14 December 2012

Ghana: Samia, Adams to Join Cabinet

THE election of President John Dramani Mahama as President of Ghana in last Friday's presidential and parliamentary elections is expected to send new waves in the rank and file of the ruling National Democratic Congress.

With the number two now at the helm of affairs, having 'endured' the period of a caretaker President after the passing away of President John Evans Atta Mills, the dynamics of power brokerage in the Umbrella family is up for a major transformation.

Instructively, the influence of the Ahwois' and the 'Fanti confederation' in the corridors of power is likely to wean in this new administration.

It is an open secret that the 'Fanti confederation' virtually run the Mills administration behind the scenes, rendering the then President's role merely ceremonial, but this not likely to occur in the new administration.

Most of the darling boys of former President Mills, who were shot onto political lime light by virtue of their appointment into ministerial positions, are likely to give way to new faces, as President John Dramani Mahama prepares to form a government of his won.

Already, a transitional team, headed by Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has directed all ministers of state to begin preparing their handing over notes, in compliance with the provisions of the Presidential (Transitions) Act of 2013, Act 845.

Indications are that the President is likely to spring surprises in his new cabinet concerning ministerial appointments, while retiring some key ministers in fulfillment of his promise of an all-inclusive government.

Key among the names likely to be missing on the list of the new government are Dr. Kwabena Duffour, Minister of Finance, whose position is likely to be occupied by Dr. Cadman Mills, brother of the late President Mills, or the more experienced Seth Tekper, Deputy at the Finance Ministry.

A re-structuring of the Defence Ministry is likely see Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith (rtd), the Minister of Defence, give way to a new person, possibly of Northern descent.

The Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Ebo Barton Odro, is not likely to make his way into the new administration.

Mills' darling boy, Okudzeto Ablakwa, deputy Minister for information, who is said to have gained unprecedented authority at that ministry, is also not likely to consolidate his stay in the new administration, and might take solace in the seat he won in parliament, in the just-ended elections.

Trade Minister Hannah Tetteh, who doubled as the campaign manager for the Mahama presidential bid, is billed to be the rising star in the new administration.

Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development's contribution towards retaining the NDC in power is expected to be rewarded, as a core member in the new administration.

The influence of the Rawlingses is not likely to dwindle, considering the posture of former President Rawlings in the few moments to the general elections. The former President, who had been on a criticism spree against his party, at the last moment, endorsed the candidature of President Mahama, although he could not make public who he would vote for in the run up to the elections.

Mr. Rawlings' influence in the NDC is expected to bounce back, considering the cordial relationship which existed between him and the President-elect, prior to the elections.

Mr. Kofi Adams, an aide to former President Rawlings, is expected to be used as the bargaining chip to win back the trust of the Rawlingses, as one of the new faces likely to show up in the ministerial list of the John Mahama administration.

Mr. Adams had been and remained an ardent defender of the NDC during the heat of the electioneering campaign, despite the issues of his status in the party.

He stood behind the NDC, even in times when the wife of his boss, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, had visibly parted ways with the party.

The Chronicle will be least surprised if the agenda of the NDC to encapsulate the smaller political parties in the country leads to a ministerial position being thrown at the General Secretary of the Convention People's Party, Samia Nkrumah.

There are also indications that Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu, former education minister, is likely to find her way back to government, with predictions pointing to the Foreign Affairs Ministry as her base.

The former minister, who resigned her position as Minister of Education in the Mills administration in the heat of the Woyome saga, was very instrumental in the re-election of the NDC government, with massive campaign efforts in the stronghold of the New Patriotic Party, the Ashanti Region.

Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah is also tipped to part of this new administration, considering his vast experience in the previous NDC administration, and his contribution to the party.

Dr Spio Garbrah fell out with the late President Mills after the presidential primary.

The People's National Convention's Hassan Ayariga is also likely to be appreciated by the new NDC government, but it is unclear which manner it will take.

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