Ghana : Breakaway party elects presidential candidate

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A breakaway party of the former President Jerry Rawlings’ National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday night elected a communication consultant as its candidate to contest Ghana’s presidential election scheduled for 7 December, 2008.

Emmanuel Ansah Antwi beat interim national chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Alhaji Rahman Issakah, at the national delegates’ congress in Accra.

Former chairman of the NDC Obed Asamoah led a group of NDC supporters to break away from the party in 2005 after he was defeated at the party’s congress in a bitter power struggle with Rawlings.

Asamoah, a long-standing confidant of Rawlings who served for several years as foreign minister, attorney-general and minister of justice after Rawlings staged his coup in December 1981, accused the NDC of violence and undemocratic character.

Several senior members of the NDC followed him to form the DFP that is intended to appeal to supporters of other parties, but their impact remains insignificant.

Ironically, Alhaji Issakah accused Asamoah of openly showing preference for Antwi in the election, a charge Asamoah has denied.

The election of Antwi brings to five the number of candidates who have been elected by their political parties to contest the December vote.

The other candidates are John Evans Atta Mills of the NDC, Dr. Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The December vote is seen as another straight fight between NDC and the NPP. Panapress.

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