Mahama sued again over re-election bid

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A former Secretary to the main opposition National Democratic Congress in the Trobu Constituency in Accra, Mr Edmund Palmer has filed a suit against former President John Mahama challenging his eligibility to stand for re-election as the party’s flag bearer and subsequently, its presidential candidate.

In his writ, Mr Palmer prayed the court to stop Mr Mahama “from pursuing his bid to be elected as a flag bearer/presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress in his capacity as a former president of the Republic of Ghana, without the permission of Parliament.”

Additionally, he is praying for “an order of perpetual injunction restraining John Mahama from purporting to seek re-election howsoever as president of the Republic of Ghana without the permission of Parliament pursuant to Article 68(2), 68(3), 68(4), 68(5), 68(6),68(7) and 68(9) of the 1992 Constitution.”

He further wants the court to order Mr Mahama “to wind up the activities of his campaign office that was established for the purpose of seeking to coordinate his activities in his quest to become flag bearer/presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress.”

Mr Palmer also wants the former president to stop all fundraising activities in support his re-election bid without the permission of Parliament.

Mr Palmer’s suit, which comes four days to the NDC’s flag bearer poll, follows a similar one filed by one Stephen Agyeman, who is also challenging the constitutionality of Mr Mahama’s re-election bid as flag bearer of the NDC, and, if successful, as president of the Republic of Ghana – again, after having lost the 2016 elections

Mr Agyeman argues that Mr Mahama’s re-election bid violates the 1992 Constitution, and, therefore, seeking a declaration from the court that Mr Mahama “cannot purport to seek re-election as President of the Republic of Ghana” pursuant to Articles 68 clauses 2 to 9 of the Constitution.

Also, Mr Agyeman is praying the court for “a declaration that pursuant to Article 66 (1) and 66 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, the defendant is not qualified as a candidate to stand for re-election as President of the Republic of Ghana on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.”

He argues that since Mr Mahama enjoys some privileges as a former president, raising funds to support his bid for the flag bearer slot of the NDC without the permission of Parliament, contravenes Article 68 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.

Apart from the above, Mr Agyeman is also seeking a declaration that Mr Mahama’s establishment of a campaign office for the purpose of seeking to coordinate his activities in his quest to become the flag bearer of the NDC constitutes “an office of emolument or profit within the context of Article 68 (2) of the 1992 Constitution and same having been established without parliamentary permission is in contravention of Article 68 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.”

However, the spokesperson for former President John Mahama’s campaign team, Mr James Agyenim-Boateng, has in response to Mr Agyeman’s suit that neither his boss nor the team is bothered in the least.

He told Class News’ Joshua Quodjo-Mensah in an interview on Saturday, 16 February 2019 that the suit was “much ado about nothing”, adding: “We’re focused on delivering and running a very focused campaign and getting His Excellency John Dramani Mahama elected convincingly come next week”.

“You know that we’re just seven days away from the NDC flag bearer race. This is a complete waste of time and we are totally not perturbed by this. We’re not losing sleep over this frivolous and vexatious suit”, Mr Agyenim-Boateng added.

To him, “The fact that you run to court does not mean that you’re going to be victorious or you have a good case”.

Mr Mahama is contesting six others for the flag bearer slot of the NDC. They include Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, former UPSA Rector Prof Joshua Alabi; a former aide to ex-president Jerry John Rawlings, Mr Goosie Tanoh, former Minister of Trade and Industries Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Sylvester Mensah and businessman Nurudeen Iddrisu.

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