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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Columnist: Patricia Siaw Apenteng

Opposition vigilance overtakes incumbency advantage

The just ended presidential and parliamentary elections have indicated that vigilance on the part of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has paid off and has disadvantaged the fortunes of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who relied on incumbency advantage and other factors to win the 2016 general election.

In the run-up to the 2016 election, everything seemed to favour the ruling NDC except the many scientific and prophetic predictions favouring the NPP.

From the huge financial resources of the NDC, many endorsements from entertainment personalities and traditional leaders to the good number of infrastructural projects executed and commissioned, especially in the last hours of the Mahama administration, anyone would have expected that the ruling party would be retained in government.

The “losing party” in government have had major unpleasant issues since 2009 to deal with but failed to address them in eight years.

Corruption

Corruption has been a major hurdle for the government to deal with. Issues of corruption in the ruling administration and how the government had dealt with has left scars in the minds of majority of Ghanaians, as well as the many disappointed unemployed youth.

The Montie three saga

Issues surrounding the release of the ‘Montie three’ against the advice of the President’s lawyer and some Ghanaians in an election year could be another factor that led to the defeat.

Ethnocentric comments of the President

The ethnocentric comments made by the President on his campaign tour did not help as many saw the move as a divisive attempt by the president to win votes from Ghanaians.

The Woyome saga

The never ending saga of Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome and the inability of the government to retrieve the over GH¢ 51million wrongfully paid to him fought the chances of the President to retain power this year.

Historic vote drops

History did not seem to favour the President’s chances of retaining power as his percentage of votes were expected to drop from what he secured in his first term, going by Ghana’s electoral history.

Power drunk party people and ministers

The exhibition of arrogance of most party members and ministers of state seemed to have punished the government and some Members of Parliament (MP) of the ruling administration.

Complacency

The reliance of the government and party officials on the “Green Book,” huge gatherings of people at rallies and the assurance from various chiefs that the President had already won the election made the government complacent.

The ‘new’ Akufo-Addo

In the case of the “winning opposition,” some factors that helped in their victory were; The personality of Akufo-Addo in the 2016 election seems to have been rebranded to elicit positive public perception to his advantage. The perceived “arrogant” and the “all die-be-die” Akufo-Addo has become a calm, mature and peaceful person in the sight of most Ghanaians since 2012 and this personality shift undoubtedly contributed to his victory.

The hardworking and charismatic Dr Bawumia

It is incontestable that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is charismatic, hardworking and intelligent and is able to convince voters to the NPP’s fold. His massive campaign work in the 2016 general election helped his three- time presidential candidate to come this far.

The help of Rebecca Akufo-Addo

The wife of the president -elect did very well behind the scenes to support her husband. From her vigorous campaigns in most local communities across the country to campaigns in the social media platforms as well as the prayer sessions she held for her husband helped Nana Akufo-Addo.

The resourceful Mrs Bawumia

Mrs Samira Bawumia has been a resourceful personality to the campaign of the NPP which has brought the eventual victory as Nana Akufo-Addo showed appreciation to her in a short speech delivered last Friday night from his residence.

Teamwork of the NPP campaign team

The teamwork of the NPP 2016 Campaign Team seems to have produced positive results for the party.

The support, vigilance and the exhibition of high-level of interest of the ordinary Ghanaian and supporters of the NPP at the polling centres brought about a peaceful victory.