19.05.2005 Politics

Who Is Against The Veep?

By The Insight
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There is very little doubt that Vice-President Aliu Mahama will not be endorsed as Presidential Candidate by the National Congress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Various centres of power in the NPP are unhappy with the performance of the vice president and have vowed to ensure that he does not become that presidential candidate for the 2008 elections. Sources in the party say that Alhaji Mahama just managed to be selected as vice presidential candidate for the 2004 elections only on account of President's Kufuor's desire to keep his old team.

One of the strongest critics of Alhaji Mahama, was party stalwart Victor Newman, who argued for a change of vice presidential candidate. He insisted that Alhaji Mahama could not add anything to the presidential ticket of the NPP. The results of the 2004 elections proved that Mr. Newman was not being mischievous. The NPP lost in all the constituencies where Alhaji Mahama was expected to maximize votes for the party. The party was defeated in the Zongo and Muslim communities as well as in the three northern regions.

There were also reports of bad blood between Alhaji Mahama and some prominent members of the NPP from the northern regions including Madam Hawa Yakubu, Alhaji Malik Yakubu and Mustapha Iddris, former minister of works and housing.

In the Northern region, Alhaji Aliu can only count on the support of a section of the Abudu family. The Andani family in the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute is stoutly opposed to Alhaji Mahama and is expected to do all that is possible to subvert his presidential ambition.

The powerful Akyem caucus in the NPP is believed to be torn between the candidate of Nana Akufo Addo, the foreign Affairs minister and Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the minister of Education, Youth and Sports.

Insiders say that the Akyem caucus will not back Alhaji Mahama. The Ashantis, Eastern, central, Western and Brong Ahafo regions are also not expected to back Alhaji Mahama. Individuals in the party who are likely to throw weight behind Alhaji Mahama include Dr. Amoako Tuffuor, a former confidant of President Kufuor and friend who congregate in his office. Indeed, all the presidential aspirants are directly opposed to the candidature of Alhaji Mahama. Interestingly, President Kufuor has not as yet indicated whether he will put his reducing weight behind his friend and deputy, Alhaji Aliu Mahama. In the final analysis, Alhaji Aliu Mahama may have thrown in the towel as is being speculated in the media.

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