Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has called on the rank and file of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to remain united after emerging victorious in the first round of voting to pick the party’s presidential candidate.
The former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana took a giant step towards becoming the first Muslim flagbearer for the Elephant Family by securing a landslide victory in the special electoral college that took place yesterday (Saturday 26 August).
Certified results declared by the Electoral Commission gave Bawumia 68.15% of the valid votes (polled 629 votes) across the 17 voting centres to top the pack. The MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, came second, polling 132 votes (14.3%), followed by the former trade minister Alan Kyerematen, who had 95 votes in total (10.29%).
Speaking to the media after being declared the winner, Bawumia said he is optimistic he will lead the party into the 2024 elections, but a great deal of effort must be made to present a united front in the national polls.
“The main quest for the party is winning the 2024 elections and we all have to work together towards that,” Bawumia said.
“This will require a lot of unity from all the various flagbearership aspirants, so we have to ensure that we don’t destroy the unity of this party and we don’t have a situation where there are cracks in our ranks.
“We should unite … and close ranks so that we fight together after the internal election and win the main election,” he said.
“We have to come together and support whoever emerges winner so that we can break the eight. I am confident I will emerge victorious.”
The former agriculture minister Owusu Afriyie Akoto picked the fourth spot, having garnered 36 votes (3.9%), followed by Francis Addai-Nimoh and Boakye Agyarko, who both won nine votes (0.98%), leaving them to contend for the fifth position in a run-off expected to be held next Saturday (2 September).
At least 955 delegates voted at 17 polling centres across Ghana to whittle down the number of candidates to five. There will be a final primary ballot on 4 November among the top five NPP contenders to select a flagbearer for the 2024 elections.