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Still Team B...As Governor Of The Falling Cedi Partners Prez Mahama   
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President John Dramani Mahama, has named the man who has superintended over the rapid depreciation of the Ghana Cedi against all major trading currencies, Kwesi Amissah Arthur, as his Vice President.

The choice was finally made yesterday after almost a week of indecision on the part of the President over who the Vice President would be.

Dr Amissah Arthur, barring any unforeseen circumstance, is likely to be named as the running to the President at the September 1 congress of the ruling party.

There are, however, worrying sentiments and signals being expressed by NDC big-wigs who believe Dr Amissah Arthur’s choice as Vice President was made only to counter Mahamudu Bawumia, NPP Vice presidential candidate, and make up for the inadequacies of President Mahama rather than help the NDC win the December elections.

According to our Castle source, the NDC big-wigs, including Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, ET Mensah, Victor Smith and Nii Lante Vanderpuije, are of the opinion that President Mahama does not have grassroots appeal and as such the party needed a candidate who would help the NDC win the election. “The NDC hierarchy believes Amissah Arthur has no platform charisma and no links to grassroots and are worried about how the party will win the 2012 election,” the source added.

Sources at the Castle yesterday told the New Statesman that series of high profile meetings were held at the Castle, Osu, during which President Mahama finally settled on Dr Amissah-Arthur, after being aided by NDC big-wigs who had narrowed down the choices between him and Dr Kwesi Botchway.

Kojo Tsikata, according to our Castle Source, preferred Dr Kwesi Botchway who happens to be Ghana’s longest serving Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and is seen as a man who will receive widespread commendation from the international financial community.

This choice by President Mahama, according to political commentators, is aimed solely at countering the glittering effects Dr Bawumia, has had on the electorate, describing it as an act of political equalization.

Reacting to the news, a source at the NPP headquarters told the New Statesman that the choice of Dr Amissah Arthur reinforces the belief of the NPP that “the value is worse.”

According to the source, President Mahama and Dr Amissah Arthur, both members of the Economic Management team with the latter being the Chairman, have supervised the failure of the Ghanaian economy, which is the biggest failure of the NDC government. “The NDC has realised the potency of Dr Bawumia and the acknowledgement of the fact that the economy is the biggest failure of this government. Under President Mahama and Dr Amissah Arthur, the Cedi has seen its value plummet by more than 80%, low business confidence, rising cost of living and economic hardships,” the source noted.

Dr Mahamudu, on the other hand, as head of the African Development Bank in Zimbabwe reduced the inflation of the Southern African Country from some 3,900% to 3.95% in under two years of being in office.

Ironically, the source further revealed that this is not the first time President Mahama and Kwesi Amissah Arthur have worked together in government.

The source stated that President Mahama, the Minister of Communications in 2000, and Kwesi Amissah Arthur, also deputy Minister of Finance at the time, were part of the Economic Management Team who transformed Ghana into a Highly Indebted Poor Country.

“It was under this same team in the year 2000 that Ghana’s GDP growth rate hovered at an abysmal low of 3.7%. Inflation stood at 41% and was on the rise. On the interest rate front, the Bank of Ghana Base rate was over 50% with the 91-Day Treasury Bill Rate at 40.5%. Total Debt as a ratio of Gross Domestic Product stood at 189%. International Reserves stood at US$ 253 million, adequate for three weeks of import cover,” the source added.

Dr Amissah’s elevation to the position of Vice President has left many wondering who would become the Governor of the Bank of Ghana. Intelligence picked up by the New Statesman has the Paramount Chief of the Asogli Traditional Council, Togbui Afede, and Alhassan Andani as the frontrunners.
Source: Fiifi Arhin/thestatesmanonline.com

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