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Opinions of Thursday, 11 June 2020

Columnist: Ampony Daniel

Why Mahama should pick Alex Mould as vice president

John Dramani Mahama, NDC presidential candidate for the 2020 general elections John Dramani Mahama, NDC presidential candidate for the 2020 general elections

As the nation wrestles with the Coronavirus pandemic, we also have elections in five months, where John Mahama will be battling Nana Akufo-Addo for the Jubilee House.

And as it were, the NPP has a complete team with Dr Mahamudu Bawumia running with Nana Akufo-Addo. The big question, “who will be John Mahama's running mate?” still hangs unanswered.

Well, even before the dust settles on the media frenzy as to the potential nominees, John Mahama last month sparked renewed interest in putting two familiar names on the NDC presidential ticket when he said off-hand that he has already settled on who to run with.

If Mahama really wants to lead the most progressive administration in Ghana's history, he is going to need a partner who can galvanize support among the NDC base. As we saw in the 2016 election, Mahama's popularity alone did not generate the turnout that comes with actually having an allrounder on the ticket.

In addition to greatly boosting his chances of winning in December, Alex Mould would help sustain progressive enthusiasm and engagement should he win, which in turn will enable the NDC to accomplish major legislative victories once in office.

As vice president, Alex Mould would build upon his vast experience working on behalf of the Ghanaian people—before, during, and after his time as a manager in the energy sector. That experience would prepare him to serve at a crucial moment when the country is desperate for intelligent, empathetic, and eloquent leadership. In his long and varied career before entering public service, he was a big-firm manager, an entrepreneurial nonprofit leader, and a finance and energy guru.

More than that, Alex Mould would also provide the NDC with a critical missing link: a powerful and compelling voice as one of Ghana’s leading storytellers.

In recent times, Alex Mould has led the conversation on the energy and economic front for the NDC.

The ability to communicate and resonate with the Ghanaian people is paramount to winning the Jubilee House in our current era. Truth is, he has that unique gift of being able to connect with audiences.

Though the other prospective vice-presidential candidates all have appealing attributes, none comes close to Alex Mould’s raw star power—something John Mahama desperately needs.

Alex Mould is far more popular than any NDC politician today. Research has shown that Alex Mould is viewed favourably by 57 percent of Ghanaians, with only 30 percent holding a negative view of him.

The NDC has to dig itself out. And Alex Mould is the one to lead the way. He has exhibited coolness, competence and confidence at every turn, reassuring the citizens of our great country that the promised change to come will be for the better.

Alex Mould has the intellect needed to comprehend the complexities of the times and the ability to articulate his positions clearly and eloquently. He can inspire, and we believe he will be able to bring out the best in the Ghanaian people at a time when our best will be needed.

In a few months to come, the presidential campaign will be waged in an unprecedented fashion, relying largely on digital media to connect with voters while traditional political practices, such as big rallies and door knocking, are curtailed.

In the 2016 election, Akufo-Addo realized that commercial television executives would carry his vaudevillian political rallies, filled with rage and bombast, knowing they would bring the great following. Because he was garish and outlandish, Nana Akufo-Addo was able to dominate the media and dictate the terms of the debate. During the pandemic, he has once again shown that he can command the network cameras to hang on his every word, not because they are newsworthy or true, but because he's pulling the strings.

If the NDC wants to compete on the national stage with Akufo-Addo, especially in an unprecedented election in which reaching voters digitally will be even more important, they need to field a ticket that will deliver a blockbuster audience. Alex Mould is the only figure in Ghana politics who can command that attention. He would be able to greatly amplify the NDC message and would drive voter participation through the roof.

Even beyond his unrivalled ability to command the spotlight, Alex Mould’s substantive experience in and out of public office makes him uniquely qualified to help lead the nation at this dark moment.

The next president of Ghana will take office in an uncertain and dangerous time for this country. The challenges we face both overseas and here at home are complex and unfamiliar, and the road ahead is likely to be very different from the road we have travelled to get here.

It is a time of peril, both at home and abroad, and the nation needs the focused, energetic leadership that Mahama/Alex Mould ticket could offer.

Anyone who is familiar with Alex Mould's biography —knows that his personal story of hard work, perseverance, and personal triumph over adversity and sorrow, is a quintessentially Ghanaian tale.

That’s why John Mahama should call upon Alex Mould to serve the nation in a way that only he can.

There’s an old adage: In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve. While we may not deserve Alex Mould, we do need him. And so does John Mahama.