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28.06.2004 General News

Runningmate saga rages ….Bet still on John Mahama

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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Barely two months before the standard bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Proffessor John Evans Atta Mills, declares his Vice Presidential candidate for the 2004 elections, some top party hierarchy members have hinted The Chronicle that whether 'rain or shine', the former communications minister, John Mahama, would get the nod.

According to some officials of the party, both John Mahama and Baba Kamara are Gonjas and Mohammed Mumuni a Dagomba and for that matter an Andani. Critics say since John is not a Dagomba and for that matter does not belong to any of the factions in Dagbon, he would attract votes from both gates in the area. “He will attract undecided votes in the area,” one official said.

In relation to the chances of Mohammed Mumuni, they said he had the potential as Mr. Mahama but may bring about divided votes because he belonged to the Andani family and the other family may not like him. “John has no faction; he is just a northerner,” the official noted.

An official of the party in the Northern Region told this reporter that it would be morally wrong for parties to use Christian and Moslem principles in choosing vice presidential candidates. “It should be a person who is in the position to serve the country.”

He said Northerners are solely behind Mahama and it did not matter whether he was a Muslim or not, the most important thing was that he hailed from the north and that was more important.

A section of party officials the paper spoke to declared their unflinching support for Mahama and described him as a young man who exhibited leadership skills and commanded a lot of respect in society.

Meanwhile, Prof Mills is keeping his cards close to his chest, like a gambler.

He had earlier been reported to name his running mate in August. The decision has sparked some controversy in the party as some top members of the party preferred an earlier date for naming the running mate; so that the person chosen could begin to work with the campaign team as early as possible.

Another reliable source mentioned that Prof Mills was billed to submit three names to the National Executive Committee and seek their advice on the most preferred person in order to make up his mind on whom to select to run with him.

Various calculations are presently at play to determine which of the possible personalities mentioned as possible running mates would best bring as many votes as possible to the Mills presidential bid.

For the time being, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is waiting and watching what move the NDC would make and use that as a basis for confirming Vice President Aliu Mahama, though a growing number of NPP adherents are increasingly calling for a new face to replace the Vice President.

Rumours about who would win will die very soon as the presidential aspirant gets ready to announce who he would run with.

Hon. John Mahama is the Communications Director of the party and the MP for Bole-Bamboi and a ranking member on communications.

Hon. Mohamed Mumuni was the then Minister for Social Welfare and Employment. He is the MP for Kumbungu and a ranking member on constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs.

Baba Kamara was the former deputy treasurer of the NDC and a businessman.

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