In a shocking turn of events, one of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) founding members, Alan Kyerematen, has announced his departure from the party, sending ripples of uncertainty through the Ghanaian political landscape. Kyerematen’s exit from the NPP, a party he has been an integral part of since its inception, hints at significant internal issues that may threaten the party’s stability in the lead-up to the crucial 2024 general elections.
Internal Discord Revealed
The sudden departure of Alan Kyerematen has laid bare the internal discord simmering within the NPP. Sources close to the party reveal that longstanding disputes over leadership, ideology, and policy direction have been escalating behind closed doors for some time. Kyerematen’s decision to break away is seen as the first visible sign of these deep-rooted tensions.
Kyerematen, a founding member of the NPP, has been a prominent figure within the party for decades. His exit is a significant blow, not only because of his stature within the NPP but also because of the credibility and experience he brought to the party. As a key architect of the party’s policies and vision, his departure leaves a void that may be hard to fill.
The Domino Effect
Many political observers, such as Kweku Darko Ankrah are speculating that Kyerematen’s departure might trigger a series of defections within the NPP. While no other high-profile members have announced their exit as of yet, rumours are circulating that several prominent figures within the party are considering their options. If these rumours materialise into further departures, the NPP could face a serious crisis.
What Alan has done is just the beginning
Kweku Darko Ankrah (Political Historian)
With the 2024 general elections on the horizon, the timing of these internal conflicts could not be worse for the NPP. The party needs to present a united front to maintain its hold on power, and the departure of a founding member sends a worrying message to its supporters. This disunity within the NPP may play into the hands of the opposition, who are already gearing up for a fierce electoral battle.
A Critical Year for Ghana
Ghana is at a critical juncture in its political history, with the 2024 elections expected to shape the country’s future. The NPP’s internal troubles could give the opposition an edge, making this year’s political landscape even more unpredictable. The departure of Alan Kyerematen is just the beginning, and the coming months may see more dramatic developments within the party.
Speculations surrounding Alan Kyerematen’s resignation and his pursuit of an independent presidential bid reached a fever pitch over the weekend, sending tremors through the ranks of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). This fervour was ignited when posters announcing his forthcoming press conference at the Movenpick Hotel on Monday emerged, courtesy of his aides and supporters.
However, it’s worth noting that these speculations had already been swirling even before September 5, 2023, the day Kyerematen officially withdrew from the NPP’s ongoing presidential race.
Kyerematen had initially secured a spot among the top five contenders vying for the party’s presidential nomination, with the final selection scheduled for November 4, 2023. However, a growing consensus among some party members was that he might not have fared well in the November 4 election. This assessment took into account the rising popularity of Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong as leading candidates in the Special Super Delegates conference.
In the August 2023 Special Delegates conference, Kyerematen’s fortunes took a hit as he secured a mere fraction of the votes, amassing less than 100 out of the over 900 cast. Notably, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, a figure regarded by some as an unconventional presidential candidate who had entered the NPP’s presidential race relatively recently, managed to outpace Kyerematen, who had been a contender for over 16 years.
Kyerematen’s name first emerged as a potential successor to then-President John Agyekum Kufuor back in 2005, with Kufuor set to retire on January 6, 2009, as the NPP’s leader.
In the subsequent 2007 contest, Kyerematen faced off against 16 other candidates and secured a second-place finish, with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, now the President of Ghana, prevailing as the frontrunner. Akufo-Addo has been at the helm of the party since 2007, having bested Kyerematen in subsequent NPP presidential primaries.
As President Akufo-Addo’s tenure is set to conclude on January 6, 2025, the NPP is actively seeking a replacement. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, President Akufo-Addo’s vice, has garnered significant support within the party and secured an emphatic endorsement, with over 50 percent of the votes in the special delegates conference held in August 2023.
However, Kyerematen has voiced discontent with the process that led to Dr. Bawumia’s resounding victory in the Super Delegates Conference. Some of Kyerematen’s associates have alleged behind-the-scenes support from the presidency for Dr. Bawumia, along with clandestine influence over delegates.
From Kyerematen’s perspective, as well as that of his spokespersons and supporters, it was his time to lead the NPP after waiting patiently for more than 16 years. They argue that it was not yet Dr. Bawumia’s moment, especially since he entered the race relatively late. Their vision was for Kyerematen to assume leadership, after which Dr. Bawumia could have taken the reins.
On the opposing side, Bawumia’s supporters contend that, in the spirit of a democratic contest, the decision on party leadership should be left to the delegates to determine.
Kyerematen’s decision to resign from the NPP in 2008, following a bitter loss in the 2007 presidential primary and perceived sidelining, echoes the current scenario. However, he was subsequently coerced back into the party fold.
This development underscores the intricate dynamics at play within the NPP as it grapples with internal discord and the impending task of selecting a new leader to carry the party’s banner into the critical 2024 elections.