Monday, 5 December 2016

Up, close and personal with the 7 presidential candidates of the upcoming Ghana elections

There are six candidates racing against John Dramani Mahama in the elections to be held on December 7, 2016 to secure a second four-year term.

The 54-year-old Mahama is flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Nana Addo Danquah is one of the contender of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), a former first lady and also an independent presidential aspirant.

Get to know about the profile of all the the seven candidates aiming to win Ghana’s seventh presidential poll.

John Dramani Mahama – NDC
President Mahama, 54, leads the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has won four out of Ghana’s six previous polls.

As vice-president, he was ‘promoted’ to President following the death of the then president, John Evans Atta Mills in 2012 with barely months to the elections. The party unanimously fielded him and he eventually won the vote.

The last four years is his official first term and he is gunning for a second term – the law allows for only two terms. Mahama, a graduate of the University of Ghana, has served in different political capacities; as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bole, located in the country’s north.

He has also served as deputy minister in the first NDC government and rose to substantive minister at some point. He is married to Mrs Lordina Mahama.

Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo – NPP
The 72-year-old Akufo Addo, leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is Mahama’s main contender. He is hoping to be third time lucky. He participated in the last two elections, losing in 2008 to the Late John Mills and then to the incumbent in 2012.

The trained lawyer has been at the forefront of Ghana’s return to democracy having participated in some of the famous protests and mass action against the military government of Jerry John Rawlings in the late eighties and early nineties.

He has also served in ministerial capacities – he was Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs at some point in the NPP government led by John Agyekum Kuffuor from between 2000 – 2008

Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum – PPP
Ndoum, 63, is a seasoned politician but also an astute business man known for his investments in the hospitality, the finance and sports circles. He is founder of the Patriotic People’s Party (PPP).

Ndoum is also a former MP under the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) the party he left to form the PPP. He also served as a minister of state under the NPPgovernment.

This is not his first shot at the presidency, he contested on the ticket of the CPPin 2008 and on the ticket of the PP in 2012. Like Nana Akuffo Addo, this is his third attempt despite hardly garnering 2% in the last two elections.

Ivor Kwabena Greenstreet – CPP
Ivor Kwabena Greenstreet is candidate of Ghana’s oldest existing party, the Convention Peoples Party (CPP). The CPP was founded by the first president of the land, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

In an earlier Africanews story, we described him as a unique aspirant because the trained lawyer is with a disability but he doesn’t allow it to hamper his political pursuits.

He worked his way up the political ladder within the CPP. He served as a spokesperson of the party at some point before being elected as the General Secretary, incidentally he beat Nkrumah’s daughter to secure the bid to represent the party on the presidential ballot paper.

Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings – NDP
Nana Konadu, aged 68, is the only female in the current race, she leads the National Democratic Party (NDP) a break away faction from the ruling NDC. Before joining the NDP, she was a vice chairman in the ruling party.

She is also a former first lady of the country. Her husband, Jerry John Rawlings ruled Ghana for almost two decades, first as a military ruler with the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) before overseeing Ghana’s transition to democracy in 1992.

Konadu over the period that her husband served as president (1992 – 2000) and even the period after has been a strong champion of women and children affairs. She is president of the 31st December Women’s Movement. – 31st December was the day her husband staged his second successful coup leading to the establishment of the PNDC regime.

Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama – PNC
Dr Mahama, a trained physician, is a veteran presidential aspirant, this is his fifth attempt at securing the presidency on the ticket of one of Ghana’s traditional parties, the People’s National Congress (PNC).

With his presence on the ballot, he is on record to have contested against every president that Ghana has had. He stood against Jerry Rawlings in 1996. He came up against John Kuffuor in 2000 and 2004, he contested Mills in 2008 and is up against John Mahama this year.

His party’s candidate, Dr Hilla Limann, was the last president in the third republic. Rawlings overthrew Limann. Mahama will be looking to rekindle the spirit of Limann to annex the topmost political seat in the West African country.

Jacob Osei Yeboah – Independent Candidate
Jacob Osei Yeboah 44 years old (28 October, 1968), is a trained engineer, he is also an entrepreneur and a philanthropist gunning for the top political seat in Ghana.

Jacob holds an MBA from Warwick University, UK with Masters in Global Supply Chain Management from Mannheim University, Germany. He is married to Hilda Osei Yeboah (Mrs.) in 1996, with four (4) children, Jacobel, Janice, Jeremy and Jeffrey.

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