Politics of Thursday, 3 January 2013
As president-elect John Mahama prepares for his swearing-in on Monday, perhaps his biggest headache will be the men he can trust to deliver his pledges to the Ghanaian people.
There are speculations the president is under pressure from his party, lobbyists, financiers and other interest groups who are canvassing for various personalities.
He obviously will depend largely on his advisors but some of the names popping up give an indication of the difficult task ahead.
Joy News sources say four names are already making rounds for the position of Chief of Staff.
High Commissioner to Nigeria and one time Deputy Treasurer of the NDC, AlhajiBaba Kamara is among those said to be in the running for the position.
He is a close ally of the President, and insiders say he has been seen around quite often over the last couple of weeks.
The likelihood of the President choosing him first came up last year when it was speculated he would replace Henry Martey Newman. Presidential Policy Advisor Dr. Sulley Gariba is also said to be in the race for the position.
He is seen as the country’s Prime Minister because of the influential role he currently plays at the presidency.
Even though, he is a trusted lieutenant of the president, NDC insiders consider him an outsider and that is what may work against him.
Names of two other personalities, outspoken communications minister, Haruna Iddrisu who appears to have handled himself very creditably in the Mills administration and NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah are being speculated.
The proposal of Mr. Asiedu Nketiah is informed by complaints from foot soldiers that the current Chief of Staff is a technocrat who did not open up to them.
Another key appointment is the Finance Minister. There are speculations current Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor may not be retained even though he’s credited with some economic success.
His Deputy, Seth Tekper, a technocrat who worked closely with John Mahama, then Vice President on the failed STX Housing deal and other financial arrangements is a contender for the position, but the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, AlhassanAndani seems to have a slight urge.
Though NDC has a comfortable majority in Parliament, there are hints that the President wants a firm Speaker who can push his policy agenda without hitches.
Joy News deep throat sources say first Deputy Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho is the leading contender for the position.
A veteran Parliamentarian since 1992, Doe Adjaho’s choice may satisfy die hard party supporters. But others say moderate former first deputy Speaker, Ken Dzirasah could pull a surprise.
Former Attorney General, Dr. Obed Asamoah who rejoined the NDC after breaking away in 2006 is the third person linked to the position but he is down the pecking order.
Government sources say President Mahama may introduce a new policy for regional Ministerial appointees.
They are likely to be given extra powers to initiate and implement their own projects instead of depending on sector Ministries for support.
Greater Accra region may come under the supervision of the President whilst the regional Minister operates from the Presidency. But these are all considerations.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye is surely not going to be part of the Mahama administration. He is going on retirement.