided on a GHc 100,000 reduction from the GHc 400,000 set as the filing fee for flagbearer aspirants.
So far, some six aspirants have officially picked forms for the flagbearer race in the NDC.
The list includes, Former President John Mahama, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin; a former Trade Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Adinam Mensah.
The rest are the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi and party stalwart, Goosie Tanoh.
Nurideen Iddrisu and Stephen Atubiga also picked, whiles Elikplim Agbemava, Kojo Bonsu and David Dotse Kwame Kuwadah failed to pick up the forms despite their earlier intention.
Mahama the frontrunner?
Coming off the national delegetes conference, the support for John Mahama was overwhelming from NDC supporters.
Even before he had declared his intent, the 10 Regional Chairmen of the NDC had backed the candidature of Mr. Mahama for election 2020.
The 10 regional chairman, after a meeting at the time, issued a communique in which they urged the former President to consider running for the 2020 polls.
Ninety-four NDC MPs out of the Minority Caucus of 106 also endorsed Mr. Mahama as the flagbearer for the 2020 polls prior to his announcement.
The list of the MPs backing him was made public after he made his intention to contest public.