Kumasi - The wife of Ghana's ex-leader Jerry Rawlings was nominated
as a presidential candidate by an upstart political party on Saturday,
highlighting divisions in the ruling NDC ahead of December polls.
Konadu Agyemang had sought to run on the National Democratic Congress
party ticket, but was trounced in a 2011 primary battle by John Atta
Mills, Ghana's then-president who died in July following an illness.
being beaten by Mills, Agyemang helped launch the rival National
Democratic Party and had been flirting for months with a presidential
run, while maintaining ties to the NDC.
She formally resigned from
the ruling NDC on Thursday and was unanimously endorsed for president
by the rival party at its convention outside Accra on Saturday.
party was born out of the need to transform Ghana," she told a crowd of
several thousand delegates assembled at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.
and discontent remain rife among Ghanaians and I promise that under the
NDP government and my leadership we will eradicate these endemic
challenges," she said in accepting the nomination.
Her husband, a
national icon who founded the NDC and has led Ghana both as a military
ruler and an elected president, has sent mixed messages about his
allegiances as regards the December vote.
He praised his wife's
party at the convention on Saturday, saying it "will restore hope and
the moral values that the country needs to move forward."
had openly fallen out with the late Mills, Rawlings was on hand on 4
October when President John Dramani Mahama unveiled the NDC's manifesto,
apparently offering support for the president's election bid.
He further praised Mahama on Saturday.
God John Mahama has taken over and agreed that he will restore hope in
the NDC... Should he win re-election, then we can join hands again," he
Analysts say Rawlings often issues murky, conflicting political statements to cloud his true intentions.
December polls are widely expected to be close and experts have said
the NDC may struggle to retain power if Rawlings throws his influence
behind another candidate.
Ghana, a country of more than 20
million, has been seen in recent years as a rare example of stable
democracy in West Africa. It began significant oil production in 2010.