Ghana opposition picks John Mahama for next presidential election


The National Democratic Congress (NDC), has voted overwhelmingly to retain former Ghana’s president, John Mahama, as its leader for the 2024 presidential election. This is the third time Mahama will run for the top job in Ghana, one of Africa’s most stable democracies. He came second to President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016 and 2020.

Mahama, 64, secured 297,603 votes, representing 98.9% of votes cast, the electoral commission said on Sunday. “I am humbled by the overwhelming vote of confidence reposed in me by the party,” Mahama said shortly after the declaration. “Let’s keep our collective sights firmly on the supreme objective of the NDC: leading Ghana out of the current abyss in which we find our country.”

Mahama, the then vice-president, came to power in July 2012, replacing John Atta Mills who died unexpectedly. He then won the election later that year, and ruled the country for the second term. Ghana is seeking a $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to shore up its battered economy, with financing assurances from its official creditors boosted hopes the loan will be signed off soon.

But for him to win the presidential election in 2024, experts suggested that Mahama considers a few critical guidelines in his political approach. Experts say Mahama’s chances of returning to the Jubilee House, the seat of government, it is necessary using his experience and his appeal to close the rank and file of the party.

Mahama’s popularity is an asset, and therefore it would be necessary to further forge a close unity in the party and explicitly inform the electorate of the party’s future development goals. A survey by Global Info Analytics has already showed that Mahama was the most preferred presidential candidate for 53% of Ghanaian voters than the most popular presidential aspirant in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Director of the Center for European Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr. Asah Asante tips NDC to win the next presidential elections with Mahama as flag-bearer. “Mahama stands tall in terms of experience, a record that he has left in this country and in terms of popularity. These three things will go a long way to strengthen his chances of winning the flag-bearership,” Dr. Asante told the Voice of America (VOA).

The current Nana Akufo-Addo administration started on a positive step in 2017 with so much goodwill and high expectations. But after a few wins in economic management things have taken a sharp and dangerous nosedive. Since 2019, Ghana’s economy has been showing signs of distress and cracks, worsening dramatically with each passing day. Now, the country is experiencing the worst economic and financial crisis in decades.

Inflation is at unprecedented highs; the debt burden is flattening out the achievements of all previous administrations and nothing seems to be working smoothly. The economic meltdown has impacted everything, especially the cost of living. It’s a distressing situation. The $3 billion IMF loan request that stipulated the domestic and external debt restructuring is itself a blot on a government that heavily criticized Mahama’s administration.

Mahama needs an excellent running-mate. Experts say a solid choice for a running mate is key for winning the election in 2024. Experts say if Mahama, finally, emerges victorious, the economic team has to draw up a development program that would satisfy the expectations of the people. Mahama possesses the critical experience needed to bring Ghana back to winning ways after the Nana Akufo-Addo government plunged it into chaos. “Ghana demands experience not experiments” – Mahama said.

As of 2019, Ghana was the 7th largest producer of gold in the world. It is a leading producer and exporter of cocoa to Europe.  It is the 2nd largest producer of cocoa globally. According to sources, it is “the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve the goal of halving poverty, as contained in Goal 1 of the Millennium Development Goals.”

A unitary presidential democracy and with a parliamentary multi-party system dominated by 2 parties: the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).  The Republic of Ghana with a population of over 32 million, is located on the coast of West Africa, and is a member of the regional organization, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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