General News of Wednesday, 7 September 2016
A report by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) that predicts a win for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December elections has been dismissed by President John Mahama who cites significant changes since the report was published.
The President is confident of a second term in office because the economic trends that informed the EIU forecast have seen marked improvement.
“At the time the EIU did its prediction we had not started telling our story, we had not come out with the Green Book, we had not started letting Ghanaians see the extent of work that we have done and I believe that they are beginning to comprehend what we are doing and where we are going,” the President said.
He made the comments on Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Tuesday.
The UK-based EIU in July this year repeated its forecast of a NPP win in this year’s Presidential polls after a similar prediction in April.
The EIU cites public dissatisfaction with unimpressive economic indicators and a debilitating power crisis as a possible reason for a Nana Akufo-Addo-led victory.
The EIU had said “pre-election spending in 2016 will put pressure on the fiscal deficit target set in conjunction with the IMF [International Monetary Fund], although the government will be more successful at resisting large-scale populist spending than in previous election years.”
However, speaking on Good Evening Ghana, the President surmised that the relevance of the underlying reasons for the EIU prediction has since been defeated by his imposing effort to transform the economy and improve the power challenges.
He suggests that if the same opinion poll was conducted by the EIU today, the results would favour the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the crucial December polls.
“Things are on track,” he told host Paul Adom Otchere.
He said the IMF should back his claims of an improving economy when the Fund endorses Ghana’s continuous progress with the programme on September 21, 2016.
“We’ve managed to stabilize the power situation and currently Ghanaians can see the volume of work that we’ve done,” the President was optimistic.
Success with the three-year $918 million financial support with the IMF is critical for investor confidence in the economy, and the President believes that confidence is building fast.
The programme demands that government pursues fiscal adjustments to check ballooning public spending, improve revenue generation and structural reforms to strengthen public finances.
He admits that although he has not transformed the country into a paradise, he has certainly made it better.
The President said despite the criticisms of his administration, he has done better than his predecessors and a second will seal his national transformation effort.