Former President Mahama (left) and Former President Rawlings (right)
Since the inception of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the law spells out clearly the number of years a person elected as President can stay in office.
It is on the back of this that the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party is challenging the eligibility of former President Mahama as he aims to contest the 2020 Presidential elections.
In an open letter addressed to Parliament, the Judiciary, former President Jerry Rawlings and copied to Peacefmonline.com, Mr. Bernard Antwi-Boasiako stated that per the explanations given in the 1992 Constitution, former President Mahama cannot represent the National Democratic Congress in any national election.
In reference to Article 66 of the 1992 Constitution, Mr. Bernard Antwi-Boasiako explained that the state could not continue to spend money on all former Presidents only for “only one (John Mahama) to nicodemously sneak out and come and contest an election on a the ticket of a political party in 2020”.
Article 66 of the 1992 Constitution states that
(1) A person elected as President shall, subject to clause (3) of this article, hold office for a term of four years beginning from the date on which he is sworn in as President.
(2) A person shall not be elected to hold office as President of Ghana for more than two terms.
(3) The office of President shall become vacant –
(a) on the expiration of the period specified in clause (1) of this article; or
(b) if the incumbent dies or resigns from office or ceases to hold office under article 69 of this Constitution.
(4) The President may, by writing signed by him, and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, resign from his office as President.
Dwelling on the above article, Mr. Bernard Antwi-Boasiako commented that since our constitution directs us on how to treat all former Presidents of which Mr. John Mahama is recognized., the privileges he enjoys cannot be halted.
He added that former President Mahama now belongs to the club of ex-Presidents and it would be wrong for the state not to care for him like it does for the others.
This convention, according to Chairman Wontumi, means that former President Mahama dreams of contesting the 2020 elections has been cut short.
“If article 66 (3b) makes it clear that ever since late former President Mills passed on to eternal glory, his predecessor completed his stipulated tenure for him. Mahama has completed his tenure and there is no way he can seek for another tenure in office.”
He called on Parliament and the Judiciary to explain to Ghanaians what 66 (3b) stands for and enusre former President Mahama doesn’t become a “bandit” in his quest to lead the NDC into the 2020 Presidential election.
“If former President Rawlings and others do not speak out now, it could prepare the grounds for future chaos. Mahama wants to be the unorthodox type of former President and create confusion for us”, Chairman Wontumi warned.