Mahama Out Of Luck…Pressure Mounts Everywhere

He was the poster boy of politics even before he was chosen as vice-presidential candidate by the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills. Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings hinted shortly before the 2008 general elections that he was once her choice and that of her husband for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential slot. President John Dramani Mahama, at that time Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi, was said by Mrs. Rawlings to have refused the offer with the excuse that he wanted to pursue further studies. Indeed, even during the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) time in office from 2000 to 2008, many neutrals picked him as the one prominent NDC Politian who could cut across the country’s political divide and also as someone who could lead the NDC to wrest power from the NPP. Indeed, upon assuming the position of President, JD Mahama declared, when he met the family of the late President in Cape Coast to officially inform them of President Mill’s death and that he was lucky to have worked with Prof. Mills, who treated him as a son and also gave him the room to operate as Vice-President. However, ever since he was declared victor in the December 2012 elections, President Mahama’s lucky streak appears to have left him. First the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, (NPP) has rejected the results that declared him President. They are contesting the presidency in court and they did boycott his inauguration as President. But Mahama’s problems go beyond the NPP’s challenge to his office. He was welcomed with strikes and threats of industry action by several labour and professional groups. Then came the big announcement about the country’s record deficit at the end of 2012 – a whopping GH₵8.7 billion, 12.1% of GDP, using the rebased gross domestic product (GDP) numbers. Not unrelated to these, the government has had to place immediate halt to most government projects, especially road construction, leaving a lot of questions on the lips of commuters as to what is really happening. Then, bam, came the announcement to taxes on all imaginable items, including condoms, thus feeding the already strong impressions that the government is broke and looking all over for cash. The latest trouble for the government is the sharp drop in the price of gold, a major revenue earner for the country. A development analyst says it is likely to put serious pressure on the cedi (see yesterday’s lead) The question, therefore, is whether the President’s incredible amount of good fortune in his political career has suddenly left him. Indeed President John Dramani appears to have had a lot of luck in his political career. Mr. Mahama was working with Plan International’s Ghana Office as International Relations, Sponsorship Communications and Grants Manager in 1995 when he expressed interest in participating in the NDC primaries in Bole Bamboi. Many in the constutacncy thought President Mahama was only trying his luck or trying to position himself for future elections. Most inhabitants of the constituency, according to the sources, knew next to nothing about John Mahama, except that he was the son of E.A. Mahama, first Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi and a one-time ally of President Nkrumah. From then on, President Mahama’s career just shot up and has continued its upwards trajectory, save for the eight years that he NDC was in opposition, 2000 to 2008, till his gaining the highest political position in the land – the Presidency.