General News of Tuesday, 11 August 2020
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It was one of the elections that shook the foundations of the country’s democracy.
A contest between a team which had taken over because of the unfortunate demise of a sitting president, and a contester who was vying for the presidency for the third time.
Of course, there were other contesting parties, but largely the fight was between the two giants; the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
John Dramani Mahama and his Running Mate, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur were taking the NDC into the race and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia would do it for the NPP.
Like any other election, it was not void of drama and very interesting highlights.
As another election year approaches, Ghanaweb, in this piece, takes you down memory lane, with some very memorable events that highlighted the 2016 elections in Ghana:
Bawumia’s “Incompetent Mahama” tag:
John Dramani Mahama was tagged as the leader of a ‘corrupt and incompetent’ administration with his almost 5 years rule after the demise of his boss, John Evans Atta Mills.
The then running mate of NPP in 2016 was convinced that former President Mahama’s silence on corruption allegations against his government was an acceptance of guilt and he and the NPP rode on this to discredit the NDC during the 2016 campaign. Though the former President, condemned what he said, that didn’t really help matters.
Mr. Mahama eventually admitted the tag, propagated by then running mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, cost him any chances of winning the 2016 polls.
“They kept shouting incompetence, incompetence, incompetence until our own people started believing that we are incompetent,” he said sparking spontaneous laughter among participants at the forum he held in London.
“Our own NDC guys think I am incompetent. These guys must be some super people. Now, look at the super. That is super incompetence,” he added.
Change of Voting Day proposal:
Prior to the December 7 elections, the Electoral Commission proposed the Presidential and Parliamentary elections to be held on November 7 as part of proposals for electoral reforms.
This according to the commission was to make room for the Commission to be able to organise a run-off in case no candidate was able to secure the 50-plus-one vote required for a first-round victory and also to make room for preparation for a handover on January 7.
The date was however rejected by Parliament after it failed to garner the 184 votes needed to effect the historic change. The minority in Parliament was of the view that the EC would not be ready to carry out the elections at the proposed date since there were unresolved issues regarding the voter’s register.
Akufo-Addo gets stoned at Osu Rally:
The NPP’s flagbearer for the 2016 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo got pelted with a stone at the Klortey Korle constituency when he went there to introduce the party’s candidate Philip Addison. An unidentified person in the crowd at the event, hurled a stone at the then opposition leader as he addressed supporters.
Mr Akufo-Addo was on the second leg of his tour of the Greater Accra Region which earlier took him to Alajo in the Ayawaso Central constituency and subsequently to Osu Klottey Korle on Wednesday, October 5.
Amissah-Arthur chased with change slogan at Larteh:
In September 2016, then NDC Vice Presidential candidate Kwesi Amissah-Arthur got the hooting of his life when he visited the Akuapem North constituency.
The late Vice President was the guest of honour for the grand durbar and fundraising ceremony at the Odwira Festival. Residents, headed by the Loyal Ladies of the NPP, hooted and chased him out with the ‘we want change slogan’.
Nii Lante Vanderpuye dances to Shatta Wale’s ‘Kai Kai’ at NDC final campaign rally:
It was the last official campaign move before the big event; the 2016 polls. And the NDC’s final rally was packed with programs. Speeches, performances and dances.
Member of Parliament for Odododiodio, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, did not fail party enthusiasts on this day when he mounted the rally podium to exhibit his dance moves to DanceHall Musician, Shatta Wale’s ‘Kai Kai’ hit song.
Bawumia’s Special Aide dead:
The unexpected news took the nation and more especially, Vice Presidential Candidate in 2016, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia by surprise. His Special aide, Kwabena Boadu passed away in his hotel room during the party’s final rally in the Northern regional capital, Tamale.
Reports that emerged following the news, attributed his demise to electrocution by a faulty wire.
Disqualified Political parties versus EC Chair:
Party presidential candidates who were unhappy took the then EC Chair Charlotte Osei to the Supreme Court after her outfit disqualified them from the 2016 presidential contest following anomalies found in their submitted documents.
The Supreme Court ordered the EC to allow some 12 disqualified candidates to correct errors on their nomination forms, errors that formed the basis for their disqualification.
The judgement froze five other suits in which presidential candidates were challenging their disqualification. The candidates were disqualified after the EC said it found anomalies on the presidential nomination forms.
The EC finally pruned the number of presidential candidates to 7.
The Presidential candidates of the PPP, National Democratic Party (NDP) and People’s National Convention (PNC) were given the go-ahead to contest the election, setting the tone for a smooth election after a hectic period for the EC, which was mired in controversies and lawsuits.
Bawumia’s 170 questions to Amissah Arthur:
In response to a claim by Vice Presidential Candidate, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur that Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia lied about the then economy at a public lecture, the latter provided 170 questions which he said required answers from the former.
Mr. Amissah months on, called the bluff of Mr. Bawumia, daring him to provide the said questions to which he was ready to provide answers.
Rebecca Akufo-Addo leads NPP car washing campaign
Wife of then Presidential Candidate for the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, joined a host of beautiful ladies to wash cars as part of the party’s campaign programs.
Rebecca Akufo-Addo, joined some members of the NPP Loyal Ladies group at the Asokwa Car Washing Bay in the Ashanti Region, to support the ladies in the Car Wash and Street Campaign
Nii Lante on ‘short people’ for President comment:
The then Youth and Sports Minister got tongues wagging with his comments during the campaign launch of the NDC in 2016. Whilst highlighting the NDC and PPP as the only forerunners in the country’s party race, Mr. Vanderpuye made comments that were largely attributed to the then Flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mr. Vanderpuye, speaking in his native language, Ga, told party supporters the Presidency was not about whether one is short and wears glasses – comments widely believed to targeted at the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.
The comments were largely condemned by many including the NPP who demanded an apology. In his defense, he said his comments which were meant to be figurative, were taken out of context.
Samira joins Bawumia to jab Mahama:
Second Lady, Hajia Samira Bawumia also did not relent in describing the then President as incompetent. She took it to a different level during the NPP’s rally at the Trade Fair in Accra when she reechoed her husband’s ‘incompetent tag’ and that trended for a long time.
“We are saying to the NDC that we see you alright…you want us to see you, we see you but we see incompetence, we see you but we see corruption, we see you but we see bad management, we see you but we see bad governance, we see you but we want to change, we see you but we want Ghana to move forward…” she stated.
5 candidates concede, without Mahama:
A day after Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party was declared the winner in the 2016 elections by the Electoral Commission, 5 presidential candidates who took part in the polls conceded defeat and congratulated their colleague.
With various congratulatory messages on their social media platforms, they acknowledged Mr. Akufo-Addo’s feat and wished him well.
Mahama calls Akufo-Addo to concede:
John Dramani Mahama was the only candidate left of all the contestants in the 2016 elections, to concede defeat and congratulate winner, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The entire country, in fact, the world, waited. 2 days after, on the 9th of December, after the long wait, then President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo confirmed that his colleague, Mr. Mahama had called to congratulate him.
“A few minutes ago, I received a call from President @JDMahama congratulating me on winning the 2016 Presidential Election. #Change HasCome” the tweet read.
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