General News of Thu, 24 May 2018166
Mahama barred from contesting election 2020 – Lawyer
Lawyer and Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Agyapa Mercer has described former President John Dramani Mahama’s intended return to contest election 2020 as unconstitutional.
According to him, any such move by Mr Mahama could be fraught will legal challenges as the constitution is clear on his eligibility under this circumstance.
Ex-President Mahama over the weekend declared his intention to contest the Presidency in the 2020 general polls and will face a stiff contest from the likes of Ekow Spio Garbrah, Prof. Joshua Alabi, Alban Bagbin, and Sylvester Mensah at the party’s primaries.
But Lawyer Andrew Agyapa Mercer is clear in his reading and understanding of the 1992 constitution that the ex-President Mahama constitutionally has no chance of returning to the Presidency.
“My understanding of Article 66 and 68 is that he’s barred from ever contesting the Presidency again, but when you raise that conversation they are quick to say that you’re afraid of them that these are express words of the constitution.
The man has left office as President, the constitution doesn’t say that when you leave office after one term or two terms you have a right to contest twice and my interpretation of those provisions is that, that two terms is a continues to term.
When you leave office your benefits that are not varied until you die are there in the constitution, it’s clear Article 68 but they say the constitution gives him two terms, he’s done one so he’ll go and chop all the benefits for twenty years if he so desires and come back to come to continue. In this case he’s coming back after 4 years, for me I say he’s no right to contest.”
Article 66 of the 1992 Constitution reads:
(1) A person elected as President shall, subject to clause (3) of this article, hold office for a term of four years beginning from the date on which he is sworn in as President.
(2) A person shall not be elected to hold office as President of Ghana for more than two terms.
(3) The office of President shall become vacant –
(a) on the expiration of the period specified in clause (1) of this article; or
(b) if the incumbent dies or resigns from office or ceases to hold office under article 69 of this Constitution.
(4) The President may, by writing signed by him, and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, resign from his office as President.