Victor Smith Tipped To Partner Mahama

As Ghana’s new president seeks to select someone from within the ranks of the NDC to partner him to complete the term of late President Atta Mills and also contest the upcoming general election, several names have popped up. However, many Ghanaians seem to have overlooked the former Ghana Ambassador to Czech Republic and Eastern Regional Minister whose presence in the local political scene has shaken the opposition NPP especially in their stronghold Eastern Region. Many believe the dynamic and austere politician’s entry into the Abuakwa North parliamentary race has brought a complete awakening and a paradigm shift in the politics of Eastern Region and quickened other candidates in the mainly NPP strongholds in the country to also go for the win while alerting the NPP to be wary or they lose one of their strongholds. Victor Smith, who is a very close associate of President Mahama and the late president, partly hails from Akyem Abuakwa in the Eastern Region where the NPP’s flagbearer also hails from and Cape Coast in the Central Region, all in southern Ghana while the president comes from the Northern Region. The charismatic former aide to the Rawlingses was one of the known voices of the NDC during its eight years in opposition and considered by many as a true and committed party person, whose partnership will impact greatly on the chances of the NDC as they prepare to put together a new duo to face the already marketed candidates of the other political parties. Currently the only parliamentary candidate who has had several people defecting from the main opposition party and the other parties in the Abuakwa North constituency to support his bid for parliament; the latest being a chunk of CPP sympathizers who held a press conference at the CRIG Recreational Center in Akyem Tafo to declare their support for his candidacy last week. Other names popping up include Dr. Kwesi Botchwey who is Ghana’s longest serving Finance and Economic Planning Minister during President Jerry Rawlings’ era, Mr Paul Victor Obeng, former head of government business and Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, former flagbearer aspirant of the NDC. However, many believe the Kwesi Botchweys, PV Obengs have spent their times in the Ghanaian political limelight already and will be better for President Mahama to maintain them their various advisory positions the late president appointed them to, and appoint an equally vibrant young politician to partner him. Some also have the view that Dr Ekwow Spio, another charismatic, energetic and vibrant politician will be good, “but his blurred loyalty to the National Democratic Congress since late President Mills assumed office in 2009 puts Ambassador Victor Smith quite ahead of him”, 68-yrs old Mathew Ampah noted. Local Government Minister Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Trade and Industry Minister Hanna Tetteh, have also been mentioned by many as eligible running mates of President Mahama but the veteran politician believes “Victor Smith’s connection with two politically important regions in the country, international appeal, charisma and strong party commitment puts him ahead of them all”.