Opinion: All Analysis Point to One Man as the Suitable Running Mate for John Dramani Mahama.

There have been several calls and debate as to who is the next potential running mate of the leader and flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) going into the December 2020 elections.

Numerous news portals have made predictions as to who the running mate of John Dramani Mahama (JDM) will be ahead of the 2020 polls. For instance, Pulse.com gave a list of five potential candidates, Alex Mould the former Chief Executive office of Ghana National petroleum company. Dr Zanetor Rawlings a member of parliament, Ato Forson also a member of parliament, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah and the most experience of all the potential candidate per their analysis being Dr Kwabena Duffour.

A news item by Emmanuel Aarfi Abugri revealed that the longest serving financial minister Professor Kwasi Botchwey to be the favourite candidate among a host of list circulating around. The reporter also was of the view that NDC (JDM) will be looking towards the Ashanti region for their possible running mate.

Ghanaweb.com on the 13th February 2020 made a list of potential running mate for JDM going into the 2020 general elections.

“Some of the names being bandied around are the venerable economist Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, finance & banking expert Dr. Kwabena Duffour, educationist Prof. Joshua Alabi, educationist Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, lawyer & politician Edward Doe Adjaho, finance expert & academic Sylvester Mensah, diplomat Ekow Spio-Garbrah, lawyer Goosie Tanoh, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah and Eric Opoku”. The news agency’s prediction was based on “regional balance, professional competencies, political expediency, public appeal, gender balance, succession plan” etc.

On the regional balance, some pressure groups have called on the party hierarchy to select the running mate of JDM from the Volta region as a means of compensating and seeking the region’s support and blessings into the December polls. Also, an analysis by Voter233 showed that, the running mate of JDM will be chosen from the Volta region with Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings as the preferred choose.

Moreover, the Assin Central MP Hon. Kenny Agyapong posits that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is likely to lose 2020 election with Zanetor Rawlings as running mate to Mahama (Ghanaguardian.com 2019). According to the news portal, the Assin Central MP believes that the ruling party might lose to the NDC since the Rawlings’s would support their campaign.

Per my analysis, I strongly believe that the selection of JDM’s running mate will be done on regional balance in addition to other experiences for the December 2020 polls. 

However, Does NDC stand the chance of making an impact or winning the 2020 election with a running mate from the Volta region?   Is Ghana also ready for a female Vice-Presidential candidate, who may eventually become the future flagbearer of NDC and a potential president of Ghana?

Upon the coming into being of the 1992 constitution, the general election over the year has been done on tribal lines which for the purpose of this analysis will be classified under two broad tribes.  Thus, the majority and minority tribes.  The majority tribe is made up of the Akan denominated tribes while the minority is all the other tribes in Ghana put together.

A careful trend analysis shows that, from the 1992 general election this pairing has dominated our elections. We saw a minority tribe led by Ft Lt Jerry John Rawlings an Ewe, pairing with a Majority tribe mate Mr Ekow Nkensen Arkaah, a Fante, in the 1992 election. The 1996 election also showed a similar trend with Ft Lt Jerry John Rawlings once again partnering with Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills (Fante) of blessed memory, also from the majority tribe. In addition, the 2000 election saw Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills paired with Martin Amidu majority to minority tribe. The party in the 2004 election also endorsed the pairing of Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills and Mohammed Moni.  Likewise, the 2008 winning team of the NDC saw Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills partnering with Mr. John Dramani Mahama (majority to minority tribe) and similar trend occurred where a minority tribe partnering majority for the 2012 and 2016 election Mr. John Dramani Mahama and Paa Kwasi Amissah Arthur. This analysis goes a long way to confirmed the tribal balance in choosing running mates in Ghana. Therefore, the running mate of John Dramani Mahama will be selected from the four majority tribes in Ghana (Western, Eastern, Ashanti and the Brong Ahafo regions). Since the central region has had a fair share from the NDC they won’t be much of a concerned in the race of the running mate.

So which region will the running mate come from? And what will be the basis for the selection?

Several lists have come out per region; for the Western region, Emmanuel Armah Kofi former Energy Minister. Eastern region, Marital Oppong the former Attorney General, Ashanti region Dr Kwanbena Duffour, Kwame Awiah Darko and Professor Kwasi Botchwey and the Brong Ahafo region Dr Stephen Opuni, Eric Opoku and Mr Aseidu Nketia.  I believe most of the other majority tribes have gotten their fair share in the leadership cake with the exception of BA and the Western region.

Nonetheless, per my analysis the running mate of JDM will be coming from the Brong Ahafo region. This is so because the region over the years has presented candidates for both presidential and vice-presidential positions especially in the ruling party but has yield no results. Therefore, it will be a great honour and glory done to the region, to have the second gentleman from the Brong Ahafo after the coming into being of the 1992 constitution. In addition, the selection of the running mate will not be based on economic expertise as the economy under Dr Mamudu Bawumia has not proven to be robust as we expected.

Therefore, it is expected that the running mate selection will be based on one who has connections with and can unify the party’s grass root members. NDC winning 2020 election solely depends on their grass root base and how mobilization and rallying of this grass root could be done to yield a maximum result for the party. Also, they will need someone who can get the blessing of the Rawlings’s and if possible, pull them out for the 2020 election campaign.  With this analysis Mr Asidu Nketia is the preferred candidate for the running mate of John Dramani Mahama.

Written By:
Obed Annan Nortey
Lecturer and a Social Commentor

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