Election is a key criterion in affirming a country’s democracy through the change of government at polls. Democracy also provides a country with a framework within which election should be conducted to aid in nation building. The impact of elections have been seen all over the world as some countries move into higher heights and others also get plunged into social anarchy.
November 7th of this year is when Ghana’s democratic prowess will be tested as we endeavour to elect a President and Parliamentarians to take over the responsibilty of leading us into Canaan. One might notice the change in dates from December to November but not to worry because it is in efforts to protect the sacrosanctity of our Christmas festivities.
During election years as has been witnessed in yesteryears, the rise of tension is inherent hence the taking of advantage by the “power pest” hence sucking into the vulnerability of the electorates to enrich themselves with power. Ahead of this year’s polls, political parties have been putting in stringent measures to attain power making it one of the keenly contested elections in history.
As this year’s elections promises to be a close one, Political parties are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations as they endeavour to gain power.With the last election being subjected to criticisms and rumours of rigging which eventually led to the final verdict being contested in court for over 8months bringing the nation to a stand still. At the back of that, political parties are seeking to win this year’s own convincingly with no shadows of doubt cast over it hence their rigorous preparations.
The incumbent, the National Democratic Congress(NDC) hasnt undertaken any major preparation after their primaries where H.E John Dramani Mahama got the nod to represent the party yet again after he went unopposed as George Boateng his competitor was disqualified for not meeting standards of the party’s registration process. Some rumours have however being tossed around on this issue claiming it was a stunt pulled by the leaders of the party to make the President ease through the process with no difficulty. Ban on campaign hasnt been lifted yet by the Electoral Commission as constitution demands but in other not to be left behind, the President has mapped up his own strategy of appealing to electorates by organising his “Accounting To The People Tour” where he combs the breadth and length of the country in efforts of accounting himself capable to the people as the best candidate to take the country into the brighter future.
Their close rivals and the country’s main opposition party the New Patriotic Party(NPP) is also on the heels of their antagonist as they map up strategies of their own to gain power this time around. They lost out on the last election by a close margin and claim it was due to rigging by the incumbent. They kicked started their preparations after the Supreme Court verdict, when they held their congress to elect their flagbearer and parliamentarians to help gain power for them. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo got the nod for the third time beating stiff competition from Alan Kyeremanteng popularly referred to as Alan Cash. Akuffo Addo has so far launched a strong campaign to help amass votes. He also chose Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia as his running mate to help expedite the process. The NPP has put in measures to aid in bringing the party back to power with some being their “begging” for cash to help the running of their campaign as well as organizing some rallies to put their message across.
The lesser known political parties are also not being left behind, as there have been some flicker of hope for them ahead of the polls. Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom who fell out with the Conventions Peoples Party and therefore broke away to form his own party called the Peoples Political Party(PPP) is considered to be an eligible candidate but due to his less popularity and non involvement with any of the two main political parties his aim of becoming president is very bleak. Political parties like the CPP has also had his fair share of problems and surprises but in order to gain power, these things has to be buried so they can present a united front.Ivor Kobina Greenstreet shocked Ghanaians when he got elected as the flagbearer of the party ahead of Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of the founder of the party and the first president of our beloved country Dr. Kwame Nkrumah despite his debility. Other Political parties like the PNC, GCPP, APC are all putting in efforts to gain power though it looks herculean.
With the political parties preparing meticulously, the fulcrum of this process, the Electoral Commission has also been preparing in efforts to eliminate all doubts of any unfair and undemocratic comments being associated with them. They recently opened the national register for registration to be conducted so electorates could exercise their franchise. Although the latter has come under huge criticisms from the NPP mostly on the transparency of the register it has however seemed unperturbed as it continues to make preparations for the elections.
The expectations of the electorates are very high going into this year’s election as they have grown to appreciate the process over the years as the only way to eliminate corruption and bad governance. As I strode through some principal streets of Accra to know the thoughts of the people ahead of the upcoming elections, i was gobsmacked to realize the enthusiasm and alacrity with which Ghanaians wait with bated breath to cast their votes. They claim whether rain or shine, fire or ice, they will cast their ballots because it is high time they took matters into their hand since they are the only people to make Ghana a better country.
At the end of the last general elections, we got to know that crowds never win elections but strategy.
The rallies of the NPP was always thronged with people giving the impression that their candidacy was the best but after theylost power in 2008, they have since not recovered.
All parties have a chance of winning this year’s elections considering the efforts they are putting in. The incumbent NDC are hopeful they will be relected again considering the achievements they have been able to rake in when they took over. H. E John Dramani Mahama and his party boasts of so many developmental projects and milestone achievements like eliminating schools under trees, increasing capitation grant etc but notwithstanding, they shouldnt be complacent as their achievements have however being undermined by pockets of corruption and injustices subjecting them to change. Their failure to solve the erratic power supply popularly known as “dumsor” is also a time bomb waiting to explode in their faces with other problems and grievances rampant in their regime it is just a matter of time. A clear case was when John Mahama lost 4% of his party’s vote when he was been re-elected as the flagbearer.At the back of this, the NPP is mapping up a counter attack strategy in order to oust them from power by using their failures to backlash them and make them seem incapable and unaccountable of managing the affairs of the economy. The NPP however also faces some challenges due to the internal wranglings in their cocus with some key officials of the party being suspended. The suspension of Party Chairman Paul Afoko, General Secreatary Kwabena Agyepong and 1st Deputy Chairman Sammy Crabbe has thrown a bad light onto the party as well as disuniting their front which will make it difficult for them to win.They have also had their fair share of corrupt rumours as acting Chairman Freddie Blay and some other officials were rumoured to have squandered party funds making them liable to corrupt subjection. However their theme for this year’s election “Arise for change” is believed by some Ghanaians to be the best as per permutations, political parties that uses “Change” as their theme always win with clear examples being Barack Obama in 2008 and the late Professor John Atta Mills in that same year.
APC, PPP, PNC, CPP, GCPP and the rest all have their share of problems which will make winning this year’s election very difficult.A party like the People’s National Congress(PNC) who had his former flagbearer Hassan Ayariga who has a metaphoric tendency for humour leaving the party to form his own party called the African People’s Party(APC) after he was beaten in the flagbearership race by Edward Mahama.
Generally, when the ban on campaign is lifted, all parties will organise their own rallies and map up their own strategies to aid in soliciting for votes but the people will definitely be the one to decide. The race as always will be limited to just two parties but I would want to play the devil’s advocate to say that this time around, it wouldnt be so and the lesser known parties will give the two main parties a run for their money.
The NDC won the last
election by a percentage of 50.7% followed closely by NPP as usual with 47.74% with the other political parties sharing the insignificant spoils.The two main political parties can boast of one stronghold at each with the rest expected to be floating which goes a long way to crown the winner.
As the saying goes that in any competition there is a loser and a winner but in this upcoming election, there will only be a winner known as Ghana and her award will be peace and stability with democracy being her strategy of progress. Ghana has so far become the beacon of hope with respect to democracy on the African continent and such an attribute shouldnt be marred by an unfair election. We are expected to show the world that Ghana and Africa is capable of managing her own affairs.
Lets all go and vote in peace so we can stay in peace and also celebrate christmas without any melancholic clouds scattered across the atmosphere.
HAPPY ELECTION YEAR and i also use this platform to wish all Ghanaians MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.