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Is Prof. Opoku-Agyemang the first female running mate of a major political party in Ghana?

Credit: DailyGhana 2 mins read

 Prof. Opoku-Agyemang is the first female running mate of a major political party in Ghana.

Although over the years, there have been a number of female running mates for other political parties in Ghana, those parties were not considered major political parties in Ghana. The NDC has since 1992 been considered one of the two leading political parties in Ghana, and prior to the announcement of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang’s candidacy, the party has announced only male running mates for the presidential elections.

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On 6 July 2020, the presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former president John Mahama, announced his running mate for the upcoming December 2020 elections to be  Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang. Following Mahama’s announcement, some international news stories, here, and here have highlighted that Prof. Opoku-Agyemang is the first female vice-presidential candidate for a major political party in Ghana. 

Some Ghanaian Twitter users have further suggested that other political parties who have had female vice-presidential candidates prior to Prof. Opoku-Agyemang’s candidacy are however not considered as major political parties in Ghana.

Verification:

In a compilation by some Ghanaian media here and here, the history of Ghanaian politics shows that Prof Opoku-Agyemang is certainly not the first female vice-presidential candidate to be announced over the years of constitutional rule in Ghana. 

Particularly for the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, the polls witnessed three female vice-presidential candidates in the persons of Eva Lokko for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP),  Helen Matervi for the People’s National Convention (PNC), and Nana Akosua Frimpomaa II also known as Cherita Sarpong for the Convention People’s Party (CPP).

The parties considered to be major political parties in Ghana

The National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are the political parties in Ghana popularly described as the two leading political parties, or the two major political parties in Ghana. 

Since the 1992 Constitution, Ghana has had a multi-party political system, yet the NDC and the NPP political parties have notably amassed the highest votes among Ghanaian voters in presidential and parliamentary elections, and have remained the two main competing and formidable parties in the Ghanaian political landscape till date.

However, unlike other political parties in previous election years, none of these two leading parties had announced the candidacy of a female running mate till the NDC announced Prof. Opoku-Agyeman for the 2020 elections, thereby, making her the first female vice-presidential candidate of a major political party in Ghana.

Conclusion

The claim that Prof Opoku-Agyemang is the first female running mate for a major political party in Ghana is true. Although there have been a number of female running mates for other political parties in Ghana over the years, those parties are not largely considered as major political parties in the country. 

The party Prof Opoku-Agyemang is running for, the NDC, has since 1992 been considered one of the two leading political parties in Ghana, and prior to the announcement of her candidacy, the party have had only male running mates for the presidential elections.

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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