John Dramani Mahama, a former president, has started his campaign for the 2024 presidential election.
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He held office from January 7, 2012, to January 7, 2017, and he is running for re-election because he believes Ghana needs a leader with a compassionate heart.
Mr. Mahama described himself as having that quality and claimed that after taking a seat since January 7, 2017, he was set and well prepared.
The elimination of the ex-gratia payments made to members of the Executive under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution would be one of the primary initiatives taken by his government.
Members of the Executive, Parliament, and Judiciary are examples of those who hold public office under Article 71.
Ex-gratia payments, particularly to members of the Executive branch like the President, Vice President, Ministers of State, and Members of Parliament like the Speaker of the House, are made after every four years, have long been a hot topic in public discourse, with many people holding opposing views on whether or not they should be eliminated.
According to Mr. Mahama, if he is elected president in 2024, he will sincerely begin the constitutional procedures for the expulsion of members of the executive in 2025.
He promised to take the necessary actions to convince members of the other branches of government to agree to do away with ex-gratia pay.
He says it is a burden on the public purse and that getting rid of it will ensure wise use of taxpayer money.
Ex gratia payments to Executive branch employees will be discontinued, and the requisite constitutional procedures to do so will begin in earnest in 2025. This will entail convincing the other branches of government—aside from the Executive—to agree to the departure of these ex gratia employees.
The restoration of the Judiciary’s independence, the appropriate separation of powers, strengthening the Parliament, depoliticizing state institutions, and issues relating to the president’s excessive powers will be at the forefront of the new government.
On Thursday morning, Mr. Mahama said Ghana needs a leader who does not view the national purse as a manifestation of his birthright. He was speaking at the campaign start in Sokode, close to Ho.
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, a former finance minister and governor of the Bank of Ghana, and Kojo Bonsu, a former mayor of Kumasi, are vying with Mr. Mahama for the NDC seat ahead of the 2024 elections.
It will be Mr. Mahama’s fourth time leading the NDC to a general election if he prevails and is chosen by NDC delegates.
He defeated Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2012 and lost to the president in 2016 and 2020.