The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in charge of operations, Mr Peter Otokonor Boamah, has said the party is yet to finalise the process on the selection of a running mate for the 2020 presidential election.
Towards that end, he has called on the public to disregard the names popping up as possible running mates saying “any name that you hear, any stories that you hear, could be part of a lobbyist scheme or a grand scheme to get some names into the discussions.”
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on how far the party, and for that matter, the flag bearer, Mr John Mahama, had reached on the choice of a running mate, he said “we do not share the status of the process with anybody until we are done and come out with the announcement. When that is done, we will do the announcement.”
The nomination processes
“The running mate nomination process takes quite some time because the flag bearer has to do a lot of searches, most often, through several levels of consultation, but before that, the flag bearer would have to determine the kind of running mate that he wants and what he wants as the ultimate output in the elections,” Mr Boamah said.
Thereafter, he explained, the flag bearer would come up with some names of possible running mates to commence the consultation process.
Starting the consultation process would be the presentation of the names to the Council of Elders of the party and some very key senior members of the party for discussions.
As the discussions and consultations are ongoing, Mr Boamah said, the flag bearer would present to the Council of Elders a name that he had settled on.
The Council of Elders, he said, would then also give their advice leading to the last of the processes in the chain.
A meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) would then be convened for the NEC’s input and a final endorsement of the choice so made by the flag bearer.
“When that is done, the final process would be the outdooring, and usually, we would have a grand ceremony for the announcement and outdooring,” Mr Boamah pointed out.
One other option that the party could use, he said, was that it could issue a statement or hold a press conference to announce who had been selected as the running mate.
But since the NDC was now in opposition where mobilisation and organisation were very critical, he said, the party might have to do the announcement in a grand manner.
Criteria for a running mate
Throwing light on what the party was looking for, he said “what we are looking out for is somebody who can bring something in addition to what the flag bearer has.”
That for the NDC, he said, was someone with mass appeal who would be able to attract other non-party voters and help consolidate the gains of the party.
The ideal person, Mr Boamah said, should have the knowledge and capacity as well as the intellect to be able to handle the affairs of state, even as a president.
“We are looking at somebody who can lead a campaign; someone who can lead an effective independent campaign without the flag bearer. We need someone who can help us to optimise our votes in 2020,” he stressed.
Answering a question as to whether the ideal running mate ought to be an economist, he said “that person does not necessarily have to be an economist.”
Already some names that have popped up as potential running mates are Professor Kwesi Botchwey, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Kwesi Ahwoi, Prof. John Gatsi, Okoe Nikoi Dsane, and Mr Alex Mould.