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Politics Mon, 31 Mar 2008

Mills set to announce running mate

NDC flagbearer and former Vice President, John Evans Atta Mills, is set to announce the handsome and affable Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi, John Dramani Mahama, as his running mate by the end of the week, sources close to the Mills campaign have told the GYE NYAME CONCORD.

Sources say Mills has firmly settled on the respected MP, who has held various portfolios as a minority spokesperson since the party exited executive office in January 7, 2001, as his potential Veep.

Mahama would be the third person Mills, who has lost three presidential elections, including a run-off, has chosen in his mission to assume the presidency of Ghana.

Former Deputy Attorney General Martin Amidu was the first running mate of Mills in the elections and run-off presidential race that sent the NDC into opposition in 2000. Prof Mills has since run and lost another presidential election in 2004 with Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, former Minister for Employments and Social Welfare under the Rawlings-led NDC and MP for Kumbungu. Mumuni, a highly articulate lawyer, was one of the best parliamentary brains the NDC had before the 2004 elections.

The equally articulate John Mahama, whose turn it is to now attempt to save the Mills/NDC presidential ticket, also served as a Deputy Minister for Information and Minister for Communications and Information under the party’s Founder and former president Jeremiah John Rawlings.

John Mahama has also served as Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Communications and was one of the few old party hands – including Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah - who kept the party’s image afloat after the party lost the 2000 elections by defending the actions and inactions of the NDC. It was around the same time Spio Garbrah described the NDC being in opposition as being like Hell.

The NDC was founded in government by the then exiting PNDC military regime led by the leader and founder of the NDC and Chairman of the PNDC, Jerry Rawlings.

John Mahama has in recent times, however, taken what to some could be a back seat based on attempts by some party big wigs to destroy him because of his perceived popularity, which transcends across political parties.

The potential flagbearer comes from a rather large African family and is the scion of one of the respected ministers of state to serve under Ghana’s legendary first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. The large Mahama family is made up of various professionals and has remained tight, with the other siblings fully backing their politician brother.

Mr. Mahama is married with children.

John Mahama had previously reportedly turned down attempts to offer him the running mate slot because he reportedly felt Mills had offered him the opportunity not because he wanted but because there was grassroots party demand on him to do so.

Mr. Mahama is said to be one of the "Young Northern Turks” NDC founder Rawlings is uncomfortable with, to the extent of sometimes questioning their loyalty.

The list of such MPs includes former Deputy Finance Minister Moses Asaga, Tamale Central MP Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader Alban Bagbin, Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga and Mustapha Ahmed, MP for Ayawaso Central.

Source: gye nyame concord