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September 13, 2012

Ghana Opposition Party Picks Female VP Candidate

by Peter Clottey

In Ghana, the leader of the opposition Progressive People's Party (PPP), Papa Kwesi Nduom, has named Eva Lokko as the party’s vice presidential candidate for the December 7 general election.

Miss Lokko is an engineer and communications expert, a former director general of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, an information and communication technology (ICT) consultant, and chief executive officer of Totally Youth, a non-governmental organization. She outlined the party’s criteria before her selection.

“What they presented to us was that they were looking for somebody who is incorruptible, who has competence, and who is interested in job creation, quality education, quality health, somebody who has proven him or herself and somebody who can stand firm for what is right,” said Lokko.

“It’s very nice and encouraging that you are chosen from a process that you are not even aware off and that is all structured and it’s based on criteria, and that I wasn’t selected because I happen to be a woman,” she added.

Several women’s organizations, including the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) welcomed Lokko’s selection as a positive indication for women seeking high political offices.

“In our [entire] advocacy, we have said that we are only looking for somebody who is competent, has the skill, expertise and a distinguished professional to deliver, and we have this in this candidate.  Her profile tells it all,” said Mercy Adjabeng, WILDAF’s communication and advocacy officer.

“This is a very positive development because we have been vindicated that women are capable, and when we search for them we will get the competent ones to take the nod.”

In an interview with VOA, Miss Lokko called on Ghanaians to join her party to build a sustainable economy, which she said will improve the lives of citizens.

She expressed her gratitude to women groups who hailed her selection.

“We had a lot of women’s associations from legal, security, education and from human rights. They were all there and they were all supportive and actually spoke and said they were very happy that the PPP has kept its promise,” she said.

Lokko predicted victory for her party in the December, presidential legislative and local elections. She said the party’s policies will create jobs, noting that its candidates are proven business people who have a track record of job creation.

Some analysts say despite the euphoria within the PPP over Lokko’s selection, it is unlikely the party could defeat the two biggest political parties - the ruling National Democratic Congress and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December vote.

Clottey interview with Eva Lokko, VP of Ghana's PPP party