General News of Sun, 20 May 20188

Mahama hints of contesting election 2020

Former President John Mahama has hinted that he may consider running for the presidency on the ticket of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) again.

He said he has reflected on the numerous calls by the party's teeming supporters and sympathizers to declare his intention to contest in 2020.

In a Facebook post, Saturday, Mr Mahama was coy on whether he will be the NDC's flagbearer but said, "I will not disappoint you even as we await the publication of the party’s guidelines for selecting a new leader."

The issue of who leads the largest opposition party into the next general election in 2020 has been a hot potato for political analysts.

Mr Mahama polled a little above 44% of total votes cast in the last election, the lowest for an incumbent President, and lost the Presidency to the New Patriotic Party's Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2016.

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This has brought serious debate within the NDC as to whether he should be given the opportunity to serve his second term.

Some names making the rounds include former National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) boss, Sylvester Mensah; Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin and former legislator for Ledzekuku, Joshua Alabi.

When the former President was asked at one of their Unity Walks -organised to unite the party- in the Central Region last year he declined to state his stance.

He only stressed the need for the leadership of the Party across the structures -Branch, Constituency, Regional and National - to work towards educating supporters on the ongoing Branch reorganization activities.

He implored the executives to use the opportunity to build up the support base of the party in their communities.

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Speaking on the issue recently in Bolgatanga, Mr Mahama said with the branch elections of the party completed and “the reorganization of the party is on track…the time is arriving when I need to make a decision.”

Reaffirming his commitment to running for the number one post of the land again, he congratulated the rank and file as well as all executives of the NDC at all levels for the commitment and work rate for their efforts at the reorganization the party.

"The zeal and determination of the average sympathizer of our great party is greater and miles ahead of what it was after the December 2016 Elections.

"We need to keep up with the momentum generated and follow the published timelines," he added.

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has scoffed at his political opponents saying, they would have no campaign message going into the 2020 elections.

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Commissioning a health administration block in Asunafo North in the Brong Ahafo Region Saturday, he said he would have fulfilled his 2016 campaign promises by the end of his first term of office in 2020.

Taking a swipe at the opposition, he said those saying his administration has done nothing over the last 16 months in office are the same persons who, prior to the 2016 elections, they could not do most of what he promised to do.

“To those who say they are still not seeing anything, they should wait and watch me. By the end of the four years, they will have nothing to say. They will acknowledge that we came to work for the development of Ghana,” he added.

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