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General News Sat, 22 Mar 2008

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Mills Under Pressure ...

Over NDC Running Mate Palaver

*Choice of woman running mate dominates regional tours
*Chief Imam too calls for woman Vice President

THOUGH THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) has adopted a deliberate policy not to name their running mate until the New Patriotic Party has named theirs, information trickling to GYE NYAME CONCORD from the corridors of the leading opposition party indicates that much as the party hierarchy would want to shelve the issue for now, pressure from various interest groups in the party for the naming of a running mate is becoming unbearable.

Usually reliable sources at the Ridge residence of the former President and other independent sources at Harry Sawyer’s Kuku Hill campaign bunker of Professor Evans Atta Mills, says his recent campaign tours during which he met various interest groups reveal a yearning on the part of such groups for a quick decision on the personality of the running mate.

Sources say the majority of members of the various traditional authorities and prominent chiefs in the Ashanti region have pitched camp with Betty Mould-Iddrisu; and so have the majority of regional chairmen of the NDC, who met over the weekend at Sunyani to discuss various party issues.

According to our sources, the influence the North wields on the party because of its electoral clout is informing a tilt towards the gender activist lawyer and leading member of the party.

Her Muslim background and strong links with Ga and Ashanti opinion leaders and senior citizens is a clout that no leading member of the party can ignore.

Most of the groups and leading personalities in the party, Gye Nyame Concord was told, are only restraining themselves in coming out in the open to support the female lawyer, because she has humbly advised that caution should be taken in such matters for purposes of party unity.

Betty Mould-Iddrisu is also seen as the unifying force in the political equation that may cause cracks in the party, if the running mate issue is not well-managed to satisfy the various blocks, according to our Kuku Hill sources in the NDC.

The names that have so far popped up as favourites to partner Mills are John Mahama, who has been rather evasive on the matter, Alhaji Mohamed Mumuni and Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu.

So far, gender advocacy, which has become a matter of national agitation and concern was seriously being considered by the leadership of the party.

Meanwhile, the National Chief Imam, Shiekh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, has joined the debate on the flagbearers of the various political parties to consider females as their running mates for this year’s elections.

He noted that a lot of women had acquired great knowledge and training, making great impact on the society and therefore there should not be any objection to their taking up such a responsibility.

According to him, if a woman seeking to become Vice President is qualified and capable, she should be encouraged by all and that Islamic religion does not discriminate against people because of their gender.

He noted that the Islamic Religion does not frown on women taking up leading positions and roles in the governance of the country and that he supports the idea of a woman assuming the position of the Vice President of the country irrespective of the person’s religion.

Again, the tertiary students’ wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has petitioned Prof Mills to choose Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu as his running mate.

The students say Mrs Iddrisu was a marketable candidate who could partner Prof Mills to win the December general elections.

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) branch of the students’ wing said the decision to recommend Mrs Iddrisu was informed by the results of a survey conducted in Kumasi.

The group presented the petition to the presidential candidate of the NDC when he visited the Ashanti Region as part of his recent eight regional campaign tour.

The group added that Mrs. Iddrisu came first in their survey among the several names that have come up for consideration as the running mate to the NDC flagbearer.

Source: gye nyame concord

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