The New Patriotic Party (NPP) having won the 2016 presidential election with a whopping 53 percent and massive majority seats in parliament thus winning 170 out of a possible 275 seats was really a landslide. The results of the election came as a shock to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the incumbent party at the time.
To say that President Nana Addo has done nothing would be as if you are someone who does not appreciate anything. Yes, the promised policies have had their unique implementation issues but at least the president is keen on fulfilling his promises. Recently, Dr. Bawumia,the Vice President of the republic of Ghana, adjudge that, 72 percent of policies promised to Ghanaians havebeen fulfilled.
This article is not about whether President Nana Addo led administration have fulfilled most of their campaign promise or not. It is about whether the President has been able to meet the high expectation, hopes and believes that particularly the youth had, before he ascended to the presidency.
The build up to the 2016 election had a number of campaign messages. However, what stood tall about the incumbent and Ex. President Mahama’s presidency was corruption and incompetent management of the economy. In fact, the name Mahama became synonymous to ‘incompetent’. Truly, the results of the 2016 election was a direct reflection that Ghanaians were displeased and incompetent message was clear.
The hope of competent managers for the economy, Free Senior High School and the famous One-district-one-factory were among the leading promises that many voters at the time bought and voted for. I am sure many will remember the catchy statement … ‘we have the men’.
Fast-forward, three years of the NPP and President Nana Addo in power, my worry is that they have relaxed. The Economic Management Team and Dr. Bawumia are comfortable because accordingly, they have done more than the past administration under Ex. President Mahama.
Though Ghanaians have grown tired of the politics of comparison, it seems to be the order of interest for the NPP government. My worry is, if the past administration was terrible and Ghanaians were asked to vote them out because of their incompetence. Then, why do you use incompetence as a based-line to measure success? Every chance given to Dr. Bawumia is an opportunity to compare his progress to a based-line of incompetence.
My thoughts are that, since the previous government was described as incompetent in the build up for election, then as a successor, you would have to find different and competent indicators globally to challenge themselves with or use as a based-line for their success. To just compare the reigning NPP government what was described as incompetent does not necessarily make you better, if we are to trust those descriptions. The Nana Addo presidency can do more but the comparison with NDC’s previous administration is making them relax.
The 2019 afrobarometer survey revealed that 42 percent of Ghanaians are undecided ahead of the 2020 election. Out of which about 19 percent have decided not to vote in the same survey. This is a clear indication that Ghanaians high expectation and hope for the NPP government have not been met.
Ghanaians expected drastic change, having given 170 majority seats in parliament to the NPP government after the 2016 election. The government was also given high targets and expectations, yet NPP government in power is not working with the high expectations from the youth in mind but the political glory of surpassing previous NDC government. The youth may be disappointed although the NPP government has done well in making sure of fulfilling most campaign promises which just not enough..
This tells that the youth still expect more from the NPP and Nana Addo led government and not just a mere surpassing of NDC. Should the Youth and the 42 percent of undecided voters turn to independent candidate ahead of the 2020 election, will be a paradigm shift and may fulfil Ghanaian’s expectations. Since the task of getting reasoning caps of members of parliament from both sides would not afford Independence Presidential Candidate time for comparison. Should the youth and the 42 percent of undecided voters consider other political parties?
How to meet the expectations of youth would be a big question to answer in the 2020 election, not the NPP and NDC comparison. But, time will tell, we have a long way to election 2020.
Research and Development Manager
Centrefor Political Studies
Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation
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