NDC presidential candidate John Mahama has a lot to lose if he doesn’t advance in the primaries leading up to the 2020 elections, says Kofi Abotsi, Managing Partner of Axis Legal.
On Joy News’ Newsfile Saturday, Abotsi explained that Mahama’s 10-point margin loss to President Akufo-Addo in 2016 could mean he will struggle to clinch the 2020 presidency. But he has an advantage.
“It will be very easy to market himself, but he needs to do a lot to bridge the fact that he lost by 10 points,” the Dean of the GIMPA Law School said.
The key to winning the NDC primary, he said, lies solely on the gravitas of the candidate. Ghanaians need to see that the winning candidate will deliver on his promise to improve the nation, he added.
But the very thing that makes Mahama enticing to the NDC could also backfire, Abotsi continued.
“Former president Mahama left [office] with a deficit. Given his legacy and the fact that he lost, is a political reality and misfortune for him.”
He did, however, commend the former President for his journey as an assemblyman who rose the ranks to become the nation’s chief executive.
Justice Nyigmah Bawole, associate professor and Head of Department for Public Administration and Health Services Management at the University of Ghana, noted that since 1992, the trend has been that the sitting President typically wins the second term.
“This is the first time we’re seeing a president lose the 2nd vote but contest again. It will be a very tight race.”
Bawole further stated that if Mahama loses the primary, the NDC’s strategy must be how to mould a new candidate to take power in 2024. By the time the 2024 elections roll around, he said, both parties will have a fresh set of players.
Mahama’s push to win the NDC primary and the subsequent general election won’t be easy, according to an analysis by Myjoyonline editor, Malik Abass Daabu. If everyone who has indicated interest to run in the NDC primary does run, it would be the largest pool of candidates in the party’s 26-year history, he said.
Of those candidates is Alban Sumana Bagbin, the nation’s longest-serving Member of Parliament with a sparkling political CV including his service as the former Health Minister.
Member of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin
Other possible candidates include: Joshua Alabi, former Trade Minister; Ekwow Spio-Garbrah (who run for the slot in 2006); former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA); Sylvester Mensah; former President John Mahama, former Deputy Finance Minister and MP for Cape Coast South, Kweku Ricketts Hagan, returnee Goosie Tanoh, Legal practitioner, Elikplim Agbemava and self-styled electrician, Stephen Atubiga. There are two political neophytes also joining the race – Nurudeen Iddrisu and Elikplim Lorlormavor Agbemava.
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