Former Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Kwame Awuah-Darko, has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) running mate position in the 2024 general elections.
This has taken many grassroots members of the party by surprise, as Awuah-Darko was not initially seen as a frontrunner for the position.
Former President John Dramani Mahama now faces the difficult task of choosing a running mate from a pool of three wannabes representing the Central, Eastern and Ashanti regions of the country.
Each region brings its own strategic advantages and potential challenges.
Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, who served as Mahama’s running mate in the 2020 general elections, is the preferred candidate from the Central Region.
She claims that she still in contention for the slot.
However, her unsuccessful bid for victory in the previous election has raised doubts about her potential impact on the party’s ticket in the upcoming election.
Julius Debrah, a former Chief of Staff during Mahama’s tenure, represents the Eastern Region.
This region has a diverse ethnic mix and has traditionally been a stronghold of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Some NDC loyalists believe that selecting a running mate from this region could be a strategic move to gain more votes and challenge the NPP’s dominance especially with the exit of President Akufo-Addo.
On the other hand, Awuah-Darko, from the Ashanti Region, has gained prominence as a potential candidate. Advocates for choosing a candidate from this region argue that it would demonstrate the NDC’s determination to challenge the ruling party’s stronghold in the Ashanti Region.
The selection of Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as the running mate in the 2020 election failed to deliver victory for the NDC in the Central Region and overall.
This has led many party members to believe that repeating her as the running mate would have little impact on the party’s chances in the next election.
The debate over the choice of running mate highlights the strategic considerations and challenges the NDC is facing. Should they prioritize widening their support base by selecting a candidate from the Eastern Region, or should they focus on challenging the NPP in their strongholds of the Ashanti Region?
The decision on the running mate for the NDC’s 2024 ticket will play a crucial role in shaping the party’s overall strategy and prospects for success in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
With only three regions in contention, the stakes are high, and the final decision is eagerly awaited by party members and political observers alike.
By Vincent Kubi