He was popularly elected in an election conducted by Ghana’s Electoral Commission on December 07, 2012. This is his first term as President (January 07 2013 – January 06 2017), despite serving the remaining five (5) months of the late President J. E. A. Mills’ term.
John Mahama ascended to the Office of President after the untimely demise of the late President - His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills on the 24th of July 2012. President Mahama had previously served as the Vice President, and on the passing of President Mills took over the reins of Government and led the country to bid a befitting farewell to a leader who was much loved, respected and can be described as a Ghanaian icon.
The Ghanaian Constitution of 1992 provides in Article 60 (6) that, "Whenever the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President for the unexpired term of office of the President with effect from the date of the death, resignation or removal of the President".
President Mahama therefore assumed the role of Head of State, Head of Government and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana from the time of the passing of the late President. He was sworn into office on the same day by the Chief Justice, and Ghana accomplished a peaceful transition that demonstrated the strength and robustness of the country's democratic institutions.