General News Tue, 24 Feb 2004

Running Mate Controversy Grips NDC

Information from the camp of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) speaks of a simmering controversy surrounding the nomination of the presidential running mate of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills.

Apart from ability, the choice for the number two-man to partner Prof. Mills in the NDC?s bid to recapture power is being considered along ethnic and religious lines.

The question agitating the minds of both the party hierarchy and rank and file, according to our information, is whether to swallow the bait of a Christian-Moslem and Southern-Northern partnership which has worked so well for rivals ? the NPP. This option, it appears, is what is holding sway within the party?s ranks but not without its own challenges.

Investigations also revealed that many in the party would wish that the religion factor be dropped to pave the way for one of the front-runners for the slot, who happens to be Christian-northerner, to be considered along side the two other contenders, both Moslems.

The three names that are doing the rounds in the party circles both high and low are Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, MP for Kumbungu, and spokesman on legal and constitutional affairs, Mr. John Mahama, MP for Bole-Bamboi and party communication director and ex-National Deputy Treasurer of the party, Alhaji Baba Camara.

The Chronicle also gathered that the name of the former running mate, Martin Amidu who still holds himself as ?shadow vice president? until a new running mate is selected, is not in the reckoning at all.

According to the sources, Amidu?s name was dropped from the list on the basis that he was not able to pull enough votes in the last elections.

Mohammed Mumuni, a lawyer and a Moslem whose name emerged in the media a couple of weeks ago, told The Chronicle that he would be ready to serve in whatever capacity he is placed for the best interest of the party and nation. ?That power is vested in the flag-bearer of the party but if it happens that I am asked to be the running mate I will accept it and work for the interest of the party and nation.?

A sampling of opinions among the party hierarchy by this paper indicated that Mumuni is unbiased and resolute in taking decisions.

John Mahama, a communications guru who has been handling the party?s public and media relations with great skill, is on the other hand, accused of delaying in taking decisions, apparently cautious not to step on anybody?s toes.

Source: Chronicle