Accra, Ghana – Ghana’s governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has selected Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia as its presidential candidate for the upcoming national election, slated for December 2024. He is hoping to replace President Nana Akufo-Addo, a member of the NPP, who is set to step down after serving two terms in office.
Mr. Bawumia’s nomination carries significant weight as he becomes the first northerner and Muslim to contest the presidency under the NPP’s banner since the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1992.
The announcement was met with anticipation and excitement by party members and political observers across the nation. Mr. Bawumia secured a resounding victory in the NPP primaries, clinching a remarkable 61.47% of the vote. His closest contender, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, graciously accepted defeat, solidifying party unity and the transition of leadership.
In his victory speech, Mr. Bawumia pledged to lead a “united and energised” NPP into the upcoming election, emphasising the party’s commitment to transforming the nation.
This election is poised to become a two-horse race, with Mr. Bawumia facing off against former President John Mahama, the flagbearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). Notably, both candidates hail from the northern regions of Ghana, marking the first time that both major parties have fielded northerners as their presidential contenders. The NPP traditionally holds strong support in southern Ghana, while the north remains a formidable base for the NDC. By selecting Mr. Bawumia, the NPP hopes to make inroads in the north while maintaining its influence in the south.
Mr. Bawumia is widely recognised for his role as the head of the government’s economic management team, and his candidature comes at a critical juncture. Ghana is grappling with its most severe economic crisis in decades, characterized by soaring government debt. To address the economic challenges, the country recently secured a $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Inflation had reached a record high of 54% in December of the previous year, though it has since fallen to approximately 38%. The government implemented measures such as increased utility tariffs and introduced new taxes, actions that sparked widespread public dissatisfaction and prompted protests organized by opposition parties and youth groups.
However, Mr. Bawumia exuded confidence in his nomination acceptance speech, emphasising the NPP’s capability to transform Ghana. “We know that the NPP is the only party that can transform Ghana. The NPP will enter 2024 united and energised,” he declared as he embarked on his campaign journey with high hopes for the future.
As Ghana approaches the 2024 elections, all eyes are on the contest between Mr. Bawumia and his opponent, Mr. Mahama. The outcome will undoubtedly shape the nation’s political and economic trajectory in the years to come.