Mahama retains Amissah-Arthur to face off Akufo-Addo-Bawumia again in 2016 General Elections

The Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, will once again partner President John Dramani Mahama as his running mate for the 2016 elections.

This puts to rest days of speculation as to who will partner the President for the 2016 election.

Making this known in Accra yesterday, President Mahama described his partnership with the Vice-President as a useful one which resulted in victory in 2012 and said he was, therefore, optimistic that his nomination would result in another victory for the party in 2016.

The President announced his decision to select Mr Amissah-Arthur after broad consultations with the Council of Elders and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party at the party’s headquarters in Accra yesterday.

President Mahama, who addressed the press, said the NEC had already approved his nomination of Mr Amissah-Arthur to partner him for the 2016 elections.

Intense lobbying

Last week, the General Secretary of the party, Mr Asiedu Nketiah, appealed to President Mahama to initiate the process of presenting the party with his run­ning mate.

According to Mr Nketiah, an early announcement of a running mate and the launch of the party’s manifesto before the end of the year would help the NDC put its campaign into full motion at the beginning of 2016.

The appeal of the general secretary engendered intense lobbying within the corridors of power with some prominent names popping up. But the announcement of President Mahama’s nomination has brought to rest, the question of whether the Vice- President would be retained or not.

Appeal

The President used the occasion to appeal to the rank and file of the party to accept Mr Amissah-Arthur as his running mate. He said he nominated Mr Amissah-Arthur because the Vice-President was able and willing to perform his duties.

He said the second reason was that the Vice-President had a good track record as he had held various positions of trust, including the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Deputy Finance Minister, Vice-President and had acted as the President of Ghana.

Profile

An economist, academic and politician, Mr Amissah-Arthur, was born on April 29, 1951. He was appointed Governor of the Bank of Ghana in October 2009 by President John Atta Mills. He held this position until August 6, 2012 when he became the Vice-President of Ghana.

He was a research assistant at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana between 1974 and 1975. He later joined the Economics Department as a teaching assistant from 1977 to 1978 and became an assistant lecturer in 1979.

He lectured at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana between 1980 and 1988. He has also been a lecturer at the Department of Economics, Anambra State College of Education, Anambra State, Nigeria (August 1981 – July 1983).

World Bank consultant

The Vice-President worked as a consultant for the World Bank in the Gambia. He also served as a consultant for The Netherlands government’s education project in Ghana. He then worked as Senior Economist for the Sigma One Corporation in Ghana between 1998 and 2000. Between 2001 and 2002, he was on assignment for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Between 1983 and 1986, Mr Amissah-Arthur served as a special assistant to the PNDC Secretary of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwesi Botchwey, in the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government. He became a Deputy Secretary for Finance in the PNDC government from February 1986 until March 1993.

From April 1993, he continued as the Deputy Minister for Finance in the Rawlings government after the establishment of constitutional rule until March 1997.

Mr Amissah-Arthur is married with two children. He is a Christian and worships at the Calvary Methodist Church at Adabraka in Accra.

Mr Amissah-Arthur completed his secondary education at the Mfantsipim School where he obtained the GCE Ordinary Level Certificate in 1969 and the GCE Advanced Level in 1971. He continued his education at the University of Ghana, Legon, where he obtained a B.Sc. in 1974 and M.Sc. in 1976, both in Economics.

Amissah-Arthur speaks

Meanwhile, the Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, says he feels honoured and humbled by his nomination by the President, Mr John Dramani Mahama as his running mate for the 2016 general election, writes Sebastain Syme

“I feel honoured by the announcement and I have gone to thank the President for re-nominating me,” Mr Amissah-Arthur told journalists at the Flagstaff House yesterday.

Responding to questions on how he felt about the announcement, he said he would commit himself to work with the President even more closely than he had been doing in the last three years and expressed the hope that the electorate would recognise the good work the government had done and renew its mandate next year.

On what informed the President’s decision to re-nominate him, the Vice-President expressed the belief that he was compatible with President Mahama and that their different backgrounds made it possible for the two to complement the weaknesses of each other.

He stated that the President had positive attributes and as such “our differences have been able to merge in corporate work”.

He said much as he tried to work closely with the President, what he never failed to do was to express his candid view on national issues to the President, adding that whatever criticisms he had were made ‘indoors’.

Lobbyists

Mr Amissah-Arthur expressed surprise that some people in the party were calling for his replacement without recognising how closely he worked with the President.

Some supporters in the Volta Region recently appealed to the President to choose the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, as his running mate, while another group of supporters in the Central Region also made a case for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Hanna Tetteh, to be selected to partner President Mahama in the 2016 polls.

The Vice-President told journalists that the 2016 general election presented a new set of challenges different from those experienced in 2012 and that what mattered most was how to overcome the challenges facing the country in the short to long term to make the citizenry comfortable.

“I have tried to be honest in my daily interactions with the President on national issues and will continue to work with an open mind, moving forward,” Mr Amissah-Arthur added.

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