John Dramani Mahama, speaking at the lecture
John Dramani Mahama, speaking at the lecture

Democracy is sustained by patriotic leaders — John Mahama

The Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has said it takes only patriotic leaders to sustain democracy in a country.


He said it did not matter how long a country practiced democracy, if a leader was not honest and prepared to tell citizens the truth, the will of the people would be subverted, thereby undermining democracy.

“You can have the best constitution and the best regulation and laws, if an unscrupulous leader decides to take advantage of the situation, the person will do so. “And if he does and we don’t have the population to push and hold him back, then he will get away with it,” Mr Mahama added.

The former President was delivering a public lecture on the theme: Sustainability of democracy in Africa: The Ghanaian experience,” in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, last Wednesday. It was organised by the Christian Service University as part of activities marking its golden jubilee celebrations.


Citing the US as an example, Mr Mahama said although that country had practised democracy for more than two centuries, former President Donald Trump was able to incite some people to take over their Legislative House at the Capitol Hill when he lost the elections in 2020.

He said if such an occurrence could succeed in happening in a mature democracy such as the US, similar incidences could take place anywhere else, especially if a country did not have a dedicated leader who had the nation at heart.

Mr Mahama further said that leadership, such as the Office of the President “are weighty and must be approached with utmost seriousness”. “Ghanaians are in dire straits and this is not the time for comedy or concert party,” he said.


On the December 7 general election, the former President said that following experiences learnt from the last elections in 2020, the NDC was going into the upcoming poll with its own referee by remaining vigilant to ensure every vote cast for the party was accounted for.

“We will enter the ring with our own referee by taking advantage of every instrument we are afforded to make sure that the vote you cast for me is protected and counted,” he said.

Mr Mahama explained that the reason the NDC always accused the current Electoral Commission (EC) of being in bed with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was due to its disposition that had consistently shown that it could not be trusted.

“Indeed, it is also a fact that this government concocted reasons to remove the plain Electoral Commissioners and replaced them with people of their choice,” he alleged. Mr Mahama further said that although the President has the power to appoint members of the commission, such members should not be people with known political affiliations.

He, however, claimed that the current commission has some members who are tainted with political colours with one of them allegedly being a patron of a youth wing of the NPP - Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON).

“This commission has shown that it cannot be neutral. A commissioner has said that the NDC is a serious existential treat to Ghana’s democracy, and he is still there. 
“How do you expect such a person to conduct a free and fair election?” he asked.

Mr Mahama said the NDC was not expecting the EC to rig the elections in their favour, but was only calling for fairness to ensure that the will of the people was respected.

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