General News of Thursday, 7 December 2017
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is holding a thanksgiving service to commemorate its landslide victory in the 2016 Election.
The event, being held at the Accra International Conference Center is to mark a year since the party regained power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by former President John Mahama.
President Akufo Addo, his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and other leading members of the party are at the event.
Akufo-Addo wins 2016 elections
Akufo-Addo thwarted John Mahama’s plan of serving a second term by beating him in the election with 53.85% of the total valid votes cast, against Mahama’s 44.4%.
Akufo-Addo’s victory was described as historic in many ways, as it was the first time a sitting President was beaten in an election, and also the first time a total vote difference of more than 1 million was recorded, between the winner and his closest opponent in an election in Ghana.
Many analysts who sought to explain Akufo-Addo’s victory attributed it to factors that include the general trend of public disaffection for sitting governments that have served 8 years in government, impunity and the perception of massive corruption in the NDC government among other things. 72-year-old Akufo-Addo, a lawyer, had earlier made two unsuccessful attempts at the presidency.
He contested the NDC’s John Evans Atta-Mills in 2008 but lost. He again failed on his second attempt in 2012 against the NDC’s candidate John Mahama.
The NPP’s conviction that the NDC rigged the election forced it to file a motion at the Supreme Court to challenge the results of the elections.
An 8-month-long legal tussle over the matter, eventually saw the Supreme Court upholding the election results declared by the Electoral Commission in favour of the NDC.
This however led to some reforms in Ghana’s electoral laws. While on the campaign trail for the 2016 elections, Nana Addo announced policies that include setting up a factory in every district, building a dam in every village of the three Northern Regions, and providing a Ghc 1million development fund for every constituency, as some of the things he will do when he comes to power.
He also pledged to reintroduce the payment of a monthly allowance to nursing and teacher trainees in the country – something the NDC government stopped doing because it said it wanted to invest the money into educational infrastructure to enable it to admit more trainees.
Although Akufo-Addo has not explicitly given timelines to his pledges and policies, most Ghanaians are highly expectant of moves to implement them, especially in his first year.
So far, the allowance for trainee nurses and teachers has been restored, whereas the party’s flagship programme, Free SHS has been implemented, although it is faced with initial challenges.
Processes towards the fulfillment of other promises are also ongoing.