NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE RE-NOMINATION AND APPROVAL OF VICE PRESIDENT KWESI BEKOE AMISSAH-ARTHUR AS RUNNING MATE TO PRESIDENT MAHAMA FOR THE 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS.
After months and weeks of speculation and uncertainty President John Dramani Mahama yesterday put the debate effectively to a rest when he renominated his Vice, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur to once again partner him for the 2016 General Elections.
The last few weeks have seen the sudden sprouting of a number of mushroom pressure groups within the ruling National Democratic Congress, canvassing for the choice of one personality or the other as the running mate to the party's President Candidate.
One group by name concerned Youths of the Volta Region demanded the choice of the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, over the current Vice President, while another group from the Central Region was also lobbying for the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hanna Tetteh. Other names such as AMA Chief Executive, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuiye and Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah also came up, only for all these individuals to distance themselves from such calls.
In fact, Mr. Adjaho endorsed the Vice President as his preferred choice of a running mate. It is not exactly clear why sections of the NDC would want the current Vice President out.
But listening to some, they claim Mr. Amissah-Arthur has not been active, in that they do not see much of him in the media, others also went to the extent of suggesting that, by virtue of his position, he is the chairman of the government's Economic Management Team, and that the current difficulties facing the country's economy are a reflection of his failure.
Another reason which was flying all over was that the party should be looking beyond elections 2016 and pick a running mate who could become the party's Presidential candidate in 2020, and they believe Mr. Amissah-Arthur may not be well cut out for that.
It beats one's imagination on what scientific basis such conclusions could be reached though.
But in re-affirming his confidence in his Vice President, President Mahama stated that Mr. Amissah-Arthur is able and willing to perform the job, and that he has got a good record, having been a deputy minister, and a governor of the Central Bank.
Above all as a Vice President, he has acted on a number of occasions as President in the absence of the President.
The President re-iterated that he has a good partnership with his Vice and going into 2016 together, they can achieve victory.
One still wonders why people within the NDC wanted to change the ticket that secured them a one touch victory in 2012 with just about three months of campaigning.
Are they not aware of the popular saying that you do not change a wining team?
It is even more baffling if not paradoxical, that on the opposite side, the flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akuffo Addo thought it wise to maintain his running mate, Dr., Mahmoud Bawumiah, even though the two have lost two consecutive elections.
Perhaps, those making the calls have soo soon forgotten that at their Kumasi Congress, Former President Jerry Rawlings, who is described as the Founder of the NDC, openly endorsed Mr. Amissah Arthur, describing him as a bold person who stands for the truth no matter what.
The Vice President himself was a bit surprised at calls for his change.
In an interaction with the Presidential Press Corps, shortly after news broke of his endorsement, Mr. Amissah-Arthur stated that he has been doing a lot and that he is the main advisor to the President and he tries to do an honest job.
He adds that he tries not to make public a lot of things that go on behind the scenes, even though he lets the President know where he stands on every issue.
According to pollster and managing editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Ben Ephson, it would have been a political suicide if President Mahama had chosen another candidate as his running mate.
The question is what justification or explanation would the President have given for such a decision.
Indeed, when in 1996, the only time a sitting Vice President was dropped, the then President, Jerry Rawlings had to take such a decision because it was evidently clear that he and Kow Ackah were at loggerheads.
Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has had a good working relationship with his boss and as the President puts it, together they can once again achieve victory in 2016. Good luck to them.
By: Bubu Klinogo a Journalist.