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Former president’s wife should stay out of politics, bishops say: The Church of England Newspaper, July 8, 2011 p 6. July 13, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa, Politics.

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, former first lady of Ghana

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church leaders have urged the wife of Ghana’s former leader, Jerry Rawlings not to contest the leadership of the country’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) party.  The bid by Mrs. Nana Rawlings for the ‘flagbearership’ of the NDC was an end run around the constitution, said Bishop Daniel Allotey of the Cape Coast, and would damage Ghana’s fragile democracy.

Speaking at a political forum on July 2, Bishop Allotey, who served as a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution for Ghana’s Fourth Republic said Mrs. Rawlings bid to become party leader threatened to return Ghana to the era when men, rather than laws, governed the country.

“Mrs Rawlings’ bid is a violation of article 69(1) of the Constitution which states modalities for removing the President; what is going on constitutes an attempt to remove the President of Ghana,” he said according to an account given by the Ghana News Agency.

“The fourth republic since 1993 has established a democratic tradition – the sitting President is spared the vigorous, distractive tendencies and divisive mechanism of campaigning for a second term.

“The two former Presidents enjoyed it, and Professor John Evans Atta Mills should have been allowed to go through the same evolving tradition,” Bishop Allotey said.

In 1979 Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings led a group of junior military officers in a coup, and ruled Ghana as a military dictator in 1979 and from 1981 to 1992.  In 1993 he was elected president of the Fourth Republic from 1993 and reelected to a second term in 1997.

Barred by the constitution from standing in any election, Pres. Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as the NDC’s presidential candidate in 2000. However, the NDC candidate lost the election to the rival candidate John Agyekum Kufour of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2000 and again in 2004, but was elected president in 2008.

The power struggle within the NDC was diverting the energies of the government from more pressing tasks, the bishop said.

“The President was elected by Ghanaians and can only be removed by Ghanaians. It is not the duty of the party or any individual within to tell us that the President is not performing.  Judgment day is at the next general election not at a party congress,” Bishop Allotey said.

Speaking at 29th ‘Martyrs’ Day’ remembrance service on June 30, commemorating the murder of three high court judges by a military death squad in 1982, Archbishop Justice Akrofi of Accra called for renewed vigilance to prevent political passions from spilling over into violence.

Ghana’s political development was lagging, the archbishop said, as too many leaders had succumbed to a “power complex” that put their interests above the nation.



1. mcadey - July 13, 2011

Rawlings is a murderer,he should be prosecuted for the artrocities he commited, when he was a military dictator.Ghanians should not let him set the country backward,or derail the democratic ideals that is going on right now.The bastard is probably broke.All the money he looted from the state treasury,have been spent lavishly,now he is broke.His situation right now,should be an indespensible message to all the public officials in Ghana,and to all Africans,nobody can prosper,on the long run, with ill-gotten wealth.

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