John Mahama, a former president of Ghana, announced on Thursday that he would run once more for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the elections of 2024, claiming that his background may help the country’s economy.
Despite being defeated by current President Nana Akufo-Addo in the elections of 2016 and 2020, the 64-year-old Mahama declared that he had decided to run again after months of deliberation.
“At this stage Ghana demands experience and not experiment,” he told supporters clad in the party’s green, red, black and white colors in the NDC’s Volta Region stronghold.
“Ghana needs a leader who will hit the ground running on 7 January 2025,” he said, referring to the inauguration following the December 7 2024 ballot.
On May 13, the NDC will hold primaries to choose its presidential nominee. Three people are running against Mahama, including Kwabena Duffuor, a former finance minister.
In Ghana’s Volta Region, the home region of the party’s founding leader and former president Jerry Rawlings, Mahama began his campaign for the party’s presidency.
The NDC’s Volta regional secretary, James Gunu, told VOA that the party needs a candidate with personality and experience, and that Mahama has demonstrated that he has both.
“This is one election that we are going in 2024, where we need the best material for the party as flag-bearer because it’s one election that can make or unmake the NDC,” Gunu said.
“It’s not an election that we should joke with, it’s an election that personality track record counts,” Gunu added.
Ghana, a significant supplier of cocoa and gold, has defaulted on its foreign loans, including Eurobonds, and is negotiating a $3 billion line of credit with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support the country’s economy as inflation increases.
If he wins, Mahama has pledged to reduce government spending and size because he believes that things cannot continue as they are.
He also promised to look into the present administration’s spending, especially how money was spent to address the coronavirus pandemic problem.
Inflation in Ghana was above 50% in January, and the cedi currency has been severely devalued due to the global pandemic and the aftermath of the Ukrainian war.
Ghana, formerly seen as a favorite among investors, has recently battled with its enormous debt load. In order to pay off its debt, the government uses more than half of its revenue.
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