Choosing The Vice President
With the inauguration of Mr John Dramani Mahama as President to replace former President John Evans Atta Mills, who passed away on Tuesday, what is likely to engage his attention in the coming days is the choice of his Vice-President.
Apart from other major issues that will confront President Mahama while he keeps the country on track, unite the people in this trying times,and perhaps lead an emergency congress of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the issue of the choice of Vice-President cannot be at the back burner.
The appointment of a Vice-President is crucial because Article 60(10) of the 1992 Constitution states that “the Vice President shall, upon assuming office as President under clause 6 of this article nominate a person to the office of Vice President subject to approval by Parliament.”
Article 60(1) of the 1992 Constitution also states that there shall be a Vice President of Ghana who shall perform such functions as may be assigned to him by this Constitution or by the President.
Despite speculations that the NDC Constitution automatically approves the first-runner up of a previous national delegates congress which elected a presidential candidate to assume the flag bearer position, the NDC Constitution is silent on the subject matter.
Article 44 of the NDC Constitution which tackles the Election of a Presidential Candidate only set out the guidelines for the election of a presidential candidate.
Article 45 of the NDC Constitution which also talks about the choice of the Vice-Presidential candidate, stipulates that the Presidential Candidate shall nominate his running mate in consultation with the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Some of the names that have emerged within the corridors of power, according to Daily Graphic sources, are from NDC faithful from the southern part of the country.
Such consideration was based on the party’s resolve to maintain a regional balance in its appointments.
According to our sources, some of the likely candidates from which the President may make a choice are Dr Ekoww Spio Garbrah, a former Minister of Communication, Ms Hannah Tetteh, the current Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Felix Ofosu-Ampofo, Mr P.V.
Obeng, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), and Dr Kwesi Botchwey, a former Minister of Finance.
Also being rumoured and mentioned within party circles and the presidency is a leading university don whose name graphic.com.gh will keep under wraps for now.
It is also being considered that just as former President Rawlings in 1996 went out of the party to choose other persons, sources within the party think that President Mahama may pick a personality who cuts across all walks of life, and will be able to help the party concretise the NDC’s Better Ghana Agenda.
The late Prof. Mills passed away at the 37 Military Hospital on Tuesday at exactly 2:15 p.m., resulting in the swearing in of the then Vice-President Mahama six hours later.