A governance expert, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, has said ex-presidents John Rawlings, John Kufuor and John Mahama are all qualified to contest to become president of Ghana again. His comment comes on the heels of moves by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, to block Mr Mahama from seeking another term in office.
Mr Mahama, who lost the 2016 elections to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is seeking to lead the NDC to contest as president in the 2020 polls.
Mr Mahama, who was vice-president to late President John Mills, ascended to the presidency in 2012 following his boss’ death. He was elected to serve a full-term as president in the December 2012 election. Mr Antwi-Boasiako believes Mr Mahama, by continuing the tenure of the late Atta Mills, served a full term as president and served his second term when he won the 2012 election, thus, is ineligible to contest again.
But Dr Osae, who is also the Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), holds a different view. According to him, Mr Mahama only continued and finished the term of the late Atta Mills when he passed away and that cannot be considered as Mr Mahama’s first term in office.
Speaking on Burning Issues on Accra-based Adom FM, Dr Osae explained that Mr Mahama can seek re-election and even run for two other terms because there has been a break in his presidency.
He noted that even former presidents Rawlings and Kufuor are eligible to contest again if they wish, because there has been a break since they left office which renders their first two terms in office obsolete.
“If today we vote and Mr Mahama wins and he becomes president, he can spend his four years and even seek re-election because there was a break in his term.
“It is not in the Constitution that after serving two terms, you cannot contest again. People have been calling for interpretation from the Supreme Court if former presidents Kufuor and Rawlings can come back to contest because the Constitution says you cannot go for more than two terms but it does not say a President who has served his two terms of office cannot contest in any future date”, he stated.