Nana Rawlings, wife of Ghana ex-ruler, to battle sitting President Mills for party presidential ticket

Nana Rawlings, wife of Ghana ex-ruler, to battle sitting President Mills for party presidential ticket
Special to USAfricaonline.com 

Nana-Konadu-Agyeman-Rawlings-ghana-ex1st-lady

 

ACCRA — The wife of former Ghana ruler Jerry Rawlings said on Thursday she plans to challenge President John Atta Mills in party primaries ahead of elections next year in the West African nation.

Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings will seek the nomination for the National Democratic Congress, marking the first time a sitting president will have to compete for his own party’s nomination for re-election.

“My husband, the former president and founder of the party, is solidly behind me,” she told local radio. “There?s no way I would start doing something without thinking it through with him. He advises and directs me before taking any decision.”

Rawlings, in a two-paragraph letter to the party’s general secretary, resigned her position as its first vice chairman, saying the action was to “enable me to respond to numerous calls on me to contest the flagbearership of the NDC when nominations are opened.”

The 62-year-old is the wife of Jerry Rawlings, Ghana?s longest ruler who seized power in successive coups, in 1979 and 1981, before serving as the elected president from 1993-2001.

Former president Rawlings has been a major critic of Mills?s administration, arguing he has not done enough to address poverty, among other issues.

The announcement by the former first lady shows signs of divisions among the hierarchy of the ruling party ahead of the December 2012 elections.

Mills narrowly won hotly contested elections in 2008 for a four-year term and is eligible for a second term. The country recently began major commercial production of oil for the first time. ref: AFP

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