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08.07.2008 NPP News

Search for NPP running mateALAN WINS VEEP SLOTSweeps 68% in a survey conducted by KNUST, but Gonja-Ga man Jawula is the man of watch in the real world

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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FINDINGS OF a survey on the race for a running mate to partner the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, have placed Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen ahead of seven others after sweeping 68 percent of 1,000 respondents' votes.

He was followed by the NPP Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Hon. Papa Owusu Ankomah (7%) whiles the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Siddique and his counterpart at the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Oboshie Sai Coffie placed third with five percent each.

The rest are Prof. Mike Oquaye 4%, Hajia Alima Mahama 3%, Mad. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey 2% and Health Minister Courage Quashigah 1%. Majority of the Respondents, according to the research findings, rooted for Mr. Kyerematen because he is deemed to be an influential and trusted person with the ability to create jobs, and appeals more to the Ghanaian youth.

Mr. Kusi Amakye-Boateng, a lecturer at the Political Science Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), conducted the survey with the aim of measuring the opinions of the Ghanaian electorate on who is best to partner the NPP Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He told the press in Kumasi that the survey sampled the opinions of 1,000 Respondents in six regions of the country, which included the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Western and Greater Accra regions.

According to the political science lecturer, the survey fieldwork took place over a period of two weeks, from June 7 – 21, this year, leaving out the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Volta regions from the study, on the basis of bias and insignificant votes that the NPP obtained from these regions in the last general elections.

Mr. Amakye-Boateng explained that the study was not designed as a national sample survey; nevertheless, the sampling frame was the updated list of the enumeration areas used in the Ghana 2000 population and housing census.

He said, although he was mindful of the strategic nature of the selection of a running mate by political parties in Ghana, the need to balance the ticket to improve the flag bearer's prospect of winning, brings out the urgency and relevance of the capacity of the running mate to enrich the ticket and the fortunes of the flag bearer.

He continued that political parties normally engage in broad consultations with the major stakeholders to take a decision. However, there is a certain danger that relates “to the fact that since these stakeholders are all interested parties, the selected candidate seldom tend to be the strategic candidate,” at the expense of competence and capacity.

The KNUST lecturer asserted that the ever-present perception for political parties to balance the ticket with religion and ethnicity to increase their chances of winning was silent in the research findings. According to him, only 5% of Respondents felt that regional balance is an issue whiles 7% considered gender as a factor to be considered in the selection of running mates.

However, The Chronicle thinks in the real world, Mr. Alan Kyeremanten's competence became an issue with the collapse of a number of initiatives under his President's Special Initiative (PSI) and was kept as a file by the opposition NDC in the likely event that he emerged as the NPP's candidate. The race is now been narrowed to three people according The Daily Graphic. Over the weekend, Hajia Alima, wearing dark glasses and wriggling her waist to a hip-hop beat at the Labadi Beach over the weekend with Nana Addo, the flag bearer, the Women Affairs Minister made a strong subtle push for the position, but other discerning watchers waved her off as a serious contender.

And Boniface, the Water Resources Minister closed his own campaign for the position with a press statement that appeared to plead with the 'Boniface for Vice President' advocates not to put pressure on Nana Addo.

The strong money appears to be on MND Jawula, the sporting impressario and supremely talented Gonja man– like NDC's John Mahama, with consanguine ties with the Shardow family of Accra.

It appears that toe to toe, inch for inch, Jawula the Moslem, flattens the competition by a mile, if all the essential variables are taken into account.

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