Ghana’s ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday proposed a special delegates’ congress to endorse President John Dramani Mahama, as the flag bearer for the December 2012 presidential election.
“The national executive committee of the National Democratic Congress has today decided that a special congress be held to endorse the leader of the NDC John Dramani Mahama as the flagbearer of the NDC to contest the 2012 general election,” the statement said.
President Mahama should receive more than 50 per cent of the votes of delegates to be endorsed as candidate.
“This should be done by 1 September,” Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, general secretary of the NDC, said at the end of an emergency NEC meeting in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
The backing from members of the executive committee of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) marks a clear sign that the party intends to rally behind former vice president John Dramani Mahama.
Mahama was sworn in as president late Tuesday, just hours after President Atta Mills, who had been scheduled to seek re-election, died at a hospital in Accra. He has also been named as the leader of the party.
Mahama could face fresh challenges at the upcoming congress, analysts said he was expected to win with a comfortable margin and the support of the top party panel comes as a boost.
Ghana is viewed as a model of democracy in west Africa, and the transition since Mills’ death has so far gone smoothly.
Opposition figures have also pledged unity, while there has been a flood of tributes for Mills, widely lauded for his integrity despite some criticism that he lacked of energy and initiative — possibly due to his illness.