Unity is the cornerstone of Ghanaian ideals, enshrined in our coat of arms and national anthem. But when it comes to politics, that unity does not always last with our political parties. The latest announcement of a division in a political party came on Monday, September 25, 2023, when Alan Kyerematen, a flagbearer aspirant for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2024 elections, made known his intentions to run as an independent candidate.
This isn’t the first time he’s made such a move. In 2008, he resigned from the party after losing the flagbearership contest to now-President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Alan Kyerematen later rejoined after a meeting with the leadership of the party a few months after his resignation.
When it comes to resigning from a political party, Alan Kyerematen is not alone. He adds to a list of many prominent political figures who have left their parties, especially at crucial moments, to set up their own, run as independent candidates or entirely defect to the opposing camp. In this report, Fact-Check Ghana has compiled a list of such politicians since the Fourth Republic in no particular order.
1. Alan Kyerematen
The former Trade Minister under the John Kufuor administration has contested to become the flagbearer for the NPP five times. The first was in 2007 when he lost to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. It was after this loss that he first resigned from the party in 2008 only to return after a few months. In the years 2010 and 2014, he lost to Nana Akufo-Addo who got the nod to lead Ghanaians in 2016 and 2020. In 2023, Alan Cash as he is popularly known came back but he came third in the first round of polls to select the final five people to contest the primary to elect a flagbearer. He resigned from the NPP again on September 25, 2023, to contest the highest political seat in Ghana as an independent candidate in the 2024 elections.
2. Charles Wereko Brobbey
A founding member of the ruling party, Charles Wereko Brobbey, popularly known as Tarzan, resigned after losing out on the flagbearer position to John Agyekum Kufuor in 1996. He then formed his own party, the United Ghana Movement (UGM), and ran for president in 1996 but failed to secure the bid. Despite returning to the NPP in 2012, he was suspended from the party when he criticized the NPP’s decision to contest the 2012 elections that saw the National Democratic Congress (NDC) declared winner. He has since become a vocal critic of the party.
3. Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom
Though originally a member of the Convention People’s Party(CPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom served in various capacities during President Kufuor’s tenure. In the 2008 elections, he was the flagbearer for CPP. He later resigned from the CPP and formed a new political party, the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) which he led to the 2012 elections. The PPP became the second-largest opposition party in 2012 after pulling the highest votes during the election. He contested again in 2016 but lost.
4. Augustus Goosie Oboadum Tanoh
Augustus Goosie Oboadum Tanoh broke away from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after losing his bid to become the party’s flagbearer in the run-up to the election 1996. One of his followers, Mije Barnor, who joined him to form the National Reform Party (NRP) said “Members of the reform movement will form a political party that will enter the electoral fray in 2000.” Though Goosie Tanoh became a presidential candidate of the NRP in the 2000 elections, he lost. He traced his roots back with his entire team upon appeals by then-President, John Evans Atta Mills in 2007. He contested the presidential primary of the party in 2018 but lost.
5. Dr Obed Yaw Asamoah
Dr Obed Asamoah was a key player in the founding of the NDC. In 2002, he replaced Rawlings as chairman of the biggest opposition party in Ghana at the time, the NDC, a position he lost to former defence minister, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, in 2006. Dr Asamoah’s term was not without strife, as he was accused of some impropriety which led to his resignation from the party in 2006. He, together with other members who resigned from the party around the same time, formed a new political party called the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP). As with Goosie Tanoh, Dr Asamoah and his members rejoined the NDC in 2018.
6. Ekow Nkensen Arkaah
Arkaah’s political journey is believed to have been marred with scuffles. In 1992, Arkaah’s party, the National Convention Party (NCP), formed an alliance with the NDC. Arkaah who was then the presidential candidate for the NCP became the vice president under Jerry John Rawlings in 1993. Ahead of the 1996 general elections, the NCP was renamed the People’s Convention Party (PCP) and later formed an alliance with the New Patriotic Party. Arkaah went ahead to contest in the primaries for the flagbearer seat of the party but lost to John Agyekum Kufuor. He campaigned for Kufuor in the 2001 elections and resorted to his private business until his death in April 2001 in the United States.
7. Hassan Ayariga
Hassan Ayariga, is widely known for his cough mixture remarks. He became the flagbearer for the People’s National Convention (PNC) in 2012 but lost out as the presidential candidate for the 2016 elections. He left the party, accusing its officials of vote rigging. After his departure, he formed his own party, the All People’s Congress (APC).
Mr Ayariga contested for the highest office of the land again on the ticket of the APC in 2020 but could not garner enough votes to win the presidential seat.
8. Akwasi Addai Odike
Addai Odike’s political career has been full of twists and turns. He started off as the United Front Party’s (UFP) presidential candidate in 2012, only to end up in eighth place with a measly 0.08% of the votes. But that was just the beginning of his troubles. A bitter feud erupted within the UFP, pitting Odike against the party’s chairman, Nana Agyenim Boateng. The infighting led to dismissals and even scuffles between the two. The party went on to contest the 2016 general election but failed to win a single seat. Odike and some other members of the UFP formed their own party, the United Progressive Party (UPP). But this new venture was short-lived, as Odike was sacked from the party(UPP) in March 2019 for breaking party(UPP) rules. His dismissal split the party into two factions, each claiming leadership. After a period of disputes about who was the legitimate presidential candidate for the UPP, Odike announced that he was withdrawing from the contest and threw his support behind Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP in the 2016 election. However, he later criticized Akufo-Addo for nepotism in the run-up to the 2020 election. Despite all these setbacks, Odike managed to become the UPP nominee for president in the 2020 general election. However, he faced yet another obstacle from the electoral commission. He was disqualified for producing unsatisfactory documents.
9. Daniel Augustus Lartey
Ghanaian politician, Dan Lartey’s first resignation from a party was in 1992. He resigned from the National Independence Party (NIP) when he lost the flagbearer title to Kwabena Darko, the owner of the popular Darko Farms. Dan Lartey left the party for the CPP but could not succeed there too and eventually left to contest on the ticket of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) in 2000, a party he later founded. He championed local production of goods to strengthen the economy in the 2000 and 2004 elections. He would have contested again in 2008 but was disqualified by the EC for late filing which came about as a result of inconsistencies with his documents which could not be corrected on time. He passed away on December 28, 2009.
10. Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings
Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is the founder of the National Democratic Party (NDP) but she is known for her 31st December Women’s Movement group created to promote women’s emancipation. She is widely known in the Ghanaian political terrain as a force and became the first female presidential candidate in Ghana. Her husband, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, was the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Nana Konadu rose to become the vice chairperson of the NDC in 2009 but in 2011, she challenged the then president of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, for the flagbearer position of the NDC but lost the elections. It was after this loss that she formed the NDP in 2012. She contested on the ticket of the NDP in the 2016 and 2020 elections but could not get the nod to lead the country.
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