General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress has asked the New Patriotic Party to be concerned about choosing a flagbearer for the December polls and stop fretting about when his party will name a running mate to partner John Mahama.
With just about seven months to the 2020 elections, concerns have been raised about who is likely to partner the former president for his comeback bid, with some critics claiming the NDC does not have qualified individuals for the spot.
Addressing the issue on TV3 news analysis programme “The Key Points on Saturday, Mr Asiedu Nketia said his party is not late in announcing a running mate, stating there is no standard practice of when to announce a running mate or a campaign team.
He said there is no pressure on the NDC to announce a running mate, explaining that “every party has a way of managing its affairs”.
The man who is popularly known as General Mosquito wondered why the NPP is “concerned that we haven’t announced a running mate when they don’t have a flagbearer”.
“They don’t have a flagbearer, they don’t have a running mate. They have about 160 parliamentary seats to fill and yet they divert people’s attention on to our running mate,” he stated.
“I’m not sure our people are worried,” he added, indicating that “the [NDC] constitutional timeline is nowhere near”.
Indeed the NPP is yet to endorse President Akufo-Addo as the flagbearer for the party as he was the only candidate picked and filed nomination for the presidential primary of the party which was originally fixed for April 15 but was suspended due to the covid-19.
For the NDC General Secretary, the push for Mahama to name his running mate “is just a creation of the government and NPP to divert [attention] from burning issues.”
According to him, the NDC in terms of preparation is better placed than the NPP which has a flagbearer to select as well as some 160 parliamentary candidates, saying “ at least we are almost through with our parliamentary candidates”.
“If they insist they have a flagbearer, then whatever they have slated to do by way of a selection of a flagbearer is a charade. They shouldn’t be fooling their party members if they think they have a flagbearer,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Asiedu Nketia has said running mates are a secondary issue because such persons only partner the presidential candidate and do not have the weight of the candidate they partner.
“The presidential election in Ghana is called presidential because you focus on electing a president so running mate is just somebody who will just support the president. I don’t think the weight of a running mate should be more important than the presidential candidate,” he argued.
According to Mr Asiedu Nketia, that explains why the pictures of running mates are not found on the ballot boxes, and that it is the presidential candidates people vote for, not their running mate.
“The person you’re going to vote for is more important than who partners him…There is a reason you don’t have the picture of the flagbearer and the picture of the running mate on the ballot box, because you’re voting to choose a president”.