Ghana gets a new Vice President
Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, governor of the central bank and an economist, was sworn-in as vice president late Monday evening in accordance with Article 60 (10) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Law makers in parliament unanimously approved his nomination after posing questions ranging from macro-economic issues, such as the depreciation of the cedi, the country’s single digit inflation against rising prices and his political clout.
In a brief statement, the new vice president expressed appreciation to President Mahama for his nomination, adding, “I thank the house (parliament) for doing something unprecedented in the history of Ghana. The show of unanimity and unity by parliament as a result of the sad event that occurred is commendable”.
He later called on Ghanaians “and the many people across the countries, who have sent messages of goodwill” adding that, “I hope I would continue to receive your prayers”.
The swearing in of the vice president follows the death of President John Evans Atta Mills on last month and the ascension of Mahama, who was the deputy then.
Amissah-Arthur is an economist and served in former President Jerry Rawlings’ government as a Deputy Finance Minister.
He served as governor of the central bank in the Mills administration, where the late president chose Amissah-Arthur because of his role in managing Ghana’s structural adjustment programme, which turned the country’s economic fortunes around in the 1980s.
Mills’ state funeral will take place in Accra, the capital, from Wednesday 8 to 10 August. Several world leaders including the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Liberian President. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf are expected to attend the funeral.
The 68-year old late president, the first Ghanaian leader to die in office, will be laid to rest at a special designated place near the seat of government.
Mills had been the Presidential candidate for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the next elections, slated for December, with political analysts predicting a tight contest.
He would have contested against Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, the candidate for largest opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Observers said Mills’ death had helped reduce tensions ahead of the much anticipated polls.
Meanwhile, the NDC National Executive Council has endorsed Mahama as its candidate for the next election. Nonetheless, the endorsement will have to be confirmed a national party delegates congress, the highest decision making body of the party, sometime later.