Election 2020: NDC counting on false claims to win public sympathy and votes?

Election 2020: NDC counting on false claims to win public sympathy and votes?

- The New Patriotic Party (NPP) suggests the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has become synonymous with 'fake news' and disinformation

- The NPP further accuses the NDC of generating fake websites to churn out deception-ridden claims to win public sympathy and create a sense of false insecurity in the country

- YEN.com.gh takes a look at some of the claims and whether the NDC is counting on false claims to win the hearts of the electorates

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With less than six weeks to the 7 December election, the spate of deception-ridden claims have increased – and some leading members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) suggest the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has become synonymous with falsehoods, propaganda, and fake news.

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In October 2020, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, and the Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, accused the opposition NDC of spreading falsehoods to either court the sympathy of Ghanaians or create a misleading sense of insecurity in the lead-up to the 7 December election.

Elections 2020: NDC counting on false claims to win public sympathy and votes?

Elections 2020: NPP NDC counting on false claims to win public sympathy and votes. Photo credit: ghanaweb.com
Source: Facebook

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At separate conferences held in October, the ministers recounted and debunked with facts, some false claims churned out by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Oppong Nkrumah refuted a claim by the opposition NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, that Ghana is back on the International Monitory Fund/World Bank list of heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), which has also been denied by the IMF based on data on its website.

Before the IMF debunked the claims by the flagbearer of the NDC, the government had already refuted the propaganda-ridden remarks by John Mahama, describing it as fake news.

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A tip of the iceberg

Debunking the false claims by the NDC flagbearer in an interview on Asaase Radio, Oppong Nkrumah breathlessly enumerated six other serial inaccuracies made by the opposition NDC about Ghana’s economy.

Earlier in October, the Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, had accused the NDC of peddling dishonest claims to establish a false sense of insecurity in the country.

At a press conference in Accra, the former information minister said the NDC is generating fake websites to disinform Ghanaians and create disaffection for the government as well.

The torrent of false claims is endless; another claim by John Mahama that his administration managed the 2016 budget with zero borrowings from the Central Bank was fact-checked by Starr Fact Checker and other sources and was found to be false.

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In September 2020, the Electoral Commission (EC), debunked allegations made by the NDC flagbearer that the institution had deliberately removed the names of some electorates.

The NDC presidential candidate had described the anomalies in the ended exhibition exercise as a purposeful act by the commission to prevent the 2020 elections from being a free and fair election.

However, in a statement, the commission stressed that the allegations are false.

The Ghanaian highlife artiste and spokesperson for the NDC on Creative Arts, Rex Omar, on 17 October 2020, falsely claimed on United Showbiz on UTV that all public universities in Ghana, except the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), were built by an NDC government.

Omar was touting the achievements of the NDC, which was fact-checked by ghana.dubawa.org and was also found to be false.

Again, the general secretary of the NDC in a ghanaweb.com report on 11 October 2020, falsely claimed that the government had issued weapons from the state armoury to over 4,000 pro-NPP vigilantes.

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The lead-up to the 7 December election is taking a heated turn as the presidential candidates of political parties, including President Nana Akufo-Addo and former president John Mahama, are campaigning across the country.

Some of the political parties are spreading disinformation and 'fake news' to win sympathy. And also to create a false sense of non-existing problems to influence the choices of the electorates in the 7 December polls.

As such, the political parties and not just the media must fact-check each other as rightly done by the NPP, to reduce the much false claims or ‘fake news’ on social media and airwaves to ensure that the electorates make informed choices in the 7 December polls.

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