After over a year of unrelenting campaigning by major political parties in Ghana , we are finally set for presidential and parliamentary elections today.
Here are seven reasons why the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Akufo-Addo may win the election.
Because they have been in opposition for eight years, supporters of Akufo-Addo have more enthusiasm to vote than those of President John Mahama because they have been in opposition for eight years. They have more passion, drive and hunger to go out and vote than NDC supporters. In a country where elections are so close, this critical factor could play in Akufo-Addo’s favour on Wednesday.
Corruption has been at the very heart of campaigning this election season, with Mahama facing criticism for several corruption scandals that have plagued his administration, including the Smarrty’s bus branding scandal and the GYEEDA and SADA scandals.
The good news for Akufo-Addo is that he has built an image as an incorruptible public servant. Unlike many of his NPP colleagues, he has never been indicted for any corrupt act. This makes him more appealing to voters who want someone who can urgently and decisively fight corruption.
The Ghanaian economy has been so deeply challenged that Ghana has had to sign up to an IMF programme.
Businesses are reeling under the effect of huge taxes and an erratic power supply while unemployment still remains a huge problem.
Akufo-Addo's message of industrial transformation and job creation is likely to resonate with many who believe that the state of the economy is the single most important issue in this election.
4. Eight-year convention
No Ghanaian party has won more two consecutive elections in the fourth Republic. The trend shows that each of the two main parties does eight years and relinquishes power to the other party. With the NDC's 8th year due in December, it's natural that voter apathy towards the party would have set in. Many voters will crave an air of change.
It is also possible that many supporters of the NDC's who are disappointed at the party's performance in the last eight years will not go to the poll to vote at all. All these factors will work in Akufo-Addo's favour.
5. Sympathy votes
Being the older of the two candidates and having lost two previous elections, Akufo-Addo is more likely to attract sympathy votes. There is something magical about the number three. The late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, for instance, won on his third attempt. Unconfirmed reports that Akufo-Addo is not in the best physical shape will also help garner sympathy votes.
6. Bawumia factor
In Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Nana has a candidate who is deemed to be highly qualified and trustworthy where issues of economics and finance are concerned. Bawumia also appeals to the middle class and is appealing to floating voters who find his expertise valuable for a struggling economy like ours.
It is not surprising that the NDC has gone extraordinary lengths to try and discredit Bawumia and effectively neutralise his message.
7. Opinion polls
Several high-level opinion polls conducted by top think tanks and independent analysts in the country overwhelmingly favour Nana Akufo-Addo to win the election on Wednesday.
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