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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Voter turnout will be very low in 2024 election – Hassan Ayariga predicts


The Founder of the All People’s Congress (APC) party and former presidential candidate, Hassan Ayariga, has predicted that voter turnout in the 2024 election will be much lower compared to previous years due to the constant deceit and poor performance of the two major political parties that have left many Ghanaians disappointed.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Wednesday, November 29, about the need for a common manifesto to spearhead national development, Mr Hassan Ayariga said, Ghana has gotten to the stage where all parties must agree to have one common manifesto for the country.

“We cannot be lying all the time to the people then when we get the votes we come up with excuses, and when we win we come back with lies. Enough of that. We have deceived the Ghanaian people for too long” he fumed.

This year, if we are not careful, there’s going to be voter apathy and it will increase even higher than ever. You watch the last election, we had 17 million registered voters, but only 11 million voted. What it means is that 6 million Ghanaians refused to vote.”

“It’s either they were not for the NPP or the NDC. They just don’t want to vote again because they’re tired of the political lies, political hatred and everything that politicians do to them.

Checks by JoyNews indicate that out of the 17,027,941 registered voters for election 2020, 13,432,857 voted, bringing the voter turnout to 79%, higher than the 2016 turnout percentage of 69% out of a registered voter population of 15,712,499, from which 10,781,917 voted.

Mr Ayariga said his party believes in a manifesto that can build Ghana, and therefore he’s fully in support of a common manifesto for all the political parties.

So for us in the APC, we believe in a manifesto that can build Ghana. We believe that even if all of us come together as political parties it doesn’t matter. NDC and NPP should bring their representatives, CPP and APC should bring their representatives and draft a manifesto that can drive this nation forward.”

Ban manifestos

Speaking at a recent public lecture at the British Council in Accra on the theme “A Common Manifesto for our Common Future”, the Lead Consultant for Konfidant, a globally oriented, Africa-region-focused advisory firm, Micheal Kottoh said party manifestos should be banned if Ghana wants to develop to the level of first-world countries.

According to him, the current political system that allows presidential aspirants to compete on their own ideas, for the best idea to emerge as victorious, is not pushing the country into development.

He said a common manifesto would propel the country into economic stability and infrastructural development.

“The only way we can have a common manifesto for a common future is to ban party manifesto. Let’s ban them [party manifestos]. I hear time and again that a lot of Ghanaians are frustrated about why we cannot have a national development plan and stick to it.

“We keep referring to Malaysia, Singapore, and the Chinese and we know that this has been a very fundamental part of their transformation. There is no way we can have a common national development plan and stick to it if we keep having party manifestos. It is not possible. There is a contradiction there. So if we want a common manifesto that will translate into a common development plan, I say ban the party manifestos,” he said.

Our party manifestos are usually silent on the most important issues – Ofosu-Dorte

But David Ofosu-Dorte, Executive Chairman of AB and David Africa who was the guest speaker at the lecture, said instead of banning manifestos, the citizenry must rather drive what goes into the manifestos of the parties to bring about the desired development.

He, however, said his analysis of manifestos churned out by Ghana’s two main political parties since 1992, shows that the real issues of importance to national development are often not captured.

According to him, his analysis also established that the two main parties usually say the same things in their manifestos except for the wording of the pointers that differ.

But David Ofosu-Dorte, Executive Chairman of AB and David Africa who was the guest speaker at the lecture, said instead of banning manifestos, the citizenry must rather drive what goes into the manifestos of the parties to bring about the desired development.

He, however, said his analysis of manifestos churned out by Ghana’s two main political parties since 1992, shows that the real issues of importance to national development are often not captured.

According to him, his analysis also established that the two main parties usually say the same things in their manifestos except for the wording of the pointers that differ.

The interesting thing is that none of these manifestos seems to focus on the soft points without which the manifestos cannot thrive. For example, the manifestos make copious provisions for security. But what is security in an undisciplined society? If the society is undisciplined there cannot be security; it doesn’t matter how many plans you make” he argued.

After pointing out several other examples of the similarities in manifesto promises for various sectors of the economy, David Ofosu-Dorte concluded that “The real problem, therefore, is not what the manifestos say, it is rather what the manifestos don’t say. Because the manifestos in my view, are silent on very important issues which form the real foundation. It’s either they’re completely silent on them or do not address them adequately.

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