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Ghana’s Mahama, Ex-Education Minister Pair Up For December Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Ghana’s main opposition leader John Dramani Mahama picked Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a former education minister, as his running mate for Dec. 7 presidential elections.

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The pairing was announced by Mahama’s National Democratic Congress party in a statement in the capital, Accra on Thursday.

Mahama led Ghana from 2012 to 2017 and Opoku-Agyemang, a former vice chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, served as his education minister from 2013 to 2016. The two were also running mates in 2020 elections, that saw President Nana Akufo-Addo win a second and final term.

“Her nomination underscores the NDC’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and the empowerment of women in leadership roles,” the NDC said. “Possessing extensive qualifications and experience, Professor Opoku-Agyemang brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the NDC’s presidential ticket.”

The ruling New Patriotic Party has nominated Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to succeed Akufo-Addo, and he has yet to announce his running mate. The NDC and the NPP have dominated Ghanaian politics since 1992, with little to separate them in several prior elections.

The winner of the December vote will have to deal with the fallout of a May 2023 decision by Akufo-Addo’s administration to agree to a three-year International Monetary Fund program that includes a $3 billion bailout. The country is restructuring almost all of its $44.5 billion of debt and the deal with the IMF requires the government to reduce its debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio down to 55% by 2028, from 109% in 2022.

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