A research conducted by the Centre for Media Analysis (CMA), a media monitoring and strategic communication agency based in Accra, revealed that “Party internal wrangling” was the most featured thematic area in the political news sections of two Ghanaian newspapers monitored between 18th-22nd July, 2016.
The research is the first of a series of weekly studies to be conducted by CMA to ascertain the thematic areas covered in the political news sections of the Daily Graphic and the Ghanaian Times ahead of the 2016 general elections.
In all, 30 political stories covering 7 political thematic areas were analysed during the study.
The thematic areas covered Party internal wrangling, Electoral processes, Political advocacy, Inter party conflicts, Political education, Political corruption and Political security.
According to the data analysed, Party internal wrangling recorded 44% of all political news stories analysed during the period under study.
Electoral processes recorded 27%, next were Political advocacy and Inter party conflicts recording 10% each, while Political education, Political corruption, and Political security recorded 3% each.
Political analysts at CMA believe it is necessary for political parties to strategically promote harmony and cohesion internally for better chances in elections.
They argue that, it is impossible for political parties to effectively promote their candidates as well as their campaign messages while struggling with internal conflicts. They further state that internal wrangling reduces a party’s influence in political campaigning especially in an election year.
Party internal wrangling also have the tendency to delay the process of putting up a formidable structure for effective monitoring of the electoral process.
To ensure a smooth election 2016, CMA analysts advised that, established bodies such as the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) with the responsibility of mediating and resolving inter party conflicts need to interact frequently with political parties in order to resolve any conflicts that may disrupt the election process.
It is also important to intensify political education especially of the two leading parties to encourage political tolerance which will ultimately ensure a peaceful atmosphere for a violent free election.
The revelations from the study have led analysts to question whether political parties are ready for this year’s general elections.
Source: Centre for Media Analysis