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Opinions of Monday, 21 December 2015

Columnist: Damoa, Adreba Kwaku Abrefa

A Careful Sober Reflection On post-Amenfi West, and Talensi Bye Elections

By-elections cannot be trivialised; they are given such maximum political input that general elections cannot stand up to in comparison. I, in my personal opinion, debunk any version that states that it is only a by-election, and voters don't take it too seriously.

A Party in government that loses any of its constituencies in a bye election to any of its opponents, is an index of loss of its strength, attraction, and popularity. It veritably indicates discontent, either with the candidate per se, or the ruling Party's administration as a whole. It suggests a growing popularity of the winner opposition Party, not only for fielding a better, more able, more credible and trusted alternative candidate, but also because their message may have sunk through to the electorate.

Baits and Inducements

A ruling Party in government would bait and induce voters to their favour by unusually starting to tackle neglected social intervention projects that are obligatory and relevant. These are normally basic necessary infrastructure works that they would immediately start to completion within that very limited time, albeit shoddy and ephemeral, and thereby create virtue out of necessity to the admiration of the eyes and minds of the apolitical ignorants.

In the event, Party bigwigs would appear in their numbers, stooping before immiserated village - dwelling farming communities, only with an ultimate intent to wheedle them for their mandate, accompanied with momentary one off inducements such as cash, and anything of material value.

This unusual concentration of input and effort, lavished on the people of one electoral constituency can hardly be enjoyed by the generality of a mass of constituencies during a general elections. The above analysis tells how crucially important and relevant a bye election is, and how it can be, not only for political parties, but also for the electorate, who assume it as their opportune harvest time, a moment most apposite to reap from the inordinately enriched politicians in office.

Aggression and Violence

Aggression and violence have been applied by the NDC as a potential election winning tool, and this can never be ruled out in bye elections in Ghana, yet it depends which political Party is in power, as well as which bereaved Party holds the made - vacant seat.
A ruling government that is disciplined, and lives to understand the ethics and essence of democracy, goes into a by-election with an open heart, open mind, and level-headedness, by organising elections, perfectly incident - free, be it the mandated quadrennial general or an occasional bye election.

There was a bye election in Bimbila, during the NPP administration, following the appointment of Dr Muhammed Ibn Chambas, to serve on the ECOWAS. Incidentally, Bimbila was an NDC seat, which in the ensuing by-election, the NPP won, and has since remained an NPP seat. The then Kufuor-led NPP administration approached it with such civility and maturity in democratic decision making, that made the event very successful, incident - free, and devoid of any threats, harassment etc whatsoever.

On the contrary, at the death of Mr Ankamah, under a hypocritically sanctimonious, and orant Saint Atta Mills, an Atiwa bye election was fraught and marred with violence. With political power in their hands, the NDC are aggressive in everything, so, in their attempt to snatch the NPP-held Atiwa seat, the NDC, under the protégé of an NDC administration, applied violence as a supposedly winning tool.

Under the same Mills, NDC's Baba Jamal applied every form of violence, aggression and intimidation in an attempt to win the Akwatia seat, when it became vacant, but he couldn't succeed.

At a Chereponi bye election, under the watch of this same creeping Jesus of John Mills, in order for them to be able to snatch the NPP-held seat, the NDC used violence as a sine qua non potent strategic winning tool.

In Talensi, the NDC, notoriously wielded and brandished offensive arms of violence, disregarding the made - bias security forces, who looked on in acquiescence to NDC misbehaviour. This is how the NDC, under their administration, would want to wrestle the mandate of the people, out of the hands of their opponents.

Incident - Free Amenfi West

The Amenfi West bye election was incident - free, not because the NDC were well behaved, but because, unlike the NDC the NPP does not contest in by-elections with brute force to wrestle and snatch with aggression and violence. At any time that a seat being held by the NPP becomes vacant, in order for the NDC to snatch it whiles they are in power, as it was in Talensi, they would use and apply every form of aggressive force at their disposal to win it, else even if they lose, they would surely ensure that before they leave, there is left behind them a debris of ravages of violence.

