- Ben Ephson has attributed John Mahama’s 2020 elections defeat to his lack of clarity on free SHS
- NPP introduced the policy in 2017
- A little over 400,000 students benefited from the policy in its first year of implementation
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John Dramani Mahama’s lack of clarity on the free Senior High School contributed to his defeat in the December 2020 general elections, Pollster, Ben Ephson, has said.
Mahama claimed his administration started the policy in 2015 during a three-day campaign tour of the Upper East Region ahead of the elections.
This was despite public knowledge that the pro-poor initiative was the flagship policy of the NPP.
He vowed to cancel the double track system introduced in implementing the policy in his first year as president of Ghana.
He also pledged to extend the policy to private schools in deprived communities to ensure a one-track qualitative learning experience.
Ephson, however, believed that the former president’s thoughts on the successful continuation of the policy lacked clarity and that caused him votes.
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“I have started doing research in 2021 and one of the things which is coming out is that because of the lack of clarity from the NDC’s candidate John Mahama on the free SHS, parents who have kids going into free SHS and who have kids in fee SHS especially the swing voters, may have decided that they will vote out the NPP MPs but because they want to take advantage of the free SHS they voted for President Akufo-Addo,” the Managing Editor of the Dispatch stated TV3’s Key Points programme on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
In other news, President Nana Akufo-Addo appointed Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah as the Director of Research at the presidency.
A senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana’s Political Science Department Owusu-Mensah replaces the late Victor Newman who died on December 10, 2020.
Owusu-Mensah led the team of researchers whose survey predicted a win for the president in the December 7, 2020, general elections.
The survey which was published on Thursday, November 26, 2020, said Akufo-Addo would be reelected for another four-year term with 51.7% of the valid votes cast whilst the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would collect 40.4%.
It also said the Ghana Union Movement (GUM’s), Christian Kwabena Andrews, would also secure 1.4% of the votes, placing him third.
The department interviewed a total of 11,000 respondents to come out with its prediction.
President Akufo-Addo went ahead to win the elections. He defeated Mahama collecting 51.302% of the votes cast against the latter’s 47.359%.
The votes difference between the two candidates stood at 517, 231, representing a four percentage point, one of the highest since 1996.
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