Home > General News > Jake, Ntim, Ama Busia fight Mac Manu

Jake, Ntim, Ama Busia fight Mac Manu

Jake%20Otanka%20ObetsebiSeven months from now, the New Patriotic Party will hold a delegates conference to choose new officers. Top on the agenda is the party’s chairmanship. National Chairman Peter Mac Manu is likely to contest again.

But, he faces a stiff challenge from two party heavyweights, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Ama Busia. Also in the contest is the man who lost by a slim margin to Mac Manu in December 2005, Stephen Ntim.

However, there is a potentially controversial proposal to cut the number of contestants to three for all national executive Offices. This is among several constitutional amendments which shall be voted on by the party on July 17.

Though the incumbent, Mr Mac Manu, has not made clear his intention to defend his chair, there are indications that he believes he still has fire in his belly to return the NPP to power in 2012. He commands considerable good will with the party’s rank and file.

But, so far, his biggest challenge is the 2008 NPP Campaign Chairman, Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, popularly known as Jake. Kwame Pianim, a founding member of the party and one time presidential aspirant, was also seriously considering running for the party chairmanship. According to close aides he happily opted out when he realised that Jake was running. Jake contested and lost the NPP flag-bearer race in December 2007. He is a former Greater Accra Chairman of the party.

Jake enjoys considerable grassroots support and several of the people in the party leadership are comfortable with him. He is considered as “conveniently and positively predictable” as a strategist and grafter because of his vast experience in party management and campaign organisation since 1979. The biggest threat to Mr Mac Manu’s post therefore appears to be the former Chief of Staff and Cabinet Minister, and the son of one of Ghana’s Big Six founding fathers.

Joining the race is a former Vice Chairman of the NPP and former Council of State member, Madam Ama Busia. The sister of the late Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia, is said to enjoy some powerful patronage within the party, too. Her only difficulty is that her campaign strategist and son, the former Consular General to New York, Obeng Busia, is also highly regarded as a probable contender for the position of party General Secretary.

But, the man to watch out for is also a former Vice Chairman of the NPP. Stephen Ntim staged a colourful and effective contest for the national chairmanship in 2005 and came close to pulling it off. He is to be watched because he has been the longest on the ground working strategically and specifically to chair the party and cultivating his support base in the process.

This contest will be different because the rules will be different. An extraordinary delegates conference tentatively scheduled to take place at the Trade Fair Centre, Accra on July 17 will consider a number of constitutional amendments. Among these will be how national executive officers are elected.

At the joint meetings of the National Executive Committee and the National Council of the Party held from Tuesday 28th April to Thursday 30th April, 2009, it was agreed that delegates for the National Annual Delegates Conference provided under Art 9(2)(ii) should be enlarged.

If this is adopted on July 17, delegates to elect national officers shall be the following: members of the National Council, members of the National Executive Committee, all members of the Regional Executive Committees, all members of the Constituency Executive Committees, all Electoral Area Coordinators in the country, fifteen members of the National Council of Elders, three delegates each representing external branches of the party, and one Tescon representative from each recognised tertiary institution in the country.

The rest are, fifteen Patrons elected from among themselves, all existing founding members in the country whose names were submitted to the Electoral Commission during the registration of the Party, all Members of Parliament, and all New Patriotic Party members who are Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives when the Party is in power.

To contest for a national office, one has to be a member in good standing for at least two years. All applicants for the National Executive Office shall be vetted by the Vetting Committee and where there are more than three applicants, the National Council shall by consensus or otherwise decide on the required number of three for that particular position or office. Every delegate shall be entitled to one vote.

Source: The Statesman

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