General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Source: Al-Hajj

Voters Speak Ahead of December 7, Election

NDC: 53.4%

NPP: 42.3%

The National Democratic Congress, led by its flagbearer, President John Dramani Mahama would win convincingly at the first round of the upcoming elections, if the presidential elections were held today, a survey conducted by the various regional bureaus of The Al-Hajj over the last few weeks strongly suggests.

The major question put to respondents during the survey which spanned from the October15 to 16th November 2012 was: ‘if the nation were to go to the polls today, which presidential candidate or party would you vote for?’

Of the 2200 voters interviewed, a colossal 1175 or 53.4% firmly said they were poised to vote for the ruling NDC’s candidate, President John Mahama whiles 931 or 42.3% opted for the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

At a very distant third position, the Convention People’s Party’s candidate, Dr. Michael Foster Abu Sakara picked 18 or 0.80%, with 13 or 0.60% going for Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention. Forty-four voters, representing 2.00% declined to show their preference with the rest opting to vote for the four other presidential candidates.

The undecided voters said they were either fed up with voting, or they were yet to decide whom to vote for or they would want to keep their preference ‘strictly secret.’

Respondents for the survey were selected randomly across the ten regions of Ghana and the 275 constituencies and it includes both men and women.

Among the registered voters quizzed on their preferences were students, politicians, farmers, artisans, religious people, drivers, passengers etc.

With the revelation from The Al-Hajj’s poll has come the picture that the NDC and NPP have consolidated their hold on the various regions, while the PNC and CPP’s fortunes continue to dwindle.

For instance, in the 2004 presidential elections, with the results from the 230 constituencies, the NDC polled 3,850,368 votes (44.64%), the NPP polled 4,524,074 votes (52.45%) while the PNC managed to poll 165,375 votes (1.92%), the CPP struggled with 85,968 votes (1.00%).

Again in the 2008 presidential elections in the first round, the NDC polled 4,070,837 votes (47.76%), the NPP had 4,204,029 votes (49.32%) and the PNC polled only 73,757 votes (0.87%) whiles the CPP improved with 112,718 (1.32%). And in the latest survey by this paper, the trend is unchanged for the NDC and the NPP but the two Nkrumahist parties are falling behind.

Among the issues on which they were likely to vote includes educational policies, health, employment, living conditions and corruption. Education assumed the center stage for the discussion with every respondent offering his/her view on the various promises by the political parties.

Though majority of the respondents rooted for Nana Addo’s ‘free SHS’ policy, they were, however, skeptical about its implementation under the current circumstances where there are many basic schools still under trees.

These findings by The Al-Hajj confirms earlier reports by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), Synovate and some religious leaders that the December 7 polls will not travel beyond the first round and the ruling party is slightly ahead of their major opponent-the NPP.

Recently, London’s economist intelligence unit released another report forecasting for the second time that the December “elections will be extremely close”. It however maintains the ruling NDC “are the slight favorite”.

The power of incumbency according to EIU, will give some advantage to NDC especially in terms of spending the early oil windfall,” but added that “this advantage is less pronounced in Ghana than in other African countries, given its history of voters evicting the ruling party in favor of the opposition.”

To give more flesh to our findings, Synovate poll released earlier in the year also revealed the NDC will secure the highest number of total votes cast, 34.2% with the opposition NPP following closely with 31.8%. The results also pegs the CPP at 3.6%, trailing the Progressive People’s Party who the survey indicates will manage 5.3% of the votes whiles the PNC will secure only 1.9% with the other parties obtaining less than one per cent of the vote.

On the religious front, though it may not be base on any scientific findings, Chief Naa-Tia, Salifu Shiraz of the Kejebi Shrine overruled the possibility of a round off. He predicted one touch victory for one of the competing Presidential candidates but warned that the elections might not end peacefully.

Sheikh Mallam Musah, a renowned spiritual leader base in Kumasi had also predicted an excruciating defeat for the NPP in the first round of the election. He claimed NPP’s Nana Akufo Addo is not ordained to become president.

In line with the same prediction, the General Overseer of Alive Chapel International and President of the National Prophetic and Apostolic Churches Council of Ghana, Bishop Elisha Salifu Amoako told Adom News that they are already aware of the winner of the this year’s presidential elections even before they are conducted on December 7th.

The renowned Man of God declined to mention the name of the winner; he only affirmed that “the election will not traverse beyond the first round.”