Will Bawumia’s Accountability Last Beyond the First Term?

by Louisa Afful
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Louisa Afful- Winneba

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), recently made a bold promise during his three-day tour of the Ashanti Region: he vowed to be more accountable to Ghanaians than his main contender, former President John Mahama, if elected president in the December 7 polls. His argument hinges on the premise that his desire for an 8-year term will drive him to be highly accountable during his first term to secure re-election. While this pledge has resonated with some voters, it raises an important question: Will Bawumia’s accountability diminish after his first term when he no longer needs to seek re-election?

Bawumia’s assertion suggests that the incentive for accountability is closely tied to the pursuit of a second term. This approach, while pragmatic, implies that the drive for transparency and responsiveness may wane once the goal of re-election is no longer relevant. Voters might wonder if Bawumia will maintain the same level of dedication and accountability in his second term, or if complacency could set in, mirroring the very concerns he raises about his opponent, Mahama.

In political theory, the concept of accountability should ideally be intrinsic, driven by a commitment to good governance and the public good, rather than the extrinsic motivation of securing votes. Bawumia’s promise, while well-intentioned, seems to suggest that his accountability is primarily vote-driven. This raises concerns about the sustainability of his accountability beyond the first term.

Critics might argue that a leader’s commitment to accountability should not be contingent upon re-election. True accountability should persist throughout the tenure, irrespective of electoral ambitions. If Bawumia’s accountability is genuinely linked to his desire for a second term, what assurances do Ghanaians have that this commitment will not falter once re-election is off the table?


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