Politics of Friday, 27 July 2012
Source: Mckyntosh Essuman Aidoo
As lobbyists and various interest groups jostles for their preferred candidates to be chosen as the next vice president by President John Dramani Mahama, another name that some moderates and hardliners in the party have mentioned is the Eastern Regional Minister, Victor Emmanuel smith.
Though the diplomat has not publicly declare his interest in the enviable position, some political watchers have said, his entrant would attract support particularly from the youth, as he steps into the area with lots of dynamism and magnetism.
The appointment of a new vice president has become necessary as a result of the sudden demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, which occurred Tuesday at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
Consequently, John Mahama was elevated from the position of vice president to president on the night of Tuesday.
Many also believe that his recent nomination as the NDC parliamentary aspirant for Abuaka North Constituency has awakened and united the rank and file of the party in that region, causing lots of concerns to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
It is, however, roundly believed that Victor Smith, who doubles as Ghana’s former Ambassador to the Czech Republic, is a close associate of Mr. Mahama, putting him in a pole position for the job.
Mr. Smith is a former aide to former President Rawlings and was known for his “say-it-as- it-is” posture, which at the attracted widespread condemnations from, especially the NPP, who thought his communication style at the time, was opening-up the former president and his family to unnecessary criticisms.
Currently, he is the only parliamentary candidate, who has had several people defecting from the NPP to join his campaign, the latest being a chunk of CPP sympathizers who held a press conference at the CRIG Recreational Center in Akyem Tafo, to declare their support for the NDC.
Other names, which are popping up as possible nominees are Dr. Kwesi Botchway, who is Ghana’s longest serving Finance and Economic Planning Minister during President Jerry Rawlings’ era, Mr. Paul Victor Obeng, former Head of Government business and Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, former flag bearer aspirant of the NDC.
However, many believe that personalities, including Dr. Kwesi Botchway, PV Obeng have spent their times in the Ghanaian political limelight already and will be better for President Mahama to maintain them at their various advisory positions the late president appointed them to and appoint an equally vibrant young politician to partner him.
Some also have the view that Dr. Ekow Spio, another charismatic, energetic and vibrant politician will be good, but question his recent commitment and loyalty to the party.
“This clearly puts Mr. Smith in a very pole position for the slot. His vibrancy is imperative to development of the NDC and the nation in general,” Mr. Mathew Ampah, 68, noted.
Local Government Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Trade and Industry Minister Hanna Tetteh, have also been mentioned by many, as eligible running mates to President Mahama, but the veteran politician believes Mr. Smith must be given the nod ahead of the aforementioned personalities.**