• Politics

    2024 general elections; Manhyia to win DMB’s running mate bid

    The process of arriving at a running mate is not as simple as many say “It is the decision of the Presidential Candidate”. The reality is distant from the ideal.

    The NPP’s constitution, specifically Article 12(b), outlines the criteria for selecting a running mate. The individual must be a Ghanaian and a party member. The presidential candidate, in consultation with the National Council, nominates the Vice Presidential Candidate.

    Tradition dictates that the presidential candidate defends their choice before the National Council, currently led by Hackman Owusu-Agyemang. Presidential candidates also present their rationale to the National Executive Committee, the campaign’s driving force. If the National Council rejects the proposal, the candidate must choose an alternative, and the National Council holds the authority to approve or disapprove running mate nominations.

    To avoid potential party division, consensus-building precedes such events. In 2008, Akufo Addo’s proposal of Hajia Alui Mahama was rejected by the National Council, including John Agyekum Kufour. Bawumia was then suggested by the National Council, emphasizing the balance between a technocrat and a career politician.

    The Vice Presidential Candidate must be an active party member for at least five years and nominated twelve months before general elections when the party is not in government or the sitting president is not the candidate. The National Council may waive this requirement under special circumstances. Additionally, the nominee must meet the age and citizenship criteria outlined in Article 62 of the 1992 Constitution which dictates that the Vice President must be a Ghanaian and 40 years old or more.

    Throughout the Fourth Republic, a North-South/South-North trend has been observed in winning power. Except for the Jerry-John Rawlings –Arkaah-Atta Mills in 1992 and1996, presidential aspirants and their running mates have not exclusively come from one block.

    Political scientist, Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante, has therefore urged Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the NPP’s flagbearer, to strategically choose a running mate from the Ashanti region.

    “If you look at this, we have started hearing arguments and conversation about the fact that it will be given to somebody from the Ashanti region – I support that call… For the Ashanti region, the mainstay of the NPP, if you pick a running mate from that place it’s good. But the issue is that the criteria people are talking about, even though I have not heard from the party because I know this decision ought to come from NEC and National Council with the support of the candidate concerned, so it’s not a very simple matter.”Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante

    Bawumia Must Search Manhyia’s Stool Room
    Meanwhile, several names have been circulated over the media, the decision is a reserve of the National Executive Committee, and the National Council.

    However, the Ashanti region, with its significant voter base, is considered a crucial factor for the NPP’s success.

    As of 2020, out of the total 17,029,971 valid voters on the register in Ghana, the Ashanti Region has 3,529,181, second only to the Region with 3,020,141 voters. Protecting the bandwagon nature of voting parties in the Ashanti region is deemed vital for the NPP.

    Dr. Arthur Kennedy’s book, “Chasing the Elephant into the Bush”, notes that around half a million NPP voters in the Ashanti region did not vote in the 2008 election due to the absence of an Ashanti candidate. Coupled with Alan’s influence, leaving Ashanti orphan on the 2024 ballot poses an unthinkable threat to the NPP in the Ashanti region and chances of loosing.

    In addition, most analyst believe that to maintain NPP’s hold on Ashanti, Manhyia will be the place for a running mate for Bawumia. Manhyia represents the seat of the Ashanti empire. The support from the royal family is very crucial for a higher voter turn out in Ashanti. Also, it is believed that such a nomination is likely to gain the support of the “Gentle Giant”, John Agyekum Kufour, who is also a member of the Ashanti royal.

    Thus, searching in the dark room of stools in Manhyia remains the only option for the NPP.

    The lobbying feud involves various names, including Opoku Prempeh, Adutwum, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Frema Opare, and Ursula Owusu, among others. Opoku Prempeh, a son of the stool, is particularly tipped for the role, given his perceived potential to deliver the Ashanti vote based on his constituency’s strong support for Bawumia after his constituency, Manhyia South, voted 85.5% for Dr. Bawumia.

    The choice must also be made in due recognition of who the National Democratic Congress’ John Mahama will choose. Many analysts believe that John Mahama intends to maintain his 2020 running mate, Jane Nana Opoku Agyemang as the pair have made several appearances at events together.

    The complexities are numerous, requiring the Presidential Candidate to look beyond self, focusing on a complementary, loyal and less “burdened” candidate who will deliver electoral victory; electoral victory in 2024 and nothing else!


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