Bloated Voters Register

It is not by sheer coincidence, but a surprisingly interesting verisimilitude to note that the NPP and progressive Ghanaians have been clamouring about a bloated Ghana's electoral roll, and this manifests itself in bye elections.
Against reality, Ghanaians have been made to believe that over 56% of our adult Ghanaian population can vote in all elections. This leaves constituencies with so much unnoticed and untapped surpluses that, during general elections, these faceless remnants are shared proportionately to increase not only voter turn out, but incidentally to increase NDC votes, both for the parliamentary and Presidential.
From analysis drawn from by-election figures, this is the occasion that gives a much more accurate percentage representation of the voter population in the constituencies across Ghana. It is here that the "ghosts," created by the Electoral Commission step out of the cupboard to be seen with naked eyes, else they always remain micro, or even nano in the electoral system.

Contentment

From my personal view point, I think there is something that the NPP has not taken a closer look at, and for which I disagree with the NPP, for feeling gleeful in having been able to narrow a supposed wide gulf of figures between us and the NDC. The figures of dissenting voters is, and will forever remain a mirage. It is therefore reasonable stating here that the so-called loses to both parties, totalling to some 15,000+, calculated from the 2012 elections are nonexistent. These so-called missing voters who cannot be identified with any reference name and their whereabouts, as well as the remaining over 30,000 others that would bring the overall constituency total voters posted by the EC to over 60,000, who remain unaccounted for, are creatures of the EC and the NDC. They have been created, and only to be used as and when needed to inure to the NDC. It is not hereby to be disputed that there was a gap closed at Amenfi West, but considering a non-realistic bloated register in all constituencies across Ghana, gap closing on a face value appears definitely indeterminate for it to be contented with, when in fact, it is only apparent. We should aim at winning, and to do so by turning things around, but not endeavouring to narrow gaps, as this can be done by doing extra harder work in the remote and unaccessible farming communities.

Since the reality of the created excesses by the EC and the NDC are essentially stored and reserved votes to be decanted into the actual results at the crunch of time for the NDC, when needed, it becomes very hard to release and add them to bye election results. The reason being that there's a vertical closeness of watchful eyes in bye elections, unlike in general elections, where vigilance is generally horizontal and momentary, whiles some hard-up NPP representative agents, who abound at many polling stations, by reason of their financial circumstances, are usually ready and willing to be suborned into compliance for NDC stolen cash, to enable them to steal and stealing.

Anchor of Hope and Confidence in NPP

It may hereby sound critically emphatic to the NPP, not for a mere sake of admonishion, but because the Party has become the last abode of hope and confidence for many a Ghanaian.
The 2016 elections are coming as a watershed moment for us, therefore there should be no room for any form of complacency whatsoever.
The NDC do not just always sound minatory, they postulate menace as if they are awful, yet, like the adage of a scared dog that is accosted in doing misdeeds, they would bark away in fear, stiffly wearing their tail between their legs in retreat.

We are the only formidable and trusted alternative that Ghanaians look up to, hence we are enjoined to stand our ground, and face our adversaries with confidence and determination, both in power and also out of political power. It will be the biggest disappointment for Ghanaians, if the NPP loses the 2016 general and Presidential elections.

The Future of NPP, post-2016, If ......

Both the NDC, and the world foresee a likely disintegration, and crumbling of the NPP, should the 2016 elections be lost.
With the bloated register, the NDC aims at gaining more seats in parliament, and be able to amend our constitution for Mahamah's life Presidency to be enshrined in it and also for others beyond.

Since the NDC rigging mechanism takes its source from the bloated register that is held in polling stations across all constituencies, the opposition NPP needs to impress upon the EC, and Parliament to clearly define what ordinarily constitutes over voting, a definition which should be quite distinct from the Afari Gyan so-called classical version, stated at the Supreme Court hearing.
It also behooves proposing what immediate measures should be taken to redress it there and then, and on the same polling day, in case of any instance of it occurring.

Still couched in their wildernesses, the NDC can never be trusted to have been tamed into civility. They are always at their wiles, ready to go berserk at any opportune time. Therefore Amenfi West must not be used as any confident yardstick for measuring NDC level of toned down irationality, instead, Talensi must guide us in preparedness for the 2016 elections.

To the on-looking public, our NPP appears to be feeling more relaxed, by not seeming to be seen to be struggling and striking for power, whiles Ghanaians continually live in wistful confidence in disappointment, due to malevolent characters within the Party doing all that they can to scupper especially the efforts of the Flagbearer. The confidence and hope is that, the ground is solidly firm.
This is my candid view.

Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa, (London, UK)