In Ghana, the leader of the opposition Convention People’s Party (CPP) has chosen a traditional ruler as vice-presidential candidate for the December 7 general election.
The party’s central committee confirmed Nana Akosua Frimpomaa Sarpong II, the Dwantoahemaa (queen mother) of the Dormaa Traditional Council in the Brong Ahafo Region, as running mate to presidential candidate Abu Sakara Foster.
“She is highly educated, very knowledgeable and has great experience in her area of expertise managed to become the front runner and be the person who was selected by the party to be the presidential candidate’s running mate,” CPP general secretary Ivor Greenstreet said after the committee meeting in Accra late Thursday.
Nana Frimpomaa Sarpong is the founder of Caring Kids International, a non-governmental organization.
“She is somebody who has been involved with children or the youth and NGO activities, very articulate, very dynamic and we believe she is going to be very positive for the CPP campaign for between now and December,” said Greenstreet.
Ghana’s constitution bars traditional leaders from actively participating in politics. But Greenstreet says the party took steps to ensure the group’s decision does not contravene the measure.
“In furtherance of our desire to make sure that there would be no confusion, she has stepped down from that position as the queen mother of the Dormaa Traditional area where she comes from,” Greenstreet said.
Observers have often questioned whether the CPP has what it takes to pose a significant challenge to either the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), or the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December election.
But, Greenstreet rejected those criticisms, adding that Nana Frimpomaa Sarpong brings energy to complement the party’s presidential candidate’s ability to win this year’s presidential vote.
“She brings great experience as an organizer and somebody who runs an NGO that deals with children throughout Ghana,” he said. “Apart from that, she has been engaged in a whole series of organizational activities at the community level, which means she has grassroots knowledge.”
“We believe Ghanaians have seen the works of the NDC and the NPP and they’ve been waiting for the Convention People’s Party to demonstrate seriousness, and we believe that with this particular appointment, it would be something that will make a significant impact throughout the electoral process.”
He said Nana Frimpomaa has can rally support from young people as well as other age groups to improve the CPP’s prospects in the election.
The CPP is the first political party to rule the country after founding President Kwame Nkrumah won the election when Ghana gained its independence from Britain in 1957.
However, the CPP has recently struggled to match the electoral successes of both the NDC and the NPP in recent polls.
Clottey interview with Ivor Greenstreet, CPP senior official