President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will Saturday, June 27, 2020 be endorsed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as its flagbearer for the December 7, 2020 presidential election.
As the party goes for its Special National Council meeting in Accra to engage in this all-important exercise, it is also expected that President Akufo-Addo will formally announce Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as his running mate.
When this is done, President Akufo-Addo will face off with former President John Dramani Mahama, who has already been elected as the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the presidential election.
This will be the third time the two political rivals will be contesting for the presidential slot of the country.
In their first contest in 2012, former President Mahama polled 5,574,761 of the valid votes cast, representing 50.70 per cent to defeat President Akufo-Addo who obtained 5,248, 898 of the votes, representing 47.74 per cent.
In the 2016 elections, however, President Akufo-Addo garnered 5,627,142 representing 53.56 per cent of valid votes cast to defeat former President Mahama, who had 4,694,830, representing 44.69 per cent.
Many political pundits expect an interesting contest in the third of contests between the two on December 7, 2020.
While President Akufo-Addo has made his intention of nominating Dr Bawumia as his running mate clear, former President Mahama is yet to nominate his running mate even though a number of formidable political stalwarts in the NDC have been lined up as potential running mate.
The National Chairman of the party, Mr Freddie Blay, who is chairman of the National Council, will call the Special Council meeting to order with some opening remarks.
This will be followed by remarks by the General Secretary, Mr John Boadu, before officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) take over the process.
The EC officials will go through the format of acclamation including presenting candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the council.
After President Akufo-Addo has been accepted by the council, he (flagbearer), will proceed to give his acceptance speech.
The elected flagbearer will then consult the National Council and present his nomination of running mate for acceptance after which the running mate will also be introduced.
Many government appointees and party stalwarts have already started a campaign christened #4More4Nana, #4MoreToDoMore.
The President, in recent times, has also been touting his record in office and reiterating the need for Ghanaians to re-elect him to enable him to continue with his “good works”.
The Daily Graphic can confirm that the slogan has changed a little to read #4MoretodoMore4U#.
A statement signed by Mr Boadu explained that “Article 13 (2) (1) of the NPP Constitution provides for acclamation where there is a sole candidate for the presidency by the close of nominations. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was the sole candidate for the NPP presidential slot. But for the coronavirus pandemic, he would have been acclaimed before a national congress of the party,” the statement said.
The statement explained that given the constraints of COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions on public gatherings, “the President will, in line with the resolution of the party’s National Council, be acclaimed before the National Council on Saturday”.
It said after his acclamation, “the President shall, in consultation with the National Council, nominate his running mate for the 2020 General Election”.
The statement said attendance to those meetings would strictly be by invitation and restricted to only members of the National Council and the NEC.
It, however, said there would be a live media coverage of the proceedings of the National Council meeting, which would include the acclamation of both the presidential candidate and his running mate.
At the close of the party’s nominations on February 20, 2020, only President Akufo-Addo had filed his nomination form at the party’s headquarters in Accra. He stated that Vice-President Bawumia would be his running mate when he got endorsed by the party to be the flagbearer for the 2020 presidential election.
According to the President, there was no need thinking about who to select as his running mate aside from Dr Bawumia.
The President was accompanied by the Vice-President, Dr Bawumia, Members of Parliament, particularly those in the Greater Accra Region, as well as all 16 regional chairmen of the party and some senior members of the party.
The Director of Research at the Presidency, Mr Victor Newman, on January 27, 2020, picked the nomination form on behalf of the President to begin his bid to lead the party.
When acclaimed, the President will be seeking his second term bid in the 2020 presidential election.
In a similar fashion, former President John Agyekum Kufuor did not also face any challenge when he decided to lead the NPP into the 2004 election.