NDC Repeats Running Mate For First Time In History

By Gifty Arthur

After failing to fulfill earlier promise to name his partner for December 7 general election as assured last year, former President John Dramani Mahama, is set to officially announce his running mate this week.

Reports indicate that, the National Council of Elders (NCE) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has endorsed a repetition of the John and Jane ticket for the 2024 presidential election.

It follows last week’s presentation of possible names to a Committee by the former President for consideration.

This means that, the hopes of the likes of Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah, Alex Kofi Mould, Kingsley Kwame Awuah Darko, Julius Debrah, James Akpo known in public life as Togbe Afede XIV and others, whose names kept coming up as potential running mate, have once again been dashed.

But that is not even the interesting part of the issue, following The Anchor’s digging of the past.

This paper has gathered that, unlike the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) that is known for repeating running mates, this is the first time the NDC is repeating a vice presidential candidate.

Records from 1992 since the 4th Republic was birthed, indicate that, the NDC, has always changed running mates, especially when in opposition.

Starting from its first flagbearer, who happens to be late Jerry John Rawlings, the former coup leader during the 1992 election partnered with the late Kow Nkenseh Ackaah.

Unfortunately, the two after winning that election, fell apart when President Rawlings was alleged to have attacked his vice at a cabinet meeting.

During the subsequent election in 1996, Mr Rawlings, chose then lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills, which they won that election.

After serving two terms, Mr Rawlings was succeeded by his vice in the 2000 elections as flagbearer which the opposition NPP won for the first time with John Agyekum Kufuor.

During that election, Prof Mills was partnered with former Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Martin Amidu.

After losing 2000 election, the NDC maintained Prof Mills, but changed its running mate in the 2004 election for the second time.

The presidential candidate chose Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbugu constituency, Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, but of course the NDC lost again by 44.6 percent to then sitting President Kuffour.

The former MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs ,was also snubbed in the 2008 general election as the then MP for Bole Bamboi, John Dramani Mahama found favour with Prof Mills.

In that election, the NDC after eight years in opposition succeeded in wrestling power from the NPP, which was represented by Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, as the opposition flagbearer at the time.

But barely four years into that regime, the sitting President, suddenly died in 2012 and Mr Mahama, became the President, who contested in that year’s election and won.

The then governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG), Paa  Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur, also after the death of Prof. Mills, became the vice president and partnered Mr Mahama for the 2012 election.

Luckily for them, they were successful, but after four years they lost the 2016 election in an unprecedented manner.

While in opposition nursing their wounds, the former vice president died in 2018 at age 67.

This, therefore became impossible for Mr Mahama, who contested the 2020 election to repeat his vice president.

Even though there were rumours that the late governor intended to contest his former boss in the party’s presidential primary, he did not live to execute that alleged ambition.

The death of Mr Amissah Arthur, automatically made it impossible for the former President to go with him in the 2020 election.

This paved way for the flagbearer to choose a new Veep candidate which this time fell on a woman being the first time in the history of Ghana.

Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC)  was unveiled in 2020, after months of speculations and many being bundled about.

The pair were, however, unsuccessful in their quest to wrestle power from the NPP and so lost the election.

Four years on, the NDC and Mr Mahama, are said to be ready for the first time to repeat the John and Jane ticket for the second time.

Having received the blessing of National Elders, Mr Mahama, according to reports will announce the former Education Minister this week.

The NDC flagbearer, had in December 2023 assured he was going to select his running mate for this year’s election in February.

While interacting with the Chief of Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region, Okatakyie Kwasi Bumangama II, during his ‘Building the Ghana’ on Wednesday, December 13, said “It appears every region I go everyone has a vice presidential candidate for me. I said in Bono Region that the NDC constitution has stipulated how a running mate should be selected, I cannot take that decision alone.

“I have to do that with the Functional Executive Committee and the Council of Elders and then go through the list of people who are qualified to be running mate, then we select one. We are going to do that God willing, February.

“So all those who want their preferred persons to be selected should pray that our hearts will be touched to select that person. Let us all be patient and when the time is due we will”.


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