Ghana: No Alliance! small but strategic party says

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The small centre-left opposition party, the Convention People’s Party, whose candidate Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, came a distant third in Ghana’s 7 December election, says it will remain “neutral” in the presidential run-off fixed for 28 December.

The two biggest parties – the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) – have said they will talk with the small parties and independent candidate to win them over to their side for the re-run.

However, the Central Committee of Convention People’s Party (CPP) said it decided at its meeting Saturday that the party would remain neutral and not support either of them in the run-off.

A statement signed by Mr. Ladi Nylander, Chairman of the CPP, said: “The Party’s leadership was mandated to continue to explore the party’s options.”

Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP had 4,159,439 votes, or 49.13 per cent, and Professor John Atta Mills of the NDC received 4,056,634 votes or 47.92 per cent.

Alliances are important for the two parties, especially as the distribution of seats in parliament is rather close and a working relationship is vital for work in parliament.

The NDC has 113 while the NPP has 108. There are four independent MPs-elect, who have their roots in the NPP, while the CPP has one seat and another centre-left party, the People’s National Convention (PNC), has two seats.

Both the CPP and PNC claim to be the legitimate successors of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’ s party, called the CPP.

In the run-off election in 2000, the NPP, although a centre-right party, went in to an alliance with the CPP and PNC, although the NDC is also a centre-left party.

That election was won by President John Agyekum Kufuor of the NPP who beat Prof. Mills, who was then the vice president under former President Jerry John Rawlings.

The two parties have hit the road once again after assessing the results.

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