Thu, Dec

Ex-Ghana president, John D. Mahama. Image credit - qedng

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  • You cannot leave office, accept the retirement package and vie for the same office again. That is called ‘’double dipping’’ and it is illegal.

Dear Mr. Ex-President,

How are you and Lady Lordina? I believe you are doing well. Belated happy birthday.

I have chosen 7th December (2years from Election 2020) to send you this letter, and for 2 reasons only:

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1. Advise you not to re-enter active competitive politics.

2. Advise you of the consequences of re-entering active competitive politics.

There is a theory of democracy based on the written word aka the letter of the constitution. There is a practice of democracy based on a higher consciousness than the letter aka the spirit of the constitution. People of integrity and higher consciousness follow the spirit of the constitution to voluntarily rise above the imperfect words of men. I call it, integrity beyond a flawed constitution.

Citizens of higher consciousness are driven by the national interest to act in the interest of all. Citizens of low consciousness are driven by vested interest to act in the interest of a few. Do not allow yourself to be continuously used as a poster boy by vested interest. Do not be driven by greed and entitlement.

Some manifestations of the practice of democracy:

1. George Bush Snr lost after one term. He didn’t seek a come-back. May he RIP.

2. David Cameron had majority in Parliament. He didn’t lose a general election. He lost a referendum by 48-52. He immediately left the scene. He’s much younger than you.

3. Even opposition leaders, not Presidents and Prime Minsters leave the scene after heavy defeats. That is civilised behaviour and it goes beyond constitutional rights.

There must be life after politics for people with character and higher consciousness. Be one of them.

Just in case you decide to ignore my advice, be reminded that there may be consequences.

I believe the basis of your 2nd coming is the constitutional provision below:

Article 66 (2)

A person shall not be elected to hold office as President of Ghana for more than two terms.
Unfortunately, you are not the ordinary person referred to in the clause, you are an ex-President, a super-person, and there are certain things you cannot do. Privileges come with responsibilities.

Article 68

(2) The President shall not, on leaving office as President, hold any office of profit or emolument, except with the permission of Parliament, in any establishment, either directly or indirectly, other than that of the State.

On leaving office, you cannot hold any office of profit or emolument either directly or indirectly without the permission of Parliament. So, you may breach this provision if you accept money from others in order to hold an office in a party. I understand, you went to lobby the Namibian government on behalf of an energy company from the Gulf. Parliament should have reprimanded you if it did not grant you that exeat.

Do you know why my mum is freer than you in this regard?

Read the clauses below from Article 68:

(4) On leaving office, the President shall receive a gratuity in addition to pension, equivalent to his salary and other allowances and facilities prescribed by Parliament in accordance with clause (3) of this article.
(5) The salary, allowances, facilities, pensions and gratuity referred to in clauses (3) and (4) shall be exempt from tax.
(7) The salary and allowances payable to the President and any pension or gratuity payable to him on leaving office shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.
(9) The pension payable to the President and the facilities available to him shall not be varied to his disadvantage during his lifetime.

You are a very expensive Ghanaian to the tax payer, even though you don’t pay any tax.

The moral of the situation is that;

1. It is unfair for you in your exalted position to compete with ordinary Ghanaians for any office.
2. You cannot leave office, accept the retirement package and vie for the same office again. That is called ‘’double dipping’’ and it is illegal.

The question of ‘’leaving office’’ is one of the many lapses in the constitution. I do not understand why the constitution does not treat someone who leaves office after one term like yourself separate from another person who leaves after two terms, especially because of Article 66(2). May be, the drafters assumed that a civilised incumbent would not come back after being rejected by the people, which is the general convention in the practice of democracy universally.

Can a one-term ex-President contest to be President again? By Article 66 (2), Yes, but by the clauses under Article 68, he would have to drop the ‘’leaving office’’ position to become an opposition leader. This means he would have to relinquish all the entitlements of a President who has left office. If he wins again, great, he becomes the President and regains what he relinquished. If he loses, he becomes another defeated opposition leader and gets nothing back. We must destroy double dipping.

Ex-President, in Ghana, we don’t have two parties. We have two vested interests. You represent one, the NDC, and Nana, your Siamese twin represents the other, NPP. 2020 is about dismantling these vested interests and replace them with our National Interest. Both you and Nana are amazingly endowed with incompetence-rich-DNA, and you will be exposed and ’slaughtered’ for Ghana’s good.

If I were you, I would resist the temptation of a 2nd coming and remain a ‘’pupil’’ of the state forever.

Your friend,
Nii Amu Darko
Melbourne, Australia
7th December 2018

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