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About 90% of NDC supporters are rooting for John Dramani Mahama as the one person who has the ability to return the party to power in the 2020 general elections, former spokesperson of ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, Victor Smith, has said.
According to him, his checks on the ground suggest that 9 out of 10 NDC supporters are of the conviction that the man [Mahama] who led the party into one of it's most embarrassing defeats in the 2016 elections remains the party's best chance at the presidency in the next general elections.
The former High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland in an interview with GhanaWeb editor Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on '21 minutes with KKB' said despite the party losing the 2016 elections to the New Patriotic Party, the party stands a great chance of defeating the NPP in the 2020 elections with John Mahama as the party's candidate, at least, according to his interaction with people 'on the ground'.
He said, "I’m on the ground. I can talk about what the people are looking at. About 90% of NDC people want John Mahama back. They think he did well for this country. Nine out ten people I’ve spoken to.”
He added that Ghanaians in general hold the view that John Mahama did a lot for the country as President, something he believes may work well in the party's favor in the next elections provided the party can fix the challenges it encountered in 2016 and close its ranks quickly.
“I think NDC we must close our ranks very quickly and deal with the issues that took us down, clean up our act and prepare for battle,” he said.
Even though he won't say much about what the issues in 2016 were, Victor Smith was quick to direct a huge portion of the blame at his former boss and founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings. According to him, the utterances and posturing of the former President did more harm to the party than many anticipated, a position he says he has articulated to the Kwesi Botchwey Committee.
"...why have we arrived at this situation where the man who used to go out and campaign for the party is in bed with the opponent...I am sad that people can't talk about it. There are a lot of people [in the party] wondering why he is doing what he does. Badmouthing our leaders; badmouth Atta Mills, badmouth John Mahama, calling people of no integrity in our party and he happens to be the founder of our party?"
John Mahama remains the frontrunner in the NDC's upcoming contest for the flag bearer position even though he's yet to declare his intention to contest or otherwise. Others who have shown interest in the position include Member of Parliament for Nadowli-Kaleo and 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, former Trades Minister, Ekwow Spio Garbrah, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Prof. Joshua Alabi and Former Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah.
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