40_G15_Spotlight_Ghana

Global Issue 15

Spotlight Ghana Adding fuel to the fire: seven difficult months for Mahama Seven months ago, John Dramani Mahama came into office as a president in his own right, although his position is being challenged at Ghana’s Supreme Court. With the case hanging over his head – capped by a series of major fires and a controversial rise in pump prices – Mahama is finding it difficult to deliver on electoral promises Baffour Ankomah Some presidents get lucky in their first few months in office, but nature and circumstances appear to have conspired to haunt Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama since his controversial electoral victory last December, which the opposition candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is still disputing at the Supreme Court. Seven months have passed since his inauguration on 7 January 2013, and if politicians were given to introspection, Mahama would be the first to admit that these have not been seven easy months at all. Misfortune after misfortune appears to dog his government’s every step and, as such, forced them to behave more like firefighters than soldiers under control of a plan, the government has not achieved much in the half year it has been in office. Mahama first came to power on 24 July 2012 when his boss, President John Atta Mills, suddenly died on that day. As Vice President at the time, Mahama was made President six hours after Mills’ death in accordance with Ghana’s constitution, to finish Mills’ remaining term of office – which ended at last December’s elections. As ‘interim president’ (as many people saw him), Mahama was not given a hope in hell’s chance of winning the December presidential election, so his victory by a narrow margin confounded the pundits. According to the Electoral Commission (EC), Mahama won 50.7 per cent of the vote to challenger Nana Akufo-Addo’s 47.7 per cent. Akufo-Addo cried foul and sought redress at the Supreme Court to overturn the EC-announced result. After initial pre-trial hearings lasting three months, the court started hearing President John Mahama is still awaiting the results of a legal challenge to the election results 40 l www.global -br ief ing.org thi rd quar ter 2013 global


Global Issue 15
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