Ghana Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia Names Energy Minister as Running Mate for December Election

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Ghana’s Vice-President, Mahamudu Bawumia, from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has chosen current Energy Minister Matthew Opoku Prempeh as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election in December. President Nana Akufo-Addo is set to leave office in January 2025 after serving the constitutionally allowed maximum of eight years.

Bawumia’s selection of Prempeh follows a longstanding tradition in Ghanaian politics of balancing religious and ethnic backgrounds on the ticket to promote national unity and attract a wider voter base. Prempeh, a 56-year-old lawmaker, doctor, and Christian from the Asante region, brings a blend of political and administrative experience to the campaign. His tenure as Education Minister from 2017 to 2020 was marked by the implementation of the free senior high school policy, which faced criticism for its execution. Since January 2021, Prempeh has been serving as Energy Minister, tackling the ongoing energy crisis—a significant issue that the NPP has previously criticized the opposition for mishandling.

Bawumia, a 61-year-old economist and former central banker, was named the NPP’s presidential candidate last November. He will be competing against former President John Dramani Mahama, who is making his third bid for the presidency. Both Bawumia and Mahama hail from northern Ghana, a region with a Muslim majority that lags behind the southern parts of the country in economic development. By choosing Prempeh as his running mate, Bawumia aims to solidify the NPP’s support in the Asante region, addressing concerns about the representation and opportunities for party members from this key area. Mahama has retained Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a former education minister and literature professor from central Ghana, as his running mate for the upcoming election.

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