Fifteen persons have so far been nurturing the ambition to contest the flagbearership position of the New Patriotic Party for the 2016 presidential election, pollster Ben Ephson has gathered.
Mr Ephson, who is also the Managing Editor of Daily Dispatch newspaper told Myjoyonline the tall list has only one woman featuring – Oboshie Sai Cofie, a former Minister of Information.
The remaining 14 include: Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, 2008 and 2012 NPP Vice presidential candidate; Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, Minority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere; Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen (popularly called Alan Cash); Mr. Isaac Osei, MP for Subin; and Mr. Boakye Agyarko 2012 Campaign Director of NPP.
Others are: Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Sekondi and former Attorney General; Mr Joe Ghartey, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and former Attorney General; Arthur Kobina Kennedy onetime NPP presidential aspirant and Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a cardiothoracic surgeon and former CEO of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The rest are: Richard Winfred.(Dr) Anane. MP for Nhyiaeso and former Minister of Health; Stephen Asamoah Boateng former Minister of Information; Joseph Ayikoi-Otoo, a former Attorney-General; and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate.
According to Ben Ephson, many of the candidates can be associated with the two main camps in the NPP – Nana Akufo-Addo and former president John Agyekum Kufuor camps.
He said for those who believe it is time for the party to choose a neutral candidate, only three candidates appear to offer this preference – Frimpong Boateng, self-acclaimed party dove Nii Ayikoi Otoo and Arthur Kennedy.
He said there is a perception within the party that an ideal candidate must come from Central, Greater Accra or Northern Regions. An Ashanti Regional candidate may not be favoured for the prized ticket.
The undercurrent manoeuvring for the party flagbearership would be akin to what transpired in 2007 where 17-all-male slugged it out. Nana Akufo-Addo was declared winner after a magnanimous concession by his close contender Alan Kyerematen.
The NPP after the 2007 presidential primary received intense flak for the sheer number of persons who contested for the presidential slot. It therefore amended its constitution and reduced the number of persons eligible to contest for that position in subsequent elections to five.