Will President Mahama Seek a Second Term?
Feature Article of Saturday, 4 August 2012
Columnist: Ata, Kofi
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By Kofi Ata, Cambridge, UK
I am sure most readers will say that, the above question is premature and probably unnecessary because President Mahama is not yet the confirmed Presidential candidate of the NDC, though that could be a mere formality. Let us even assume that he is the confirmed candidate, he would first have to win the December 2012 Presidential elections before the question of a second term arises. Whilst I would not disagree with those who hold such views, I have a different opinion on the question because the evidence is that societies and organisations that pose hypothetical questions regarding the future, seek potential answers and plan ahead of time are some of the most successful, so my question is relevant today as it may be tomorrow.
In the likely or unlikely event of President Mahama winning the December 2012 Presidential elections, would he go for a second term in 2016? To answer this question, I believe we should seek answers from the Ghanaian Constitution.
For easy reference, Article 60 (6) states, “Whenever the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President for the unexpired term of office of the President with effect from the date of the death, resignation or removal of the President”.
Article 60 (7) states, “Where the unexpired term served by the Vice-President under clause (6) of this article exceeds half the term of a President, the Vice-President is subsequently only eligible to serve one full term as President”.
President Mahama is a Clause (6) President and therefore from the above there is no constitutional restriction preventing him from serving two terms since the unexpired term of the late President Mills is only a little over five months and far less than half of the four year term.
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