Assin North By-Election: UCC Lecturer Believes NPP's Defeat Shows Vote Buying Becoming Less Attractive

Assin North By-Election: UCC Lecturer Believes NPP's Defeat Shows Vote Buying Becoming Less Attractive

  • A lecturer at the University of Cape Coast has said the Assin North by-election shows that the days of bribing voters to skew election outcomes is over
  • Dr Daniel Amoako Sakyi has theorised that the crop of voters will typically take a politician's money but still vote for their preferred candidate
  • He told in an exclusive interview that Ghana must hold on to the new trend and truly move away from "moneycracry" to meritocracy

A lecturer at the University of Cape Coast has said the outcome of the June 27 by-election in Assin North shows there is a significant shift in what influences voting decisions in Ghana.

Dr Daniel Amoako-Sakyi believes the plague in Ghana's democracy, where patronage and vote buying, especially in rural and poor areas determines election outcomes, has been destroyed.

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UCC lecturer believes outcome of Assin North by-election is a game changer in Ghana's politics
A political activist brandishes a placard with the inscription "Democracy must work" and Dr Daniel Amoak-Sakyi. Source: Twitter/@dasakyi, Getty Images.
Source: UGC

Dr Amoako-Sakyi told in an exclusive interview that while it is common for political parties and candidates to distribute money, food, clothes, bicycles, motorcycles, and even cars to voters during campaigns hoping to secure their loyalty and support, that oft-criticised feature is no more effective.

"This strategy is no longer effective. It is no more effective because we have heard reports that the voters take the bribes but still vote according to their conscience or preference," he said.

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The infectious disease researcher who is also an avid social and political commentator said the money political candidates dole out to voters only reinforces their choice if that candidate is already their choice.

"This creates the illusion that the money made the difference. If they favour the other candidate, they will pocket your money but vote against you, making you think you were outbid," he told

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During the Assin North by-election, scores of opposition NDC supporters massed up at a polling station over vote-buying allegations against the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Assin North by-election is a game changer

Writing extensively in an op-ed on the by-election that saw NDC's James Gyakye Quayson beat NPP's Charles Opoku to win back the seat, Dr Amoako-Sakyi has theorised that that single event is a clear demonstration that money is no more the magic bullet for winning elections.

"The outcome of the by-election suggests that voters were motivated by other factors, such as party loyalty, personal charisma, local issues, or protest votes," he told

He added that the outcome of the Kumawu by-election lends credence to his theory.

"All forms of inducements happened in Kumawu, but we cannot credit the victory to those; the NPP candidate would have won anyway," he stressed.

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He is convinced the Ghanaian voter has become sophisticated and politicians must not underestimate that.

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Time for Ghana's democracy to migrate from moneycracy to meritocracy

Dr Daniel Amoako-Sakyi believes it is time for voters and politicians alike to sanitise Ghana's democracy by upholding a political culture that rewards based on merits and not because of how much politicians spend.

"Maybe, the storm in Assin North will produce waves that will set the nation on a journey that will transform our politics for the better," he told

He has admonished Ghanaian voters to migrate from "moneycracy" to "meritocracy".

Professor Gyampo says it's too early to use Assin North to predict any party's 2024 electoral victory

Meanwhile, has reported in a separate story that renowned political scientist Prof Ransford Gyampo has said it is too early to use the Assin North and Kumawu by-elections to make predictions about the 2024 general elections.

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He told in an exclusive interview that while NDC seems to have an edge over NPP currently, 2024 is still a long time for the dynamics to change.

The academic at the University of Ghana, Legon said both NDC and NPP have a lot of work to do before the presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

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