Information available to the Daily Statesman suggests that the New Patriotic Party is poised to take the Nadowli Kaleo seat from the National Democratic Congress in the 2020 elections, now that Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has announced he will not be seeking re-election.
Youth association leaders in the Upper West Region have told the Daily Statesman that Mr Bagbin would have won any 2020 primaries and even the parliamentary election outright if he ran again.
However, with his decision not to stand next year, the NPP’s path to the seat is clear, they say.
“Bagbin is highly revered in the region, even among members of the ruling New Patriotic Party,” a leading source told us by phone from Wa.
“He is a fine gentleman, a unifier and a sincere politician. He is not just any politician that anyone can point a finger at.
“He would have won hands down if he intended to run for Parliament again. However, now that he is not doing so, the seat is clean gone to the NPP.”
This ground-level shift has been confirmed by a couple of notable local chiefs who would have loved Mr Bagbin to run again.
“Up till now, we don’t know,” one of them said. “There’s a deafening silence. If he won’t run, the NPP is likely to pick the seat.”
Who leads NPP?
Though it is not clear who will represent the NPP locally on the ticket of the governing party, pundits say it is logical to allow the candidate in the 2016 election to have another run at the seat in 2020.
They cite improved performance in 2016, natural experience, campaign visibility/exposure and a track record of publicity as the basis for their support.
The NPP’s candidate for Nadowli Kaleo in 2016, Elvis Botah, won 9,154 votes in the parliamentary poll against Mr Bagbin’s 14,044, with Bernard Mornah of the PNC clawing back 5,393 votes.
NDC hot chase
Mr Bagbin has won the seat seven times in succession since 1992, when he joined the NDC and tucked Nadowli Kaleo under his arm.
There is a hot chase for the NDC slot now that the Second Deputy Speaker is not seeking re-election.
So far, nine aspirants have expressed an interest in running on the NDC ticket. But while the party is yet to make an official statement to that effect, the word on the ground is that Bernard Mornah, an NDC ally in the People’s National Convention (PNC), may try to piggyback on Bagbin’s no-show next year.
Meanwhile, sources in the NDC camp have hinted to the Daily Statesman that the Second Deputy Speaker is likely to be named campaign manager to the party’s 2020 flagbearer, former President John Dramani Mahama.
Insiders hint that the Mahama camp has held discussions about the matter and many believe Mr Bagbin is the right person to lead the NDC machine to victory come 2020, on account of his persona and image of decency.
They also calculate that making Mr Bagbin the presidential campaign manager will help bring the party’s many factions together in the lead-up to 2020.
“Apart from the fact that he is the most experienced politician in the NDC at the moment, Mr Mahama and his strategists also believe that making Bagbin the campaign manager will help unite the party,” our source said.
“They see Bagbin as someone who can bring all others who may be aggrieved in one way or the other on board for a united campaign front.”
Others to follow
Though he is yet officially to explain his decision not to seek re-election, some pundits have ascribed it to the failed sojourn by Ghana’s longest-serving MP to become flagbearer for the NDC.
But Mr Bagbin is not the only serving NDC MP who failed to pick up a nomination form to seek re-election. Four prominent sitting MPs in the Volta Region did not. They are Richard Quashigah (MP for Keta), Clement Kofi Humado (Anlo), Fifi Fiavi Kwetey (Ketu South) and Bernice Adiku Heloo (Hohoe).
By: Daily Statesman