In a recent decision, the Supreme Court has dismissed an application brought before it by Daily Searchlight editor Ken Kuranchie, challenging the eligibility of John Dramani Mahama to contest the 2024 presidential elections. The Apex Court deemed the application flawed, bringing a conclusion to the legal battle initiated by Mr. Kuranchie in June 2023.
The case, filed against Mr. Mahama, former President John Agyekum Kuffuor, the Speaker of Parliament, and the Attorney-General, sought a meticulous interpretation of the 1992 Constitution. Mr. Kuranchie contended that, according to the Constitution, only a sitting President should be entitled to a second presidential bid.
The specific points of interpretation included:
- Presidential Term Duration: A declaration was sought, asserting that, on a true and proper interpretation of Article 66 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, the presidential term in Ghana is four years.
- Eligibility for a Second Term: Another declaration was pursued, arguing that, upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 66 (1) and (2) of the Constitution, a person seeking a second presidential term must be a sitting president.
- Parliamentary Disclosure Order: An order was requested, directing John Mahama to fully disclose to Parliament the terms of his engagements with Parliament as the flagbearer of a political party.
Despite Mr. Mahama securing the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidacy for the 2024 general elections with an overwhelming 98.9% of the total valid votes during the party’s primaries held on May 13, 2023, Mr. Kuranchie’s legal challenge has been met with a resolute rejection from the Apex Court.
The Supreme Court’s decision underscores the importance of a careful and contextual interpretation of constitutional provisions, as it sets a precedent for the eligibility criteria for presidential candidates. With this legal chapter now closed, John Dramani Mahama’s candidacy for the 2024 elections stands affirmed, allowing the political landscape to focus on the forthcoming electoral activities.