(Bloomberg) -- Ghanaian Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia won the ruling party’s nomination to become its presidential candidate in next year’s election.
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Bawumia secured 61% of the votes to beat three other aspirants, the nation’s electoral commission said in the capital, Accra, on Saturday. He becomes the first Ghanaian from the northern part of the country to lead the New Patriotic Party in a presidential race.
The 60-year-old politician will face former Ghanaian leader John Mahama, who is running for president for a fourth time. President Nana Akufo-Addo is stepping down next year after serving his second and final term.
The NPP chose Bawumia ahead of his main contender, Kennedy Agyapong, a member of parliament and businessman who polled 37% of total votes. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, former minister for food and agriculture, and Francis Addai-Nimoh each won less than 1%.
Bawumia becomes the first economist in Ghana’s 66 years of independence to lead any of the two major political parties for the nation’s top job and breaks the center-right NPP’s previous tradition of voting for lawyers. He served as the deputy governor of Ghana’s central bank from 2006 to 2008 and was the resident representative of the African Development Bank in Zimbabwe in 2011.
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