The Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), ex-President John Dramani Mahama, has broken his silence on the selection of a candidate to partner him for the 2020 presidential election as he stages a comeback for the seat he lost in the 2016 polls.
His open talk on the NDC running mate saga comes on the heels of mounting pressure from ‘undue delay’ in presenting a candidate for consideration by the NDC Council of Elders chaired by the party’s founder, former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
Mr. Mahama was elected the NDC presidential candidate on February 23, 2019, after securing 213,487 votes, representing 95.23 percent of the total valid votes cast, and his inability to name and outdoor a running mate seven months into the election has been the source of widespread speculation in the country.
He and the party are said to be sweating in selecting a suitable running mate for the NDC ticket, with hindsight bias of the 2016 electioneering campaign in which Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, then a running mate of candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, shredded the Mahama government with his economic acumen through his public lecture series that eventually handed Mr. Mahama with a massive defeat.
Critics complain that the long absence of Mahama’s partner meant indecision and fear of the Bawumia factor.
However, the NDC flag bearer has sought to downplay the concerns of the public by using the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which entered Ghana in late March, more than one year after the NDC delegates had endorsed him as flag bearer, as an excuse for not choosing a running mate.
He said in one of his usual social media interactions that the time is not ripe and ideal to name a running mate for the December 7 polls.
According to him, the country still remains at the crossroad battling the Covid-19 pandemic which makes it impossible for him to name a partner since the person cannot be outdoored.
Speaking during his second live Digital Conversation on Facebook last Thursday night, ex-President Mahama stated that he was ‘clear’ in his mind the person who would partner him for the presidential election, and gave a clue that it would be a man.
This takes away from the equation former Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah Opong, former Education Minister, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, and or even Klottey Korle NDC MP, Dr. Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings, daughter of the founder of the party, who have been speculated to partner the NDC flag bearer.
“In the midst of Covid-19, what is the use of naming a running mate when you can’t outdoor the person and all that. But let me assure you I have a fair idea who will partner me and for the elections.
“After the necessary consultation with the national executives and Council of Elders are done, we will do. I can assure you that he will make a significant contribution to the development of our nation,” Mr. Mahama said in a response to a questioner who asked him about the running mate issue.