Ghana’s NPP wins Election 2020


Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) obtained a renewed mandate to rule the West African nation for the next four years in an historic election. It was a hard won victory for the NPP led by its hard working leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; and a surprise, given the work done by the party in its first term. The party barely sustained its parliamentary majority as the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) managed to snatch more than 30 seats from the NPP. The final results showed an electorate most appreciative of its president and a party most suspicious of its representatives. Meanwhile the opposition NDC pulling a surprise showed its prowess as a political machine without compare. Incumbent Nana Addo managed to obtain 51.59 percent to beat the opposition’s John Dramani Mahama’s 47.3 percent. The NPP’s parliamentary seats dwindled to 137 as against the opposition NDC’s bloated 136, a fact of live the government would have to live with for the next four years.

The NPP went into the elections convinced that it was a done deal. In campaign lingo many in the ruling party were so sure it was going to be a sweep and that the opposition would be lucky to win back most of its parliamentary seats. The president’s almost 52 percent was the people indicating that they would rather prefer Nana Addo to his party. Many reasons abound for this turn of events for the NPP even as the opposition NDC and its leadership, are also questioning the results as fake and rigged in favor of the incumbent.

Many in the NPP are not only surprised but are shocked by Ghanaian voters for giving their party such a run-around. They cite free Senior High School, 1 district 1 factory, planting for food and export, etc., culminating in year round availability of food, among several social and economic interventionist programs. The list is long and impressive but factors that would likely derail the party in any elections were over looked, disregarded and considered unnecessary. And in almost all cases majority of party members were ignored and/or disregarded.

Regarding the party’s abysmal performance in the parliamentary elections, the NPP seemed to have placed its faith in its work rather than its people. It is true faith without works is empty as the Good Books says but this time that biblical maxim failed it. The party forgot that concrete structures, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, among several such projects do not vote. It is people that vote but that bottom line was ignored. Only one explanation could be given for this abrasive and elitist attitude: bad politics. The NPP may have been around for a long time given its history, but it forgot two important things: it forgot its opponent and it forgot this is 2020. As a party it shuns the word propaganda with a passion. And for that matter any attempt to communicate its achievements is considered propagandist. The center right party lacks an effective and efficient organizational structure and needs to take a serious look at reorganization. This affects decision making and smooth running of the party. How else would the decision to ax some sitting parliamentarians and replace them with others come from the party head office in Accra? Prior to the 2016 elections, the opposition NDC made the same mistake and lost woefully. The NPP did not learn and did the same thing and lost more than 30 members of parliament in addition to a few others who retired. The loss of 30 MPs could be a considerable blow to the party in the next four years. The only saving grace is that the constitution endorses only a simple majority for most acts to become laws in our parliament.

The NPP’s unmindful act of kicking out two serving MPs from its parliamentarian nomination list is a case in point. One of the members from Fomena Constituency went independent and won and is now apparently being courted back into the “Elephant” family as it struggles to maintain its majority in parliament.

Where constituents were denied their right to make their own choices of representatives there were plenty of what has become known as “skirt and blouse” voting. It is undemocratic and against the avowed principle of the party.

The bane of the New Patriotic Party of Ghana is its lack of communication and substantive marketing strategies. With such a formidable foe as the NDC, the NPP’s focus in any election campaign should have been an efficient and strong communication machine. The NDC has radio and television stations dotted all over the country carrying its messages of hate, lies, innuendoes, and misrepresentations. The most vocal radio and television stations that would carry the NPP’s messages and fight the party’s fights on the airwaves were mostly owned by private citizens who happened to be party members. Notable among them include Oman FM and Net 2 TV in Accra and Wontumi TV in Kumasi and their network flung around the nation.

The NDC’s powerful media sought to turn President Akufo-Addo into a corrupt machine even as John Mahama is haunted by the AirBus corruption saga. Attempts made and being made to fight corruption by the Akufo-Addo administration were discountenanced as deceptive. But even most amazing is the NPP’s seeming antipathy toward responding in equal measure to the NDC’s constant and scathing lies and accusations. Press conferences upon press conferences only served to confirm the lies and deepen the suspicions Ghanaians hold against the party. The “Agyapa” deal was effectively misconstrued in spite of its inherent issues.

According to former General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong, the NPP has more than 3000 volunteer groups, most of them young people. If it is true such a force for dynamism existed in the party what must have happened?

To be continued.

The writer is the editor-in-chief of Amandla

Posted by on Dec 15 2020. Filed under Analysis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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