The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) got its latest prediction of Ghana’s 2020 general elections “wrong” when it said, President Akufo-Addo, will be re-elected.
The EIU said in a report released on May 13, 2019 that Akufo-Addo will beat NDC’s candidate, John Mahama at the next general polls.
The report said: “Nana Akufo-Addo, the president, and his NPP will see the country’s economic situation generally improve during the remainder of their term of office. In the presidential election, Akufo-Addo will face a challenge from John Mahama — Ghana’s president from 2012 to early 2017, who was elected leader of the opposition NDC in February 2019.
“The 2016 legislative election was won by the NPP; and the campaign was dominated by the faltering economy, which many Ghanaians still associate with Mr Mahama.
“The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that it will be difficult for the NDC under MrMahama to portray itself as the better custodian of Ghana’s economy, especially as the country’s growth outlook is fairly strong.”
The think tank, therefore, said it expects “Mr Akufo-Addo and the NPP to secure re-election in 2020.”
EIU, however, noted that: “If the NDC can present a coherent opposition and hold the NPP to account on unfulfilled campaign promises particularly on job creation and industrialisation, where progress has been generally slow and success patchy—the election could be closely contested.”
But reacting to the report, the NDC, in a statement signed by its National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, said the EIU’s prediction is not “sacrosanct or proven facts”.
According to the NDC, even though some of EIU’s previous predictions have come to pass, they have also gotten it wrong on many occasions.
The Country Report on Ghana, generated on May 13, among other things, touched on the political and economic outlook, our international relations and fiscal policy regime, and proceeds to make some claims on the 2020 General Election.
The NDC welcomed the research, saying “as a political party, we respect the EIU as an internationally-reputed policy think-thank which has been noted over the years for political and economic forecasting. However, we wish to state, that the EIU’s predictions are not sacrosanct or proven facts. Even though some of their previous predictions have come to pass, they have also gotten it wrong on many occasions. For instance, the EIU predicted a 2008 general election victory for Candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, but Prof. J.E.A Mills of the NDC won that election. They predicted a 2016 US election victory for Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump won. The EIU’s recent prediction of the Nigerian election in favour of the PDP’s Atiku equally failed; there are countless other examples”.
It said “having done an objective and dispassionate analysis of the latest EIU report on Ghana, the NDC comes to the obvious conclusion, that the EIU has largely gotten their latest prediction of Ghana’s 2020 general election wrong”.
KEY ISSUES IN THE REPORT
1. The EIU’s prediction on latest Economic Growth in Ghana is based on growth “driven predominantly by the Oil and Gas sector”. While we have to state that this growth was largely projected to happen due to the huge investments in Ghana’s oil sector by the erstwhile Mahama administration, it is worth asking how many Ghanaians are in the oil sector, and how does growth in the Oil and Gas sector impact the lives of Ghanaians. Unlike some industrialized jurisdictions, Ghana’s current economic growth which is largely oil-driven, does not reflect in the lives of many Ghanaians.
The fact is that, the economic reality of Ghanaians continues to worsen under President Akufo-Addo. Over the last two (2) years, the living conditions of the vast majority of Ghanaians have deteriorated due to a high and unbearable cost of living occasioned by steep increments in the price of fuel, hefty taxes, and rising food and commodity prices among others. These, coupled with the free fall of the Ghana Cedi, continuous job losses and static incomes of workers continue to worsen the economic plight of Ghanaians. These are the realities Ghanaians see and feel, and these what will largely determine who they vote for in 2020. The NDC contends that the key issue for the Ghanaian voter in 2020, will be whether or not his or her living conditions have improved or deteriorated under the four-year reign of President Akufo-Addo, and not based on an oil-driven growth which they cannot see or feel.
2. The latest EIU prediction is again based on the assumption that, it will be difficult for the NDC to market and portray its Presidential Candidate, H.E. John DramaniMahama as the better custodian of Ghana’s economy. This assumption is patently false. The facts show that the record of John Mahama relative to the management of Ghana’s economy is far superior to that of our current handlers. John Mahama’s unprecedented investments in capital projects which created thousands of sustainable jobs and improved the livelihood of Ghanaians, stand tangibly and visibly like a lighthouse.
