In addition to money, President Akufo-Addo and his NPP spend their time in office connecting with constituents attending special party events, and appearing on television or radio talk shows, essentially the same activities they did during their campaign. They receive a full time wage while doing so unlike the opposition who has to find alternative ways to pay their bills while organising party activities. What President Akufo-Addo and his party should be mindful of, is the fact that every election tends to be a unique event because electoral conditions vary a lot from time to time.
Final outcomes of elections depend on several factors including the economic performance of the incumbent, the provision of goods, institutional factors, social factors, the incumbent’s characteristics , the opposition’s characteristics, the electoral system and initial and previous conditions. The social -economic factors and performance of the previous administration vis-a-vis performance of the present administration are going to have strong effect on the 2020 electoral outcome. The President and his party will search heaven and earth for a win at all cost in 2020 but that will be a very difficult task to accomplish considering the agitation emanating from all stables coupled with failure on the part government to fulfill the numerous promises it made during the campaign. The administration has reneged on its promises, appointees and the President himself are showing arrogance, ignored constituent request for support, they’ve been outspent or out organised by the NDC creating demographic or numerical shift that will surely make the turf favourable for the NDC to outwit them.
The NPP have become vulnerable because how it has failed abysmally and ignored their core constituents. The massive corruption and scandals in the administration, the wanton dissipation of state resources, nepotism, arrogance of appointees have already killed their reelection campaign. The NDC now has more than one factor to beat the NPP in the next election if the incumbent stays on same path. Arrogance of appointees and display of opulence by the President and his henchmen has already turned off many pro-NPP voters before the election. Most of these voters who voted for the NPP and Akufo-Addo, have started looking for an alternative because of arrogance compounded with other factors. The party’s communicators and die-hard supporters are still cuddling themselves with that false sense of being in power. Those who have gone down to ascertain for themselves reaction of Ghanaians, know that the Akufo-Addo’s reelection is going to be difficult. The barrage of pummeling by the opposition parties has equally made an impact on the NPP.
And looking at the wanton dissipation of state resources at their ongoing congress and complaints emanating from their constituents and the general public who feel very disappointed about the way money, buses, clothes etc are being distributed to influence delegates, the NPP is sure not to get to the election year in one piece many political pundits have predicted.
The Akufo Addo administration has gone back on many promises. This attitude of taking a stance and then going back on their words is causing serious disaffection for the party and going to turn voters out against the President and his party in the next election. We all saw the goodwill and support the President and his government enjoyed when it took over. This goodwill and support have eroded because of government’s performance, attitude of the President and his appointees, failure to fulfill promises they made in opposition. The cult like loyalty the President enjoyed has dwindled sharply. Many of the President’s own admirers have said that President Akufo-Addo is not fit to run for a second term as Ghanaians no longer trust him to deliver promises he makes. There is a total disconnect between the people and the President Akufo Addo-led administration. Poverty, hunger and collapsing of businesses are now the order of the day in Ghana. It is getting obvious by the day that Ghanaians can no longer trust President Akufo Addo with the leadership of the country.
A top official who spoke to “DISCUSSION AND DECISION” said ” if the Npp fields Akufo Addo as its presidential candidate in 2020, we are afraid Ghanaians may stone us at campaign grounds. We may just end up giving the opposition NDC the presidency in 2020 on a platter of gold” He advised the President to ignore call for him to contest the next election since it will not be in the interest of his supporters and Ghanaians.
HOW FORMIDABLE IS THE OPPOSITION
Why the opposition wins and incumbent lose is but an art and science. Before the NDC and other opposition parties enter into the next elections, they must ask these questions. Do they have something unique Ghanaians want? Have the Npp gone back on a promise? Is there lack of support for the incumbent? Will people publicly stand up against the Npp and its administration? Can the opposition outspend the incumbent? Have the opposition’s numbers changed over the time. The opposition must look at all the factors enumerated and get an organised team. Failure of the incumbent is not a guarantee for success in the 2020 election.
The opposition must get the people fired up to work against the incumbent. Get people who will go out and knock on doors, raise money. This time the opposition parties must know if persons aspiring to lead the party (PCs etc), have real ground support. Apart from the party’s own detection mechanisms, to find out the strength of your candidates in the constituencies, parties must look online for signs of organising. See what has happened at the community meetings and ask independent persons to assess involvement before they run. How the opposition presents its message to the electorates is very necessary. The dynamics aren’t the same as they were years ago. More people are either have to the middle class zone or are moving there aggressively. This means their desires, wants and expectations will change. That eight years phenomenon is likely to end in 2020. The Mahama factor will have serious effect on the next election. The Akufo-Addo-led administration is losing popularity and trust among the electorates because the performance of the previous administration.
The Akufo-Addo administration is implementing and continuing policies of the previous administration they condemned in opposition. So far, all the projects the President has commissioned or launched are projects initiated or completed by the previous administration. Ghanaians are going to look at all these critical issues and will compare life under the administration the NPP persistently chastised, to life under this current administration. The two term agenda would have sailed through successfully if John Mahama was not contesting. It is going to be the first time a defeated incumbent is coming back to defend his policies as a candidate himself.
The other critical issue is whether the NDC and the opposition parties would be able to make a real contrast. This is both a resource question and an approach question. Running for office is not for the faint of heart. If the opposition will not have the resources or the fortitude to show the real difference between you and the Npp, it will be hard to beat them. If the NDC is asking Ghanaians to fire the NPP, it needs to give the electorates a well packaged reasons to do so apart from what the electorates are witnessing themselves.
The popular jargon in town is “I will not vote again”. Those making that statement are disappointed Npp supporters who have lost confidence in their own government but for obvious reasons would not attack the President and his government directly. It is not about the numbers or comparing the 2012 figures to that of 2016. The situation on the ground doesn’t need such permutations to make it clearer. The anger and disappointment out there cannot be managed with such permutations. The Busia administration suffered same fate and would have suffered serious electoral bruises if had contested another election. The Acheampong coup saved the Busia administration from total humiliation. We are witnessing same trend under Akufo-Addo. The arrogance, impunity, disregard for our laws and regulations, massive corruption, nepotism, persecution of political opponents and the lies we witnessing under Akufo -Addo, were the same core principles the Busia administration practiced.
Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow