Former President John Dramani Mahama’s re-election bid is in limbo as he has been dragged to court for trying to contest in the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flagbearership election slated for February 23, 2019.
According to citinewsroom.com, one Stephen Agyeman who sued Mahama argued that Mahama’s re-election move violates the 1992 Constitution and he is thus asking the court to stop the former president from contesting in the NDC’s presidential election.
Mr. Agyeman is seeking a declaration to the effect that John Mahama “cannot purport to seek re-election as President of the Republic of Ghana” pursuant to Articles 68 clauses 2 to 9 of the Constitution.
Agyeman is also urging the court to declare that John Mahama is not qualified to stand for re-election as president of the country.
“A declaration that pursuant to Article 66 (1) and 66 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the defendant is not qualified as a candidate to stand for re-election as President of the Republic of Ghana on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.”
According to Agyeman, because John Mahama enjoyed some privileges as former President, raising funds to support his bid to be elected as a flagbearer of the NDC in his capacity as a former President of the Republic of Ghana, without the permission of Parliament “has contravened Article 68 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.”
He is also seeking a declaration that Mahama’s establishment of a campaign office for the purpose of seeking to coordinate his activities in his quest to become flagbearer of the NDC constitutes “an office of emolument or profit within the context of Article 68 (2) of the 1992 Constitution and same having been established without parliamentary permission is in contravention of Article 68 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.”
Mahama defeated in 2016
John Mahama who served as president of Ghana from 2012 to 2016 was defeated in the 2016 general elections.
After retrospection, the former president is seeking to be re-elected in the upcoming 2020 polls.
He is currently contesting in the NDC’s presidential election which comes off in less than ten days.
Already, some analysts have questioned why the former president is seeking a comeback.
‘Mahama may not be able to run for president’ – Ken Kuranchi
The Editor of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper, Ken Kuranchi, in August 2018 argued that John Mahama may not be able to contest again as President or flagbearer.
He stated that according to Article 68 Clause 2 of the constitution, former presidents are not supposed to engage in any activities that provide profit or emolument.
“When it comes to former Presidents, there are limits as to how far he [John Mahama] can go,” Mr. Kuranchi said on Eyewitness News at the time.
Quoting the constitution, he said, “the President shall not, on leaving office as President, hold any office of profit or emolument, except with the permission of Parliament in any establishment, either directly or indirectly, other than that of the State.”
He explained further that once Mr. Mahama runs for flagbearer, it becomes a journey that is being done on behalf of the state which is directly against what the constitution provides.
He also said the flagbearer position would provide him a money making avenue.
“Doing politics costs a lot of money… When you engage in political activity, you raise money. John Mahama will need to raise money. He will need to spend money,” Mr. Kuranchi argued further.
“Once this person under the control of Parliament decides that he wants to engage in this specific activity, he needs to be examined. He needs to find out if that activity he decides to engage in is something that will bring profits or emoluments. You cannot conclude or say positively or not that it will bring emoluments or there are no emoluments unless you subject the particular exercise to some degree of examination,” Ken Kuranchie added.