General News of Thursday, 8 September 2016
The New Patriotic Party’s running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has said President John Dramani Mahama cannot continue to blame the 2012 Election Petition which lasted for eight months for the poor economic performance in his first year in office.
President Mahama has repeated several times that Ghana’s economic situation would have been far better had it not been the uncertainty that was occasioned by the election petition case.
The largest opposition NPP contested the results of the 2012 election at the Supreme Court, claiming the results were rigged in favour of President Mahama.
Mr Mahama in one of his speeches said: “When I took over in 2013, our friends took us to the court over the 2012 election. Almost the entire first year was wasted. We were uncertain about the outcome so it stalled the development of the country. They were there counting pink sheets; we counted pink sheets for almost a year. Despite that, we were able to undertake a lot of projects. This means we could have done more.”
However, addressing a lecture on the state of the economy in Accra on Thursday, themed: ‘The State of the Ghanaian Economy – A Foundation of Concrete or Straw,’ Dr. Bawumia stated that the year 2013 in which the election petition case was heard, was Mahama’s best in terms of economic performance since he assumed office.
“President Mahama since he was sworn into office after the 2012 election, 2013, the year of the election petition, represents his best economic performance,” he added. Dr. Bawumia backed his claim with available data on the economy, saying they contradict President Mahama’s claims.
“The table on the screen shows that contrary to the claims by the president, except for the fiscal deficit, on virtually every single indicator such as GDP growth, inflation, exchange rates, exports, Eurobond interest rates, debt to GDP ratio, and so on, the performance of the economy in 2013 was better than 2014 and 2015. The president’s argument, therefore, does not hold water, and therefore the election petition cannot be blamed. The Mahama government had the best Eurobond rate of 7.875 percent in 2013, and that shows that investors in the international community had relatively more confidence in the Ghanaian economy in 2013 than in the years after.”
“How the 2013 petition is the cause of the failure of the government is as explainable as the dwarfs in causing exchange rate depreciation. What is more interesting is that, at the time of the election petition hearing, the president told the country that the petition had no effect on his work,” he added.