Normally, elected presidents in democratic dispensations, after winning their first terms in office, go on to secure emphatic endorsements to complete their constitutional second terms in office.
In modern history, there is a distinguished list of Democratic leaders, especially in America and Africa, who secured two terms in office, largely thanks to their popularity.
In the most recent United States history, Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush Jnr, and Barack Obama secured two terms, while in Africa, Ghana’s Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Macky Sall of Senegal and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire.
Most recently, Muhamadu Buhari of Nigeria and John Magufuli of Tanzania secured emphatic endorsements for second terms in office.
But there is also an exclusive list – both in America and Africa of President’s, who suffered ignominious defeats as sitting Presidents.
The most famous of them in American history are; Gerard Ford, Jimmy Carter and George Bush Snr, who lost their second term bids respectively.
With Donald Trump now losing his second term bid to Democratic rival, Joe Biden, Trump has joined another exclusive list of modern democratic Presidents who have been rejected while in office.
The list includes Ghana’s John Mahama, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and Joyce Banda of Tanzania. Interestingly, all three assumed the Presidency of their countries as Vice Presidents following the death of their respective Presidents in office.
SIMILAR REASONS FOR LOSING
Interestingly, all these candidates on the ignominious list have similar reasons for losing; they all failed to respond to effectively to national emergencies, which left their countries and economies in ruins.
For Trump he could be excused for facing a global, natural disaster, but his shambolic response and handling of the natural disaster, the Coronavirus pandemic, is largely attributed to his defeat.
In Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan lost popularity in Nigeria and lost his re-election bid due to escalating corruption, poor economic management and security failure over the Chibok Girls who were kidnapped.
In Ghana, John Mahama’s failure to manage a nearly five-year power crisis, which started when he was acting President, after taking over from the late Mills, was one of the reasons he lost.
Also, the econony of Ghana had sunk so low under Mahama and his administration’s decision to run to the IMF for a bailout, exacerbated the economic woes of the country.
It was therefore, not a surprise that for the first time in the history of Ghana, a sitting President lost an election, and by an unprecedented huge margin of over one million votes.
By Thelma Simpson
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