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13.10.2008 Politics

Six Parties Finish Hard - Name Running Mates This Week

With four days to filing of nominations, a number of political parties that are yet to choose their respective running mate are under pressure to nominate a candidate in order to meet the deadline.

The parties are the People's National Convention (PNC), The Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and the New Vision Party (NVP).

 

Mr Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah, an independent presidential aspirant, told the Daily Graphic that he would disclose the name of his running mate today.

The Electoral Commission has fixed October 16 and 17 for all political parties and independent candidates to file their nomination to contest the December election.

This morning, the 45-member National Executive Committee of the People's National Convention will hold an emergency meeting to select a running mate for the party.

 

The flag bearer of the party, Dr Edward Mahama, is presenting three names, one of whom would be a woman, to the NEC for consideration.

If selected, the party's running mate would be introduced tomorrow at a press conference where the party would also formally announce the launch of its campaign, as well as the introduction of the running mate to wrest political power come December.

Dr Mahama told the Daily Graphic that the names he was presenting to the committee were “classified until NEC meets to deliberate and choose the right person”.

He said he was looking for the personal and political criteria of the individual and that his foremost consideration was somebody who had an attitude of a “servant leadership” because as President of the nation “I will be the chief servant of Ghana”.

Dr Mahama said whilst one of his priorities was gender, his running mate must also have integrity, be dedicated and committed to the welfare of the party, as well as national development.

He said his party aimed at bringing equity, fair play and equal distribution of resources to the governance of the country.

According to the party's General Secretary, Mr Bernard Mornah, the party was solid on the ground and looked forward to making a big impact on the December poll.

He said the party's strategy was not to organise big rallies but to disseminate its message to individuals, professionals and identifiable groupings, including market women and artisans.

He said the party had completed a campaign tour of the three northern regions, which he described as very successful, with the party's flag bearer talking about peace and health.

He indicated that if elected into government, the PNC would expand the National Health Insurance Scheme.

 

The flag bearer of the Democratic Freedom Party, Mr Emmanuel Asante-Antwi, also indicated that he was presenting two names to the NEC of his party for consideration tomorrow.

 

He disclosed the names to the Daily Graphic but requested that they were kept on hold until the NEC decided finally.

He gave the assurance that the party was on course, working within schedule, and would meet the Electoral Commission's deadlines.

He disclosed that the party would launch its manifesto on October 19, soon after it had filed its nomination with the EC.

The presidential aspirant of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Mr Dan Lartey, reiterated that his running mate would only be known when he filed his nomination on Thursday or Friday.

 

“I as the president will run the show and not the running mate; After all what is the running mate bringing on board,” he enquired.

Assigning reasons for the decision, the GCPP flag bearer said he was informed by past developments, where other political parties on the country's political scene employed intrigues to encourage his running mate and other leading members of the party to resign their positions immediately he made their names public.

“All that I want is a Ghanaian, be he or she a Muslim or Christian or from the northern or southern belt of the country,” Mr Lartey said.

The flag bearer of the Reformed Patriotic Democrat (RPD), Mr Kwabena Adjei, also said the party would announce its running mate in Accra today.

He made it clear that the party had been restricted to consider only males “because it was difficult to get the interest of females above 40 years”.

The New Vision Party (NVP), according to its National Chairman, Apostle Joel Aaron-King, had also settled on a running mate to pair Prophet Daniel Nkansah, the party's flag bearer.

He said the National Executive Committee would meet today to affirm the nominee as well as introduce him in Accra.

Currently, he said the party executive were moving round the country to collect electoral particulars for the party's presidential aspirant to file his nomination.

The DPP leader told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview that he would name his running mate this week.

He said Mr Smith was chosen because he was God-fearing, honest and qualified to stand in when the president was away.

Efforts to reach the United Renaissance Party (URP), under the leadership of Mr Charles Kofi Wayo and the leaders of National Reformed Party (NRP) and the Every Ghanaians Living Everywhere (EGLE) party proved futile.

So far, three political parties, National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party and the Convention People's Party, have selected their running mates in the persons of Mr John Mahama, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Dr Abu Foster Sakara, respectively.

Story by Kobby Asmah & Donald Ato Dapatem

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