Former President John Dramani Mahama has launched his presidential campaign towards Election 2024.
He served from 2012 to Jan 7, 2017 and is seeking another term in office and says Ghana needs a leader who has a heart for compassion.
Describing himself as that someone who posses that quality, having sat back from Jan 7, 2017 till now, Mr Mahama said he was set and very ready.
Payment of Ex gratia
One of the main things his government will do will be the scrapping of the payment of ex-gratia for members of the Executive under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 71 public office holders include members of the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary.
The payment of ex-gratia to especially members of the Executive including the President, Vice President Ministers of State and Parliamentarians including the Speaker of Parliament after every four years has been on the top burner of public discussions over the years with many expressing varied views on whether or not it should be scrapped.
Mr Mahama said when elected in 2024 as President, he will earnestly in 2025 initiate the necessary constitutional steps towards it’s removal for members of the Executive.
For those in the other arms of government, he said the necessary steps will be taken to persuade members to also accept for ex-gratia payment to be scrapped.
His reason is that it is burden on the public purse and the removal is therefore to ensure judicious use of public funds.
“The payments of ex gratia to members of the Executive under Article 71will be scrapped And the necessary constitutional steps to abolish that payment will start in earnest in 2025… persuading the other arms of government other than the Executive to accept the removal of these ex gratia members.”
“Issues pertaining to the excessive powers of the president, proper separation of powers, strengthening of Parliament, restoring the independence of the Judiciary, independence and quasi independence of state institutions and de-politicising them will take centre state of the new administration.
Government of action
Speaking during the campaign launch at Sokode near Ho on Thursday morning, Mr Mahama said Ghana needs a leader who does not see the national purse as a manifestation of his birth right.
In the race with Mr Mahama for the National Democratic Congress slot towards Election 2024 is Dr Kwabena Duffuor, a former Minister of Finance and former Governor of the Bank of Ghana and Kojo Bonsu, a former Mayor of Kumasi.
If he is successful and elected by delegates of the NDC, it would be the fourth time Mr Mahama would be leading the NDC to a general election. He won in 2012 against Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), but lost 2016 and 2020 to President Akufo-Addo.