Ghana Politics

IMF and social media are the reasons why I lost the 2016 elections- Mahama

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Former President, John Dramani Mahama has revealed what contributed to him losing in the 2016 elections.

He said the measures austerity measures implemented by his government under the IMF programme and the underestimation of the power of social media by his party are what contributed to his defeat in the last general elections.

Due to that, the New Patriotic Party capitalized on that and tagged his government as incompetent, which he said was not true.

Speaking to BBC Pidgin, Mr Mahama said “The first one was the IMF programme and we had to implement an austerity programme where we had to reduce expenditure. So, for instance, in the public service, there was a net-freeze under public sector employment; meaning we could employ only the number of people that retired in a year.

“So, if 30,000 people retired in a year, we could only employ 30,000 people. But every year, people graduate and are looking for jobs, so, this IMF programme and the austerity was part of the reasons we lost.

“Also, we did not take advantage of social media. We didn’t recognise the potential of social media at that time but our opponents recognised it and took advantage of it.

“They set up troll factories, fake news, threw mud at us with unsubstantiated rumours. They said I had hotels in Dubai, ships in Tokyo; and at that time, we thought Ghanaians will know ‘it’s fake, it’s not true’ but it was actually sinking into people’s minds and, so, it created a certain perception that the government was corrupt. It was after we had lost elections that people realised all those stories were lies.

“I challenged the government to go sell my hotels in Dubai if I have any and bring the money into the economy, they didn’t even respond. So, these two led to our defeat…”

He said he is now vindicated because none of his appointees have been convicted for corruption despite being tagged as that.

Source: Ghana Waves

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