Frema Opare and Ursula Owusu’s name pop up in Bawumia’s running mate issue

It is a statement of fact that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is yet to settle on a running mate, months after voting Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as the flag bearer.

However, what is not known officially is the gender of the running mate Bawumia will choose and the region he or she will come from, something the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has gone through.

Bawumia has the sole prerogative to choose his running mate, though the party will have a major stake in who partners the presidential candidate on the ballot paper.

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Political parties consider numerous factors, including geo-politics, demography and arguably gender, to make critical selections.

Ghanaians are curious to know the gender of the running mate Dr. Bawumia would choose, owing to some trends The Chronicle has observed between the two parties.

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Both NPP and NDC have chosen their national executives from the same regions and strongholds, except that of the running mate for Bawumia.

SIMILARITY

At the top echelon of both parties, they have elected northerners as flag bearers, in the persons of John Dramani Mahama and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

Both the NPP and the NDC have elected their national chairmen, Stephen Ayensu Ntim and Johnson Asiedu Nketia, both from the Bono Region.

Their General Secretaries are from the strong holds of both parties. The NPP elected its General Sectary, Justin Kodua Frimpong from the Ashanti Region, its political world bank, whilst the NDC went to the Volta Region for Fifi FiaviKwetey.

Both parties have also chosen their leadership in Parliament from Central Region – Afenyo-Markin, Majority Leader and Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader.

Ostensibly, the NDC looked to Bono Region for its National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, while the NPP went to the NDC’s stronghold for Richard Ahiagbah.

RUNNING MATE

If the above analysis is anything to rely on, then it begs the question as to whether the NPP would deviate from the ‘norm’ when it comes to choosing its running mate.

Political observers believe that, looking at the trend that has emerged between the two dominant political parties, NPP may also choose a female running mate, but the region of choice is not certain.

Apart from the names of males that have been bandied around, there are others who are making a strong case for a female running mate.

Already, names such as Akosua Fremah Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff; Irene Naa Torshie, the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund and Ursula Owusu, Minister for Communications and Digitalisation and Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, among others have emerged.

Playing the regional and stronghold cards, the Chief of Staff will become the obvious choice if Dr. Bawumia decides to settle on a female candidate.

However, if Madam Frema Osei-Opare’s age should disqualify her, it would leave Naa Torshie and Ursula Owusu to compete for the ‘trophy’.

If the NPP decide to choose Naa Torshie over Ursula Owusu, they would continue with the ‘tradition of coincidence with the NDC’, as both parties, apart from choosing females as running mates, would have also chosen from swing regions.

Meanwhile, what will not be a coincidence is that the NDC’s running mate is appearing for the second time, but that of the NPP, whether male or female, will be for the first time.

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