Former President John Dramani Mahama has promised to run a clean campaign devoid of attacks against political opponents.
This follows an official declaration of his intent to contest the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential primaries.
Speaking at his office right after he officially sent his letter of intent to the party on Thursday to contest, Mr. Mahama said: “I wish to assure that in my own nature, I am not the person that will cast aspersions or negativity or insults at any of my comrades who have declared their intention to run. And I expect that for all those who support me, they will also follow in the same track and not attack or cast any aspersions against opponents because after the congress we would have to come together again.”
I’m encouraged by massive support
The President also pointed out that he is encouraged by the “broad show of support” by party officials since his declaration.
“Comrades from all walks of life and regions of the country and from all persuasions of the party are gathered here just to help me carry out the assignment of presenting that simple letter to the General Secretary and I wish to say that emboldens me and makes me certain that it is possible if we work together.”
Mr. Mahama joins other high profile candidates within the NDC including the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, and Nadowli Kaleo MP, Alban Bagbin who have declared interest in contesting.
Other candidates are Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah; a former Trade and Industry Minister; Former Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Joshua Alabi, and Cape Coast South MP Kweku Ricketts-Hagan.
The NDC has slated December 7, 2018, for the election of its flagbearer for the 2020 presidential election.
His comments come after some party members have taken on a leading party member Alban Bagbin for making supposed disparaging comments against some of Mahama’s appointees, and blaming such appointments for the party’s defeat.
Mahama in politics
Mahama, aged 60, entered into politics in 1996 when he was elected to the Parliament to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term.
He was re-elected in 2000 and 2004.
During this time, he served as the Deputy Minister of Communications in 1997, Minister of Communications from 1998 until 2001, Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Communications from 2001 until 2005, and Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Foreign Affairs from 2005 until 2008.
On 7th January 2009, Mr. Mahama became the Vice-President of Ghana after the NDC’s election 2008.
He remained in that position until President John Atta Mills’ death on 24 July 2012, when in line with Ghana’s Constitution, he became President of the Republic.
The Election petition decider
In December 2012, he became President of Ghana for a four-year term after a contentious election which was eventually resolved after an eight-month-long tussle at the Supreme Court over the validity of the results.
The results were challenged by the New Patriotic Party which contended that over-voting occurred at 1,722 polling stations, while voting without biometric verification occurred at 2,020 polling stations.
The then-opposition party also claimed presiding officers did not also sign pink sheets at 1,638 polling stations, while the use of duplicate serial numbers on pink sheets affected 8,987 polling stations.
The NPP held that if the results of the affected polling stations were annulled, Mr. Mahama’s votes would have reduced by 2,622,551, which would have in turn, beaten down the results declared by the Electoral Commission in his favor, to 41.79 percent.
Though NPP Flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo would have lost by 1,233,186, he would have secured 56.85 percent, per their permutations.
But the Supreme Court upheld Mr. Mahama as the constitutionally elected President.
Mr. Mahama, however fell short in 2016 losing by some one million votes, Nana Akufo-Addo became third time lucky.