The choice of running mate: NPP set to cancel Jane Naana out with Frema?

Story: Atta Kwaku Boadi

Ghanaians will have another opportunity come December 7 this year to elect a new president and 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) to steer the affairs of the country for the next four years.

Today Newspaper has been monitoring the political space as various political parties in the country  make  preparations towards this constitutional exercise.

The two leading political parties, thus the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the largest opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) are fervently  lacing their boots for the task aheadthe Today  Newspaper can confirm.

Other minority parties like the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC)  among others are also preparing  towards the political battle slated for December 7.

But it is the two leading parties  which have taken a giant step in their preparations, showing their readiness to battle for supremacy. 

For example, the two political parties  were the first to elect their flagbearers, and in the case of the NPP,  while their flagbearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia   is yet to  select his running mate, he  had already outlined his policies and also  formed his manifesto and campaign teams. 

The NDC led by the former Ghanaian leader, Mr John Dramani Mahama  although  is yet to unveil his campaign and manifesto teams including his policies,  last week Thursday announced his running mate in the person of Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang after the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC)  had accepted Mr Mahama’s choice.  

It  will be  the second time the NDC’s flagbearer  is maintaining his running mate,  and for the first time in the history of the party, a running mate has been maintained.

This,  Today understands has put pressure on the NPP’s flagbearer to, as a matter of urgency select his running mate.  

It would be recalled that  on December 6,  2023,  Dr Bawumia  requested his party to give him more time to consult on his selection of a running mate.  This was after a crucial meeting by the NPP’s National Executive Committee and National Council concerning the  running mate issue.

The meeting was called in alignment with the party’s constitutional requirement of selecting a running mate 12 months before a major election if the President is not the candidate.

Names like Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Energy Minister), Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum (Education Minister), Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu ( Former Majority Leader),  Madam Frema Akosua-Opare (Chief of Staff)  and Joseph Osei-Owusu (First Deputy Speaker)  have   come out as frontrunners since the running mate issue became topical.

Following  Mr Mahama’s selection of Prof. Jane Naana as his running mate, the pressure on Dr Bawumia from the rank and file of the NPP to also pick a  woman as his running mate has intensified,  according to sources close to the NPP’s presidential candidate.

Those advocating for a female running mate, our sources said believe that will be a perfect match since NDC has now settled on a woman as a running mate to Mr Mahama. According to the supporters of Madam Frema Opare, it makes  political sense for the party’s presidential candidate to also pick a woman since their main opponent has selected a woman as a running mate.  

“The only person who stands tall among the list of people who are lobbying for the running mate slot  if we are selecting  a woman,  then it should be the Chief of Staff”, a stalwart in the party who pleaded to speak on the condition of anonymity  told this reporter. 

The question therefore is will Dr Bawumia and the NPP’s NEC listen to the clarion call by some party members and make Madam Frema Opare as the party’s running mate?  Today  therefore promises  to  keep its readers informed as things  unfold. 

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