It is now official, following the personal confirmation by Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen that he was going to contest the 2024 presidential election as an independent candidate.
Alan officially submitted his resignation letter indicating he was no longer interested in being a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Monday [September 25, 2023].
Immediately after that, he addressed a press conference and announced his decision to contest 2024 as an independent candidate.
He is now forming a movement, called “Movement for Change” with a Monarch Butterfly as the symbol.
This is a big blow to the governing New Patriotic Party as the move would greatly affect the unity of the party going into Election 2024.
The NPP has been at the helm of affairs in governance since January 7, 2017, and hoping to break the eight-year cycle of change of government which usually alternates between the NPP and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The speculations about Alan Kyerematen’s resignation and independent presidential ambition intensified over the weekend and got NPP members jittery after a poster announcing his planned press conference at the Movenpick Hotel on Monday afternoon was released by his aides and supporters.
In fact, the speculations had actually started earlier, before September 5, 2023, the day he announced his withdrawal from the current NPP presidential race.
Alan was shortlisted as part of the top five candidates who were going into the final selection on November 4, 2023, but some people believed that he would have lost the November 4 election, considering the popularity gained by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and Kennedy Ohene Agyapong as the leading candidates in the Special Super Delegates conference.
Alan placed third in the August 2023 Special Delegates conference having garnered less than 100 votes out of the over 900 votes.
Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, considered by some as a “non-presidential” material who entered the NPP presidential race just recently beat Alan, who had been in the race for more than 16 years.
Alan’s name first came up in 2005 as the replacement for the then President John Agyekum Kufuor who was retiring on January 6, 2009, as the leader of the NPP.
In 2007, Alan contested with 16 other candidates and came second, as Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo [now President of Ghana] beat him and became the leading candidate. Akufo-Addo has led the party since 2007 as the first presidential choice and has subsequently beaten Alan Kyerematen in other NPP presidential primaries.
President Akufo-Addo is retiring on January 6, 2025, hence the NPP is looking for a replacement.
President Akufo-Addo’s vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has shot up as the next preferable choice, with many party members throwing their support behind him. He garnered a convincing endorsement of over 50 percent votes at the special delegates conference held in August 2023.
The larger Electoral College of the NPP will on November 4, 2023, select the next leader.
However, Alan Kyerematen expressed his unhappiness with the process that led to Dr. Bawumia’s convincing victory in the Super Delegates Conference.
Some of Alan’s aides alleged that the presidency was supporting Dr. Bawumia behind the scenes and also influencing delegates clandestinely.
To Alan, his spokespersons and supporters, it was Alan’s time to lead the NPP, having waited for over 16 years for his turn and that it is not time yet for Dr. Bawumia whom they claim only joined the race recently. They wanted Alan to lead after which Dr. Bawumia could have also taken the baton.
Supporters of Bawumia however think otherwise, and argue that since it was a contest, they should allow the delegates to decide who leads the party.
Will this be the second time Alan is quitting NPP?
Feeling bitter about the loss in the 2007 presidential primary and what he described subsequently as being sidelined, Alan, in 2008 resigned from the NPP in a similar move but was politically coerced and later rejoined the party.