By Fred Dzapata
All too soon the final day for Ghanaians to decide who their preferred choice of leader should be in the next four years is here again. But this season has been exceptionally unique since the introduction of multi-party democracy in Ghana in 1992.
Simply put, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic since December last year and its effect on the global economy has been huge and devastating. The development forced some countries to either cancel their elections or postpone it in anticipation that the viral disease will subside to pave way for the election to resume.
Back here in Ghana, the situation has not been different apart from the bold decision to ensure a constitutionally-elected president is in power when the tenure of this government expires in December.
That of course came with some opposition from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the decision by the electoral commission to compile a new voter register. There were some who thought the decision was ill-informed and could lead to Ghana’s Covid 19 cases increasing astronomically.
Despite the back and forth, the Electoral Commission performed its constitutional duty to ensure a new register was in place for the December 7 election.
Thankfully our Covid 19 cases have not shut up astronomically despite the registration and exhibition of the voter register.
The Electoral Commission and its chairperson and the entire team deserve commendation for standing their ground to achieve this feat. It was a big risk worth taking which will inure to the benefit of our democracy irrespective of who is elected in this year’s elections.
What is now left is for the electorates to do their part and turn out in their numbers and vote for the candidate of their choice while strictly observing the Covid 19 protocols.
This year all the political parties, especially the opposition NDC and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have capitalised on their position on the ballot paper to tell the significance of the number and why they should be voted for.
Despite the number debate, it is good to note that a majority of Ghanaians will vote beyond the number on the ballot factor. What really matters in tomorrow's residential and Parliament election is the achievement of the political parties contesting.
The NDC believes the NPP government has failed to deliver on its promises after four years in power. It believes the current administration is saddled with corruption and nepotism and cannot match its track record of building roads, schools, hospitals.
On the other hand, the ruling New Patriotic Party believes it has taken the bold step to introduce the flagship Free Senior High Policy in its first year in office in addition to a raft of other policies.
The party believes it deserves another four years to continue with its policies for the country to develop faster.
Kwesi Aboagye, a Shoe Seller at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, here in Accra, tells me openly that he will vote for the NPP because of the Free SHS. He tells me prior to the introduction of the policy, he was spending about two thousand cedis any time his ward was going to school.
However, that episode has changed in the past three and half years. He said for the other children he spent less than a hundred cedis.
Kofi Yeboah is a banker with one of the local banks, he tells me the December 7 elections will not be an easy race. But he knows who he wants to vote for because of the recent clean-up in the financial sector.
‘’If I will vote from my head, I will vote for the NPP, but If I want to vote from my heart, this year I'm going to vote from my heart by voting for the NDC."
Yeboah believes the recent financial clean-up in the financial sector had some political underpinning hence his decision.
I have not yet decided openly who to vote for, but obviously, it wouldn’t be based on which spot a political party flagbearer is occupying on the ballot box.
Whichever side of the divide you belong to, whether NDC, NPP, CPP, PNC, ACP, NDP, GUM. PPP, GCPP, GFP, LPG, or independent candidate, Asiedu Walker.
The best thing is to come out and vote to enhance the chances and ideologies of your candidate or party to work in the greater interest of Ghana. But remember every choice you make has a consequence to help improve your lives and millions of others and you surely may not just want to seat back without being part of that decision.
The writer is a journalist based in Accra.