General News of Thursday, 7 December 2017
Exactly a year ago today, Ghanaians gave the nod to the then Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to steer the affairs of the country.
But the road to the Presidential suite has not been an easy one.
Here are some incidents that highlighted the journey to the Flagstaff House;
Change of Voting Day
Prior to the December 7 elections, the Electoral Commission proposed the Presidential and Parliamentary elections to be held on November 7 as part of proposals for electoral reforms.
This according to the commission was to make room for the Commission to be able to organise a run-off in case no candidate was able to secure the 50-plus-one vote required for a first round victory and also to make room for preparation for a handover on January 7.
The date was however rejected by Parliament after it failed to garner the 184 votes needed to effect the historic change. Minority in Parliament were of the view that the EC would not be ready to carry out the elections at the proposed date since there were unresolved issues regarding the voter’s register.
Disqualified Political parties versus EC Chair
Disgruntled party presidential candidates took the EC Chair Charlotte Osei to the Supreme Court after her outfit ruled them out from contesting in the December 2016 elections following anomalies found in their submitted documents.
The Supreme Court ordered the EC to allow some 12 disqualified candidates to correct errors on their nomination forms, errors that formed the basis for their disqualification. The judgement froze five other suits in which presidential candidates are challenging the disqualification. The candidates were disqualified after the EC said it found anomalies on the presidential nomination forms.
The EC finally pruned the number of presidential candidates to 7.
The Presidential candidates of the PPP, National Democratic Party (NDP) and People’s National Convention (PNC) were given the go to contest the election, setting the tone for a smooth election after a hectic period for the EC, which was mired in controversies and lawsuits.
Build up to the elections, each of the competing political parties tried to project their outfit as the better option to be voted into power. The incumbent government at the time, the NDC touted their achievements particularly the building of several lavish infrastructure which they matched up to that of developed countries.
The NPP also presented several promises including the delivery of a free Senior High School Education policy and the building of one factory in each of the 216 districts in the country.
The Progressive People’s Party, led by Papa Kwesi Nduom also promised to drastically reduce the rate of unemployment by increasing and providing jobs for the youth.
Each of the competing sides were looking for something which would give the edge over the others and as such it came as no surprise when a leaked photograph of the NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo drinking locally manufactured fruit juice Kalyppo was intercepted and used to mock him.
At a period when Nana Akufo-Addo’s health was being speculated as not optimal, some members of the NDC took to social media to mock him on his choice of juice. Some even teased the ‘grown’ man of abusing a drink meant for children.
But the move seemed to have backfired as supporters and sympathisers of the NPP broke the internet with ‘the kalyppo challenge’, where people got creative with the use of the kalyppo fruit drink. The fruit juice suddenly became the most patronized on the market with several distributor getting out of stock.
There were some mishaps during the campaigns of some of the Presidential aspirants. NPP’s flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo got pelted with a stone at the Klortey Korle constituency when he went there to introduce the party’s candidate Philip Addison.
The NDC’s Vice Presidential candidate Kwesi Amissah-Arthur got hooted and chased out of the Akuapem North constituency with a change slogan when his entourage went there to campaign.