With barely two years before the country heads into another general election, one major political issue dominating the media landscape of Ghana is the question of who leads the New Patriotic Party into the 2024 general election.
As the party is yet to set a date for its primaries, the key people to elect the next presidential candidate of the NPP are party delegates, made up of polling station executives, electoral area coordinators, constituency executives, regional executives, national executives and Members of Parliament among others.
The person who emerges as the presidential candidate is crucial as he is key in determining the direction and developmental agenda for the country when he subsequently becomes the president.
A number of potential candidates have so far either hinted of their interest in vying for the flagbearership slot of the NPP or publicly stepped their foot forward.
Article 13 (1) of the NPP Constitution states that: “The election for the party’s presidential candidates shall be held not later than 24 months from the date of the national elections.
“The date and the venue for the election shall be decided by the National Council, provided, however, that the National Council may, on appropriate occasions, vary the day.”
Given the above, presidential hopefuls are waiting in earnest for the modalities for the internal election to elect a presidential candidate for the 2024 general election to come out.
So far nine stalwarts of the governing party have declared their intention to contest for the flagbearer slot when the party opens nominations.
The Front runners
Former Trades Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, has set his campaign in motion to lead the party ahead of the 2024 elections. He has already resigned from his cabinet position to focus on his presidential ambition.
He is likely to slug it out with the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who is yet to officially declare his intention to contest, but several grapevine reports have indicated that he is lacing his boots to replace his boss in 2024.
If he does eventually declare his intention to contest then he and Mr Kyerematen will be deemed the two main front-runners for the slot to lead the party ahead of the next election.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has also resigned from his post to focus on his presidential ambition.
He is not considered by many to cause any upset and several party insiders have ridiculed his decision to contest for the presidential slot, but he is unfazed by such criticisms.
The six other contenders, all leading members of the NPP, former Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko; the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who is campaigning vigorously for the slot.
A recent delegates-based survey conducted by Outcomes International Ghana and Centre for Sustainable African Development Initiatives (C-SADI) UK revealed that Kennedy Agyepong was trailing Dr Bawumia and Alan Kyerematen in the race to become the flagbearer of the NPP.
Also in the race to become the flagbearer of the party is former Presidential Spokesperson and General Secretary of the party, Kwabena Agyepong.
The rest are a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Joe Ghartey, who is also the MP for Essikado-Ketan; a former MP for Mampong, Francis Addai-Nimoh, and a former Minister of State, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, who is also a former MP for Offinso North.