Pollster Ben Ephson is projecting that as many as 15 persons may vie for the presidential ticket of the opposition New Patriotic Party for the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Ephson, who is also the Managing Editor of Daily Dispatch newspaper, told that notable on his list is former Minister of Information, Oboshie Sai Cofie.

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), former Trade and Industry Minister, who two flagbearer contests to Nana Akufo-Addo; Mr. Isaac Osei, MP for Subin; and Mr. Boakye Agyarko, the 2012 Campaign Director of the NPP.

The others, according to Mr. Ephson, 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, who contested for and lost the flagbeaership slot, and Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a former CEO of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, who has failed in two previous attempts to lead the NPP.

The rest are: Dr. Richard Winfred 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.




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