Ghana
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Alan may strategically tap into disgruntled NPP, NDC members and floating voters – Dr Alidu Seidu

On Monday, September 25, 2023, Ghana’s former longest-serving Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen announced his decision to break away from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), to contest the 2024 general elections as an independent candidate.

For many members and sympathisers of the governing party, they have downplayed the impact of such a move on the party going into the polls. The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has also taken a similar position with its National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, suggesting that the former Minister is not a credible alternative as long as he served in the administration of President Akufo-Addo, and also recorded his own failures at the trade ministry.

But the head of the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana, Dr Alidu Seidu thinks otherwise. He believes that Mr Kyerematen has adopted a strategy that will allow him to tap into the numbers of disgruntled NDC and NPP members as well as floating voters to become a formidable force.

Dr Alidu Seidu stated that although third forces and independent candidates have performed poorly in Ghana’s political history, Alan Kyerematen strategy of rallying a youthful movement may change the trend.

“You know, politics is a matter of strategy, and it is part of the strategy to make a decision at the right time using the right tool. I think Alan Kyerematen has been very strategic about the way he has announced his contest for the 2024 election.”

“Measuring the current level of sentiment in the country and the divisive politics we have had in the Fourth Republic, he is tapping into the largest number of the registered voter population. He is trying to tap into the floating voter population. He is trying to tap into disgruntled members of both the NDC and the NPP to be able to become a formidable force in 2024,” Dr Seidu stated.

He noted that if Mr Kyerematen, during the election manages to secure a reasonable percentage of votes within the youth or floating voter population, the election would likely go into a run-off. 

“We all know the history of run-offs in the Fourth Republic, that opposition parties build coalition against the incumbent all the time. So, breaking the eight from the NPP’s perspective is more about winning in the first round.”

“Alan’s movement, in addition to other smaller political parties that may emerge, and strong showing of the NDC in the Ashanti Region in 2024, would kick the elections into a run-off and the coalition that will be built against the incumbent government will not inure to the benefit of the NPP,” Dr Seidu added.

While announcing his immediate resignation from the NPP to contest the 2024 election as an independent presidential candidate, Mr Kyerematen explained that, “My decision to contest as an Independent candidate will not destroy the party, but instead provide the party an opportunity to participate in a government of national unity in the future, and avoid the risk of going into opposition with no dividends, in what arguably will be a difficult general election in 2024.”

Alan’s Movement for Change

Mr Kyerematen said for him to ‘actualise this goal, he will establish and lead a new Movement for Change in Ghana.’

“The brand logo for the MOVEMENT is the Monarch Butterfly, which politically symbolizes change and transformation, hope, and positivity. It also communicates strength, endurance, spirituality, and trust, which are key traits that I cherish as a Political Leader.

“In Akan, it is known as Afrafranto. The brand motto of the b is “Ghana Will Rise Again,” which symbolizes hope for the future of Ghana.” 

The former Trades Minister said, “The new Movement will be led and powered by the youth of Ghana. Out of the over 17 million registered voters in the 2020 general election, the youth aged 18-35, years constituted over 9.4 million voters representing 55% of the total voters.” 

“I believe, with unwavering conviction, that I am the only leader who, with unmatched integrity can guarantee the economic and industrial transformation of Ghana, the restoration of confidence in political leadership, and the unification of an increasingly divided nation.

“My unique selling proposition as a leader is Vision, Competence, Integrity and Action.”

This is not the first time Alan is quitting the party. After the 2007 presidential primaries where he contested against Akufo-Addo, he raised issues with the process and went ahead to resign.

However, after the party promised to address his concerns, he returned to the NPP, only to resign again and this time around decide to contest the national election as an independent candidate.