In the footsteps of Mills, Aliu Mahama: Will Bawumia step down or hold on?
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic, is tipped as one of the frontrunners to contest for the flagbearership of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
This is despite the fact that he has yet to make a definitive pronouncement of his intent to run for the post at a time most of the major contenders are already on the campaign trail.
Bawumia has been in frontline politics for the last 14 odd years, since his emergence as running mate to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2007.
He has thus, served two terms (eight years) in opposition and will complete same duration in government depending on how he approaches the much-awaited announcement of his candidature.
The general questions that have popped up in public discussions being, will Bawumia resign as Vice President to pursue his presidential ambition or will he hold on to the position till after the presidential primaries?
He is, however, not the first Vice President seeking to replace his outgoing boss under the Fourth Republic.
GhanaWeb looks at the two earlier VPs and how they navigated the dream to replace their bosses
Late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills
Atta Mills became Vice President to Jerry John Rawlings in 1996, when the latter was running for a second term in office, and by 2000 when JJ was exiting Atta Mills was in pole position to succeed him as flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
In the case of Mills, he did not need an election to secure his ticket because the party endorsed him to run as its candidate in the election which they eventually lost in the second round to the NPP’s John Agyekum Kufuor.
Rawlings handed over power to Kufuor in what became the first peaceful transfer of democratic power under the Fourth Republic.
Aliu Mahama ‘drowns’ amid wave of aspirants
Eight years down the line, another Vice President was in line to seek the seat of his boss – Alhaji Aliu Mahama wanted the post of John Agyekum Kufuor when the then president was completing his second and final term.
There are parallels between Aliu Mahama and Bawumia across different stratas. Aliu was the first northerner and Muslim to rise to the position of Vice President, Bawumia followed in that track eight years later.
Aliu was the first Vice President to contest for the ticket of his party and Bawumia is facing a similar instance.
Aliu Mahama unlike Mills came up against 16 other candidates who were seeking to replace Kufuor at the time.
At the 2007 congress at Legon, aspirant Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo obtained 47 percent of total votes cast whiles his closest challenger, Alan Kyerematen obtained 32 percent.
Aliu Mahama was third with 146 votes (6.3%).
Akufo-Addo later lost the 2008 General Election after second-round of voting to John Evans Atta Mills, who was running for the third consecutive time.
Bawumia under pressure in wake of resignations?
Alan Kyerematen and Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Ministers for Trade and Industry and Agriculture respectively resigned from government almost a week apart.
Even though both are said to have exited the government to focus on their presidential ambitions, it is only Alan who has formally announce his bid to lead the ruling New Patriotic Party into the 2024 general elections.
Dr. Bawumia is seen by political watchers and pollsters as the main candidate who will slug it out with Alan when delegates meet to vote later this year.
Bawumia is Akufo-Addo’s highest appointee at the party and constitutional levels, can he avoid the pressure of having to resign as his contenders have done till the congress?
Will he risk, by conservative estimates, a year and half of his term by resigning to contest knowing that he could lose and become the first Vice President who did not serve his full term?
Time, as they say, will tell.