…as the former President’s popularity soars
Elements within the NPP are getting jittery over obvious signs Former President John Mahama is going to be the NDC’s flagbearer for the 2020 general elections. As a result, a cabal within the party has been seriously discussing what can be done to prevent him from doing so.
Intel picked by this paper indicates meetings have been held and the agreement reached to use the Supreme Court to disqualify the Former President from seeking a second term in office.
While some senior lawyers of the party consulted have opined in no uncertain terms attempting to use the Supreme Court to prevent Mahama from contesting the 2020 elections will be an exercise in futility, the cabal is still determined to do just that.
Already, some MPs of the ruling party have given away the game by publicly stating what the cabal’s stand that as far as they are concerned, the country’s constitution bars the Former President from seeking a second term in office. On Monday, November 6, 2017, taking his turn on TV3’s morning programme, ‘New Day’, NPP MP for Effutu, Hon Afenyo Markin said “As to whether he (Mahama) is eligible to contest again is another debate on its own which will be handled in the future.
The NPP MP for the Akim Swedru Constituency, Hon Kennedy Nyarko Osei, in a post on his facebook page echoed same sentiments when he writes; “Those advising the former President to contest again should read the constitution well. He cannot contest any election again because the constitution is clear. Though the former President did only one term, he is now a former President and statesman who enjoys all the privileges and courtesies of a former President and we cannot vary any of his privileges and benefit to his disadvantage. Therefore, the moment he decides to contest again, those privileges and courtesies must be withdrawn which the constitution does not allow so in principle, he cannot present himself again to be voted into power”
Hon Andrew Mercer, MP for Sekondi Constituency, reacting to what Hon Kennedy Nyarko Osei posted agreed with him, stating that “My exact understanding of the constitution!!! The combined effect of Articles 66 and 68 of the constitution leads to no other conclusion”
Some NPP leading figures are warning their colleagues planning to go to the Supreme Court to get it to disqualify Mahama from contesting the 2020 elections that doing so will only yield to Mahama’s advantage because it will incense the populace, increase his already growing popularity and hold the NPP as a party afraid of him.
The corruption scandals that have rocked the NPP since they took over the reins of power, the arrogant posturing of many of the government appointees, the inability of the government to honour the many promises it made to Ghanaians in the run-up to the 2016 elections, the rising cost of living and the mayhem pro-NPP vigilante groups are visiting on the populace has seen the goodwill on which the party rode into power withering away within ten months and led to a high approval rate for Former President Mahama. It is the recognition of these factors that is making many in the NPP jittery.
Trying to use constitutional means to get their main rival’s candidate disqualified from contesting in general elections has been the modus operandi of the Busia-Danquah parties. In the run-up to the 1992 elections, John Bilson, with Lawyer Obeng Manu as his Counsel went to court to have the head of state, Flt. Lt. Rawlings, disqualified from contesting the 1992 elections claiming he is not a Ghanaian. The move was engineered and sponsored by the NPP. They claimed Rawlings was a British citizen who had not renounced that citizenship. They also argued that his mother was from Togo and thus he was not a Ghanaian.
On October 26, 1992, the High Court rejected John Bilson’s request, ruling that Rawlings was qualified to run for the Presidency of Ghana. Not satisfied with the ruling of the High Court, John Bilson appealed the ruling. On November 2, 1992, the day before the Presidential election, the Court of Appeals gave its ruling, rejecting the merit of the case for procedural reasons. The judges noted, however, that acceptance or rejection of Presidential candidates is the prerogative of the Electoral Commission. Many hold that this attempt to prevent Rawlings from standing did more harm than good to the NPP. Rawlings went on to win the elections to become the first President of Ghana in the fourth republic.
The former head of the National Service Secretariat, Dr. Michael Kpessah-Whyte, commenting on the plan being hatched by the cabal within the NPP to use the 1992 constitution to disqualify President Mahama from running indicated the NDC will not let the cabal have its way. Rejecting the argument that Mahama is a former President and is already enjoying privileges and courtesies and thus is not qualified to contest the 2020 elections, he writes; “An incumbent President enjoying all the privileges of the office can run again without the withdrawal of the privileges but a former President cannot run because of the privileges? What kind of twisted logic is this?”
A former Deputy Communication Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, reacting to the secret plot of the NPP to go to the Supreme Court to get it to disqualify Mahama from contesting the 2020 elections sys “ …it will be a mortal mistake from which the NPP will not recover if they try it”
A deep throat source within the NPP told this paper when the time comes, the cabal will chose a person who is not a registered NPP member and is not publicly known to be an NPP supporter ( but in fact is) to go to the Supreme court to try and get the former President disqualified from contesting.
A Source within the former President’s office in reaction told this paper the planned move by the NPP “…is expected but one which will ultimately fail. All their moves are predictable; hound the Mahamas, use social and mainstream media to criminalize them, persecute Mahama’s appointees through the courts, harass businessmen who are his friends and many other shenanigan tactics. They are all expected”
SOURCE: DAILY POST