Ghana’s opposition leader John Mills chooses running mate

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The presidential candidate of the Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Evans Atta Mills, on Wednesday named a parliamentarian, John Dramani Mahama, as his running mate for the December 2008 elections.

Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, told journalists that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party unanimously endorsed Mahama, 50, MP for Bole-Bamboi in the Northern Region, at an emergency meeting in Accra .

Weeks before the announcement, there were heated public discussions about who Prof. Mills would pick from a list of at least four names that had been circulating in the media as potential running mates.

The others were Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Alban Bagbin and Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, all lawyers.

Mahama attended the University of Ghana where he obtained his first degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies.

He also obtained a postgraduate in Social Psychology in 1988 from the Institute of Social Sciences, Moscow.

He was Information officer at the Japan Embassy in Accra (1991-95) worked at Plan International, Ghana Country Office (1995-96) before being elected MP for Bole / Bamboi in 1996.

Mahama was Deputy Minister of Communications (1997-98) and Minister of Communications (1998-2001).

He also acted as Chairman of the National Communications Authority, the Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications and ICT sector (1998–2001), and is the NDC’s communications director and spokesman for foreign affairs.

Many supporters of the party have hailed the choice of Mahama who they describe as affable, gentle, firm, fair and charismatic.

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