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I will contest NPP presidential primaries, Bawumia tells Majority Caucus

Dr Bawumia announced his intention to run at a heavily attended Majority Caucus meeting on Tuesday (2 May), according to information gathered

The vice-president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, affectionately referred to as DMB, has informed the Majority Caucus in Parliament that he has decided to stand for election in the governing New Patriotic Party presidential primaries when nominations open later this month.

According to information gathered by Asaase News, he announced his intention at a heavily attended meeting of the Majority Caucus on Tuesday evening (2 May 2023).

Asaase News understands that Vice-President Bawumia’s message to the NPP MPs urged “unity and perseverance”. “Together we can succeed,” he said. “It is possible.”

Over 100 Members of Parliament have already declared their support for Vice-President Bawumia, who is heavily tipped to win the NPP presidential primaries for the 2024 general election.

The MPs believe the second gentleman of the land is the one who can help the governing party achieve its objective of “breaking the 8”.

The NPP has set 4 November 2023 as the date for its presidential primaries to select a flagbearer for the general election in 2024.

However, if more than five candidates file to run in the primaries, the party will hold a special congress on 26 August to cut the number to five for the main primaries.

Potential contestants 

Roughly ten people so far havedeclared their intention to contest the NPP presidential primaries.

They include the former trade and industry minister Alan Kyerematen, the MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, and the former food and agriculture minister Owusu Afriyie-Akoto.

The other candidates who have declared an intention to run are the former energy minister Boakye Agyarko, the former railway development minister Joe Ghartey, the former NPP general secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyapong and the former MP for Mampong Francis Addai Nimoh.

Timelines for primaries

The nomination period for the presidential primaries will begin on 26 May and end on 24 June 2023.

The party has also announced that parliamentary primaries will be held in February 2024.

Nominations will be accepted between 20 December 2023 and 4 January 2024.

This means NPP will choose its flagbearer before its parliamentary candidates.

Clearest hint

On Tuesday 4 April 2023, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia gave a clear hint that he was preparing to run for the NPP flagbearership in the 2024 general election.

In a post on his verified Facebook page, Dr Bawumia drew a link between his seeming presidential ambition and a verse from the Bible – Matthew 19:26.

Dr Bawumia posted a picture which had the Ghana flag to the left and the NPP’s red, white and blue flag to the right with the inscription “It Is Possible” at the top of the two flags.

Within an hour after it surfaced on his Facebook wall, the post went viral, drawing comments from some of the vice-president’s 900,000-plus followers on Facebook.

Reactions

One of the vice-president’s followers, Samuel Twum Essien, wrote: “Yes indeed, it is always possible. It is always possible you will be our next leader. It is always possible you will be our next president.

“It is always possible Ghana will go higher and higher under your government. Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, the man I truly love from the … bottom of my heart.”

Another supporter, Albert Asante, said: “God bless our homeland Ghana. It is indeed possible. #DMB2024”

Ama Utah, in response to the same post, said: “Our future is about to be bright. In DMB we trust!!! #BestToLead #NextToLead #DMB2024”

Boakye Prince said, “May Dr Bawumia be protected by Allah to break the 8.” George Emil, for his part said: “Definitely Possible. #DMB is a Ghana Project#.”

The big challenge

No party in Ghana’s history has managed to win a third successive presidential election.

That is the big challenge the NPP faces on 7 December 2024.

The message from the vice-president to members of his party appears to be that it is possible to “break the 8”.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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