THE Council of Elders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has approved the Vice-President, Mr Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, as the running mate to President John Dramani Mahama for the 2012 presidential election.
The approval followed his nomination by President Mahama, an unimpeachable source close to the Presidency told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC is expected to meet today (Tuesday) to confirm him.
Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, will then be officially outdoored by the NDC at the National Theatre at 4pm by President Mahama during which he (President Mahama) will also make some campaign pronouncements..
The source, however, declined to say when the official outdooring would take place but indicated that it would be pretty soon.
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Mr Amissah-Arthur, an economist and then Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), was nominated on July 31, this year, by President Mahama to be considered by Parliament as the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana.
Mr Amissah-Arthur’s nomination and approval by Parliament as the Vice-President was in line with Article 60 (10) of the 1992 Constitution.
His nomination followed the swearing in of Mr Mahama as the President following the death of President John Evans Atta Mills on July 24, 2012.
Mr Mahama was sworn into office in fulfilment of Article 60 (6) of the 1992 Constitution, which states: “Whenever the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President for the unexpired term of office of the President with effect from the date of the death, resignation or removal of the President.”
Prior to Mr Amissah-Arthur’s nomination as Vice-President, many names had made the rounds in the rumour mill, prominent among them being the renowned economist and Minister of Finance during the Rawlings administration, Dr Kwesi Botchwey; the current Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hanna Tetteh; the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo; the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi; the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Mr P.V. Obeng, and the Volta Regional Minister, Mr Henry Ford Kamel.
After Mr Amissah-Arthur’s nomination, there were speculations that President Mahama had nominated him only to assist him to complete the term of the late President Mills and that he might nominate another person to partner him for the 2012 elections.
The source said the nomination of Vice-President Amissah-Arthur by President Mahama and his subsequent approval by the Council of Elders of the NDC had settled the matter.
Mr Amissah-Arthur is said to have been the late President Mills’s preferred choice for the Central Bank’s highest position because of the former’s involvement in the team of technocrats who had impressively managed Ghana’s structural adjustment programme which turned the country’s economic fortunes around in the 1980s.
Mr Amissah-Arthur’s management of the nation’s coffers started when he became the Special Assistant to the PNDC Secretary for Finance from 1983 to 1986.
When the Fourth Republican sun, rose with former President Rawlings still at the helm of affairs, he was appointed the Deputy Minister of Finance from 1993 to 1997, during which he worked with Dr Botchwey.
Mr Amissah-Arthur, who was also the Deputy Chairman of the Transition team on the Economy, is a protégé of Dr Botchwey.
He also accumulated a great deal of experience while involved in structural adjustment programmes which enabled him to move into an international consultancy business.
When he was the Governor of the BoG, Mr Amissah-Arthur was named the most influential personality in 2010 by the Ghanaian think tank, IMANI Ghana.
Before his association with the management of the country’s economy, Mr Amissah-Arthur’s first appointment was at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Legon, where he was a research assistant from 1974 to 1975.
From there, he took to the classroom at the Department of Economics of the same university as a teaching assistant from 1977-1978, became an assistant lecturer in 1979 before becoming a lecturer from 1980 to 1988.
He also lectured at the Anambra State College of Education in Nigeria from 1981 to 1983.
Mr Amissah-Arthur was born in Cape Coast in the Central Region on April 29, 1951. He had his GCE Ordinary and Advanced level certificates at Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast in 1969 and 1971, respectively.
He then proceeded to the University of Ghana where he was awarded a B.Sc degree in Economics in 1974 and an M.Sc in Economics in 1980.
Written By: Eric & Josephine