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Opinions of Tuesday, 6 December 2016


December 6: The calm before the storm

NDC Flagbearer, President John Mahama (left), NPP Flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo (right) NDC Flagbearer, President John Mahama (left), NPP Flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo (right)

For most of us who had our election fatigue somewhere in June and July, the day before December 7 could not have come sooner. It’s been years, months, weeks, days and hours of back and forth political ball game, accusations and counter accusations.

Hundreds of hours spent listening to political pundits battle it out on every little issue that may help them get the slightest political advantage over their opponents. The most agonizing nature of listening to the very vocal National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) communicators put a spin on every little comment just makes one wish December 6 to come sooner.

My job, for the past few weeks has been to listen attentively to them, hours after hours, show after show, and try to resize their comments into a 140-character tweet. For the most part, it felt like sitting through press conference from 5:45 AM to 6 PM nonstop, five days in a week.

So trust me, I craved for the 6th to come. When I get to catch a break, no matter how short the duration, from the marathon of political gaffes and propaganda. For some reason, the most fascinating periods this season, are when institutions release their election opinion pools and call the elections for either President John Dramani Mahama or Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.

If the polls call the election for President Mahama, the NDC communicates along the line of, “That is the true reflection of Ghanaians wishes”. The NPP will of course attack the study’s methodology and its sample size. Then of cause the institution behind it.

The NPP is also very quick to accept the polls when it projects Nana Addo to win the election in the first round, and that is when Koku Anyidoho will also reject the polls’ findings and say “Nana Addo will be president only in surveys”. Though one cannot help it, you often have to empathize with NPP/NDC communicators whose job it is to put a positive spin on anything their candidate or party does.

They do this even when they admit off air that their candidate’s action was very wrong. However, the people one feels sorry for is the Ghanaian voter, most especially those classified as floating voters. The experts say, floating voters decide the election each year, which means for this particular election, they must make a decision, a very important one for the fact.

It is a choice between an incumbent president and one who believes he can do better than what the incumbent is currently doing or not doing. But the decision is not that simple, years and months of political engineering was geared towards getting their attention.

The sheer amount of information dumped on them this month alone is just unimaginable. The fast pace of events this past few weeks likens the floating voters to a bench of jury who have piles of evidence to examine in order to convict or acquit an accused. Unfortunately for this kind of jury, they have 24 hours to deliberate and 10 hours of court time (voting time: 7 am to 5 pm) to declare their verdict.

For now, the jury (floating voters) is out, but will they reach a verdict and which way will it go?

We will know when the storm finally comes to town

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