Ghana’s former first lady to contest presidential race

Ghana’s former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, recently declared as the presidential candidate of her party which she formed in 2012 after breaking away from her husband’s party. She was declared the candidate of the National Democratic Party (NDP), as she was the only person who had filed her papers at the close of nomination to be the flag bearer for the presidential election in November this year.

Mrs Rawlings, who was first lady from 1982-2001, broke away from her husband’s ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) after party delegates chose the late President John Evans Atta Mills over her as presidential candidate for the 2012 presidential election. President Mills, however, died suddenly in July 2012 and the NDC endorsed then vice president John Dramani Mahama as the presidential candidate. He went on to win the election for the NDC in the first round and he is the party’s candidate for this year’s vote.

Ghana's former first ladyMrs Rawlings was disqualified by the Electoral Commission from contesting the 2012 election because all her papers were not completed as demanded by law. Former president Rawlings, who formed the NDC in 1992 when he turned from a military leader to a civilian leader, did not campaign in 2012 for either his own party and presidential candidate or that of her wife, who has become one of the most bitter critics of the government. Their eldest daughter, Dr Ezanetor Rawlings, won the primaries to contest a parliamentary seat on the ticket of her father’s party, although her victory is still being challenged in court.

Rawlings and his children were at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra to support Mrs Rawlings who asked for support to remove the NDC from power.

Mrs Rawlings is not expected to make any impact in the election.