President Mahama seeks second term … Veep picks form for him

President John Dramani Mahama yesterday declared his intention to seek a second term in office on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 presidential elections.

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur picked the nomination forms on his behalf at the party’s headquarters at Adabraka, in Accra.

After picking the form, which was sold at GH¢1,000, the Vice President said President Mahama was seeking a renewal of his mandate with a deep sense of humility, adding that the President was not worried about anyone who wished to contest him in the NDC presidential primary.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said President Mahama was confident to secure victory for the party in next year’s elections, and urged NDC supporters to rally behind him.

The General Secretary of NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, presenting the nomination forms to the Vice President, wished President Mahama well in the primary and invited party members who wanted to contest in the election, not to hesitate to pick forms.

Mr Nketia, however, said so far, President Mahama was the only candidate, who had officially declared his intention to contest on the ticket of the party by picking the nomination forms.

Mr Nketia said per the party’s constitution, it was only the General Secretary who was mandated to sell an embossed presidential nomination form to anyone who wanted to contest on the ticket of the party.

News broke early this week that George Boateng, a freight forwarder and member of the party, had picked nomination forms, to contest the NDC presidential primary.

The General Secretary urged the party faithful to ignore anyone who claimed to have picked forms to contest the primary because no one, apart from President Mahama, had officially declared his intention to represent the party in next year’s election.

Mr. Nketia alleged that some staff at the party’s headquarters took advantage of his absence early this week, and sold falsified forms to a candidate of the party.

He said the staff acted in contravention of the party’s rules and regulations and had been sanctioned by the party accordingly.

The General Secretary explained that anyone who wished to contest in next year’s elections on the ticket of the NDC must meet the criteria spelt out in the 1992 constitution, as well as the party’s regulations.

Such a person, he said, must be above the age of 40 years and of sound mind as entrenched in the constitution, and the party’s regulation also required such a person to be a member of the party for at least 10 years, in good standing.

Mr. Nketia said notwithstanding the performance of President Mahama, anyone who wished to contest was free to do so, but must first reassess his or her capability to secure a third consecutive victory for the party in next year’s elections.

The General Secretary said members had up to 5pm, September 10, to pick and submit their nomination forms to the party.

The Director of Elections of the NDC, Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, urged the party’s constituency executives to open their offices to the nominees and cooperate with them, while they went round to seek their endorsement.

By Yaw Kyei & Benard Benghan

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