I have been a student of elections since 1992, although I was not eligible to vote in that election, I have been an ardent follower of politics ever since, not as an active participant, but one who is more concern about this country and so is more than interested in knowing the political parties and their candidates at the turn of every election.
Since 1992, I have been fascinated by elections worldwide. The most fascinating election I have ever observed was the first election of Barrack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States in 2008, I am happy I was alive to see a Blackman achieve this great feat.
Obama secured the nomination of the Democratic Party against the formidable Hilary Clinton, who was the wife of one of the most celebrated Presidents in the history of the United States, Bill Clinton; and he then went on to defeat the Republican nominee, John McCain, in the general election.
Obama’s 2007/2008 election campaign has since become a textbook-case of outstanding political strategizing in the United States of America (USA) and political watchers all over the world. His superior tactics ensured that his victory quickly became inevitable, even against all the odds. Therefore, most people called his nomination as Democratic Party candidate and election as President very early; to the discomfiture of doubting Thomases, who could not imagine a black U.S. president in their lifetime.
The 2012 presidential election in Ghana, was the easiest to predict apart from the election of 1992, which was the first when we ushered in the fourth republican dispensation, many had said that ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, was the referee and a player in that election, primarily because he had just metamorphosed from a military ruler to a civilian leader, so it was a walk in the park for him.
The forthcoming 2016 presidential election is another election that has become easy to predict, but for different reasons. It is supposed to be a difficult election for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). However, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has turned out to be a newspaper and radio political party and nothing more. Its novelty has long died down when ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor exited in 2008 and a new harsh and dismal political reality now confronts it, since it decided that the only person capable of leading the party is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. In fact the fortunes of the party dwindled when Nana Addo became it leader.
As a result of this, the 2016 election is not likely to live up to its hype. As a matter of fact, all the evidence now indicates that the election will be a cakewalk for the NDC and President Mahama. President John Dramani Mahama, will not only be re-elected as president, he will be re-elected by a landslide, after all it took him only three months to beat a more tested and popular candidate in 2012.
Ordinarily, the forthcoming election should be a problematic one for President John Dramani Mahama. After 6 years, Ghanaians are generally fed up with the NDC. Six years is more than enough time to change drastically the electrical power and water situation in the country. But this has yet to happen to any appreciable degree. Sanitation after six years, has not seen any significant improvement, as the recent cholera outbreak is a testament to government’s failure in handling the issue of sanitation.
One year is more than sufficient to make a big impact on the problem of corruption in Ghana. Again, this has not happened in 6 years, this assertion was reechoed by none other than the founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings, who is quoted in the media as saying corruption in the current government is as rife as it was during the era of late President John Evans Atta Mills. The perception of corruption is still high on the lips of Ghanaians, Committee upon Committee has been set up to go into some alleged acts of corruption, but many are yet to see the light of day. The few once that have been inducted and puts before court, the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, has ensured that the cases have stalled or thrown out for want of prosecution.
The dubious payments made to the beleaguered businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, Waterville, Isofoton, for which a court ruling has been given to retrieve the monies, Ghanaians are yet to see any action.
One year is more than enough to arrest the daily fall in the value of our local currency against its major trading currencies, especially the dollar. The situation with our cedi has gone from bad to worse. This unfortunate happening has led to the astronomical increases in the prices of basic commodities. Also the lost in the value of the cedi is what has necessitated the increase in the prices of petroleum product, even when the price of crude is falling on the world market; all of a sudden we know longer talk of the automatic price adjustment.
For these and other reasons, the 2016 presidential elections should be a difficult one for President Mahama.
However, in the case of the 2016 election, my contention is that the re-election of President Mahama is going to be easy. John Mahama will defeat his NPP challenger, who is going to be Nana Addo convincingly.
The main reason for this conclusion is that President Mahama is facing a shambolic NPP opposition that does not seem to have a clue about what it takes to win an election, because the party is fixated on one candidate, who has been given two opportunities and he failed to deliver.
The NPP is a useful counterpoise to the NDC in the Ghanaian political equation. But it is only likely to pose a strong challenge to the ruling party in 2020, when there will be no incumbent president to contend with, and after it might have sorted out its internal contradictions and developed firm roots nationwide. But as it is today, the NPP is not even likely to survive impending defeat in 2016.