Ghana’s presidential candidate Bawumia chooses energy minister as running mate | ANG
  • July 16, 2024

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Ghana’s Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has chosen the current energy minister as his running mate for the December presidential election.

President Nana Akufo-Addo will leave office in January 2025 after serving the maximum eight years the constitution allows.

Bawumia has picked Matthew Opoku Prempeh, a lawmaker, doctor, and Christian from the Asante region, as his running mate. This choice follows a tradition of selecting running mates from different religious and ethnic backgrounds to promote unity and attract a broader voter base.

Bawumia and Mahama Face Off

Bawumia, a 61-year-old economist and former central banker was named the NPP’s presidential candidate last November. He will face former President John Dramani Mahama, who is attempting to return to office.

Both Mahama and Bawumia are from northern Ghana, a region with a Muslim majority that is less economically developed than the southern parts of the country.

Prempeh’s Background

Prempeh, 56, served as education minister from 2017 to 2020, implementing President Akufo-Addo’s free senior high school policy, which faced criticism for poor execution. He has been a lawmaker since 2008 and is a royal from the Asante tribe. In January 2021, he became the energy minister, dealing with an ongoing energy crisis, an issue the NPP had criticized Mahama’s party for failing to resolve.

Bawumia is the first Muslim to lead a major party in Ghana since 1992 and the first non-Akan to lead the NPP. By choosing Prempeh, he aims to strengthen the NPP’s support in the Asante region, where there have been concerns about limited opportunities for party members.

Mahama, in his third attempt at the presidency, has kept Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a former education minister and literature professor from central Ghana, as his running mate.

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