28/09/2021

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Ghana vote: Who is main opposition candidate Mahama?

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Ghana is preparing for its third political showdown between Ghana’s former president John Mahama and incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo on December 7 in what is expected to be a two-horse race.

Here is what we know about Mohama.

Mohama came to power in 2012 when his predecessor John Atta Mills died and he narrowly defeated his rival Akufo-Addo in an election a year later.

He is known for his skills in communicating but he has a mixed record.

The leader of the National Democratic Congress is known as an accomplished writer and man of the people.

But the 62-year old’s tenure was overshadowed by a global commodities slump that squeezed revenues from gold, oil and cocoa exports.

During his tenure, there were also many electricity shortages leading to his nickname “Mr Dumsor”, a Ghanian term used to describe power cuts.

Akufo-Addo accused Mahama’s 2012 administration of corruption and mismanagement and beat him in the 2016 vote.

Mahama denied the accusations.

Campaign promises

But this time around, he has picked female running mate Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang. She’s a former education minister and the first woman to run for vice president for the party.

One of Mahama’s key campaign is for a $10 billion infrastructure plan dubbed the ‘Big Push.’

And he has promised to expand a popular free school programme and health benefits

Background

Mohama is a Christian from the town of Bole, a town in the mainly Muslim north of Ghana.

Mahama studied in 1988 for a post-graduate degree in social psychology at the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow.

He has also served as a minister of communication.