?Ahead ,2016 Polls
As the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) struggles to find solutions to the economic challenges facing the country, and prepare for the arduous task of contesting the 2016 elections, three Ministers of state and junior members of the party are said to have put in motion their lobbying skills in a bid to catch the eyes of President John Mahama as possible replacement to vice-president Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur.
Having realized that the former Bank of Ghana Governor was not likely to partner President Mahama for a second term in the next presidential elections, the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah; Energy and Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah and Minister of State at the Presidency, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, have begun a covert turf struggles hoping to take up the post.
Aside these ministers, party sources told The aL-hAJJ that Foreign Affairs Minister, Madam Hannah Serwah Tetteh, and Chief Executive of Ghana Health Insurance Authority, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, have long had their eyes on the position and have also actuated plans to warm their way into the heart of the president as ideal candidates.
Though it is unclear if sitting vice president, Amissah Arthur?s decision not to partner president Mahama in the next elections was his, analysts have long predicted the genteel former governor was to serve for only a term.
While party insiders say the five NDC stalwarts jostling for the second most coveted post in the country are qualified in their individual capacities, Madam Hannah Tetteh and Sylvester Mensah, are said to stand tall amongst the lot.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, who was long rumored to be eyeing the vice presidential slot, party insiders say has shut the door on his ambition following his dreary handling of Ghana?s participation in the recent world cup tourney in Brazil and the bad press he suffered.
This notwithstanding, the face of eastern region in the NDC, Dr Omane Boamah, and his Nzema counterpart, Kofi Buah, are reported to have activated their networks within the ruling party with the view to persuading President Mahama to name them as running mate for the 2016 polls.
However, Foreign Affair minister, Madam Hannah Tetteh and Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah, who is popularly known as Sly have both consistently downplayed rumours linking them to the coveted post, though, both have never ruled it out.
Early this year, appendages of the Foreign Affairs Minister were engaged in a series of banters on the internet with assigns of Veep Amissah Arthur over complains that Madam Hannah Tetteh was using her influence in the party to sabotage Amissah Arthur in order to snatch his position.
As the battle between assigns of the two Fante born politicians raged on, Madam Hannah Tetteh, wrote on her facebook wall ?While we are having a conversation I think this business of talking up a change of VP for 2016 is propaganda being fed into the public domain and unfortunately some of our people are buying it. For the record, I think we have an experienced person in His Excellency the VP who is a good support to His Excellency the President. To the best of my knowledge all members of the Executive – VP, Ministers, Chief Executives, MMDCE’s etc. work to support the President because he is the main leader the public votes for, and the rest of us are the supporting cast. The President’s success is our success. We are yet to conduct our Constituency, Regional & National Congresses/Party elections. That must happen before we confirm our President as our Candidate for 2016. With all of these important Party events yet to take place, how can the issue of
selection of a VP be a serious issue for discussion & the posting of statements on Ghanaweb? His Excellency the President has had no discussion with me on this matter. I have no interest & have not on any platform campaigned to be VP, neither have I tasked any surrogates to campaign on my behalf, so please the next time the issue comes up on any media platform kindly dismiss it as the kind of divisive propaganda the NPP is encouraging to cause division amongst our ranks. I hope I can count on you to dismiss these unfounded rumors & have the matter put to rest.?
Nonetheless, Vice President Kwesi Amissah Arthur has maintain a deafening silence on the issue, but sources close to him say, the media shy former Governor has no ambition to partner President Mahama (if endorsed by NDC) for the 2016 elections.
While others have rumored the appointment of veteran politician, Dr Ekow Spio Gabrah?s as Trade and Industry minister by President Mahama was to position him for the veep post and 2020 presidential candidate, party insiders say the one time flag bearer aspirant?s name is not on the card.
?One of the criteria for selection of running mate in the NDC is that the person must be relatively young, and marketed to succeed the president?but considering the age of Ekow, it will not be politically wise to hand him that post, though he would have been a perfect candidate,? a party stalwart noted.
A source close to the media friendly Ga NDC stalwart, Sly, told this paper that ?Sylvester has not thought about this, but like any politician? your ambition is to climb the ladder when the opportunity presents itself, but for now he has a job to deliver to help the NDC party and government?and that?s what he is occupied with?.
But, some party stalwarts have also criticized the behavior of the lobbyists, describing it as too early. ?According to one of them the party is still in the process of electing new officers, and also since the country is faced with some difficulties, the president must be givens space ssto work.