Election 2024: Who partners Mahama as running mate?

Over the years, the Central Region, as well as the Northern Region, have been the two major regions from where the flagbearer picks his partner.

The debate over the choice of running mate highlights the strategic considerations and challenges the NDC is facing. Should they prioritize widening their support base by selecting a candidate from the Eastern Region, or should they focus on challenging the NPP in their strongholds of the Ashanti Region?

The name Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman appears to face a quick decision on whether or not to retain her as the party’s 2020 presidential candidate.

But some names have surfaced as potential running mates from whom Mahama may soon announce as his running mate if he decides to remove Prof. Opoku-Agyemang.

Before Mahama announces his running mate, he will meet the National Executive Council (NEC) and present the candidates to them and the most suitable candidate will be made known to Ghanaians.

So far the names of some NDC bigwigs have popped up to be named by Mahama.

Pulse.com.gh profiles the names of the NDC stalwarts who are likely to partner with Mahama in 2024 to regain power from the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The speculation about Julius Debrah’s potential candidacy for running mate to Mahama began in recent weeks after a number of interest groups and individuals mentioned his name in the media.

Debrah served as Chief of Staff to then-President John Mahama from 2015 to 2017.

He hails from the Obomeng Kwahu in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He was born on April 24, 1966, at Suhum to James Debrah an Agriculturalist who retired as the Regional Cocoa Officer of the Eastern Region, and Kate Opokua, a trader. He is married with three children.

Julius studied for his GCE O’level Certificate at Mpraeso Secondary School and then at the Achimota School where he obtained his GCE A’level certificate.

He holds a BA (Archaeology/Sociology) and an MA in Archaeology specializing in Museums & Heritage Studies both from the University of Ghana, Legon.

Prior to joining active politics, Julius started and developed several businesses in Tourism and Hospitality, Insurance, Automobile Inspectorate, Banking, Construction, Water a Beverages, Real Estate, Broadcasting, and Agricultural Sectors. And continues to work with other entrepreneurs to create more jobs.

In active politics, Julius has held positions as the Propaganda Secretary and the Regional Chairman of NDC in the Eastern Region from 2001-2012.

In public service, he was the Executive Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority (2009-2012), Regional Minister for the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions (2013-2014), Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (2014-2015), and the Chief of Staff to President Mahama (2015-2017).

Julius believes in using practical solutions to solve many of the social problems in Ghana as compared to Textbook solutions which most of the time do not take into consideration some of the societal variables that arise as a result of the constant changes to our social and cultural structure and demography.

Former Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Kwame Awuah-Darko, has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the NDC running mate position.

This has taken many grassroots members of the party by surprise, as Awuah-Darko was not initially seen as a frontrunner for the position.

Awuah-Darko, from the Ashanti Region, has gained prominence as a potential candidate. Advocates for choosing a candidate from this region argue that it would demonstrate the NDC’s determination to challenge the ruling party’s stronghold in the Ashanti Region.

Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, 45-years old, a medical doctor by profession, is currently the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) for the Korle Klottey constituency in the Greater Accra Region.

During the recent NDC presidential and parliamentary primaries held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, she secured the mandate of constituency executives to contest the Korle Klottey seat for a third time.

The long-established NDC members who are lobbying for Miss Rawlings according to sources familiar with their activities, claim that the selection of Zanetor will electrify the NDC base and bring back the supposed love the Ghanaian people had for his father and the party he founded to the NDC 2024 ticket.

The incorrigible NDC party faithful also argue that Ms Zanetor Rawlings if selected to partner with John Mahama, will be a perfect fit as the next face for the political party his father founded and led until January 7, 2001, when he left office as President. He died on November 12, 2020.

Some NDC supporters believe making her running mate for 2024 would place Ms Rawlings in pole position to lead the NDC after Mahama for the 2028 race, whether as an opposition or ruling party.

Anxiety is building up among sympathisers and supporters of the NDC.

Joshua Alabi is a former Rector of the University of Professional Studies. He was the campaign manager for Mahama in the 2020 elections and is said to have a great impetus for marketing and a ‘Ga’ heritage.

Professor Alabi’s performance as an administrator is widely admired. It is however not clear if his excellence would be enough to rally the votes alongside John Mahama.



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