Posterity has judged John Mahama well, and discerning Ghanaians are yearning for his return. Through effective communication, this story will be told and we are very optimistic that Ghanaians will choose John Mahama over President Akufo-Addo in 2020.
3. It is instructive that, the latest EIU report notes the failed promises of the Akufo-Addo government, especially in relation to job creation and industrialisation.
They make the point that, the 2020 election will be a close contest if the NDC can capitalise on this fact. In other words, the EIU is saying that the NDC can win the 2020 election if we present ourselves as a better alternative and capitalise on the failed promises of the Akufo-Addo government.
Indeed, the NDC has and will continue to expose the failed promises and deceptions of the NPP government. President Akufo-Addo has flattered to deceived the Ghanaian people on all his major campaign promises such as One Village One Dam, One Million Dollars per Constituency every year, One District One Factory, construction of 350 Senior High Schools from scratch in his first 18 months in power, payment of contractors within first 100 days, and the promise to protect the public purse among others. As a matter of fact, one thing that stood out in the report as the only notable achievement of President Akufo-Addo is his oversized government of 110 ministers (now 122 ministers), who continue to dissipate the scarce resources of this country, while offering very few opportunities to the masses.
4. We further note, that there are several other important issues that the EIU report failed to consider. Key amongst them are the declining investments in capital projects despite huge unprecedented borrowings. The ever-festering culture of corruption and nepotism, as well as the alarming levels of insecurity, lawlessness and impunity we are witnessing under President Akufo-Addo were all not captured by the report. All these critical issues border on the disregard for good governance by the Akufo-Addo government, to which the Ghanaian people will respond by rejecting him.
It is the considered position of the NDC, that inasmuch as the latest report by the EIU appears to be a double-edged sword, the report remotely models the present reality in Ghana. The report failed to take into consideration the real issues that affect Ghanaians, thereby making their prognostication faulty to a large extent. We therefore submit, that the latest prediction by the EIU that it “expects Mr. Akufo-Addo and the NPP to secure re-election in 2020” is bound to fail if not reviewed. The NPP’s ship is sinking fast, and nothing can save it. Akufo-Addo has failed Ghanaians and will be rejected in 2020.
On his part, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodio, Nii LanteVanderpuye, has said the EIU’s prediction of victory for the NPP in the 2020 polls is a wake-up call for the NDC to work harder.
While acknowledging the importance of the EIU report on Citi TV‘s Breakfast Daily show, Mr Vanderpuye, said the party was not really perturbed about its findings.
He said, the party would just work harder to secure victory in the 2020 polls.
“I have done an analysis of the EIU report over the period and I can say with all certainty that it is good, if you take a look at what has to be said, and then you work on it. As an academician, I will not dismiss any research because research are almost like a SWOT analysis of you. It gives you an opportunity to look at your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats.”
“If EIU has come out with a report that NDC is going to win 2020 elections, it would have made me much more complacent and relaxed in my approach but in opposition, for me looking for governance, looking for an opportunity to be in power and the report says you have to do more to be able to topple the government. It gives me the impetus to work harder to achieve my objective and that is exactly what we are going to do. We do not care what the EIU report says as far as winning election is concerned. We care about working hard in order to win.”
He further indicated that, if the NDC “corrects its mistakes” committed in 2016, it “will be so easy” for NPP to be out of power by 2020.
Specifically, on elections, the EIU said “Nana Akufo-Addo, the president, and his NPP will see the country’s economic situation generally improve during the remainder of their terms of office. In the presidential election, it says Akufo-Addo will face a challenge from John Mahama— Ghana’s president from 2012 to early 2017, who was elected leader of the opposition NDC in February 2019.”
It said “the 2016 legislative election was won by the NPP; and the campaign was dominated by the faltering economy, which many Ghanaians still associate with Mr Mahama.”
Accordingly, “The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that it will be difficult for the NDC under Mr Mahama to portray itself as the better custodian of Ghana’s economy, especially as the country’s growth outlook is fairly strong.”
The report also said they “expect Mr. Akufo-Addo and the NPP to secure re-election in 2020.”
The report also noted that, “If the NDC can present a coherent opposition and hold the NPP to account on unfulfilled campaign promises particularly on job creation and industrialisation, where progress has been generally slow and success patchy—the election could be closely contested.”