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EIU: 2016 Is For NPP But Party Must Work Hard For Victory   
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The Economist Intelligence Unit has predicted victory for the New Patriotic Party in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

In its latest report on development in Ghana, the UK based group notes that it is impossible for the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government to turn the scale in its favour in the elections, even though it expects the government “to make some populist spending decisions ahead of the November elections to shore up its support base.”

“There is little time for Mr Mahama and the NDC to turn the economy around before the November elections. We therefore expect Mr Akufo-Addo and the NPP to be victorious,” the report stresses.

The Report, however, predicts that the result from the election is likely to be close, and adds that “The NPP will need to work hard to attract votes from outside its heartlands in central Ghana while maintaining internal unity.”

According to the report, the governing NDC will continue to enjoy strong support in the east and north of the country, “owing to historical and tribal allegiances.”

“Greater Accra, historically a swing state, will be a key battleground, and so tensions in this economic hub could disrupt business operations,” it adds.

The report expresses fears that “ongoing economic weakness at a time of approaching elections will expose Ghana to a notable risk of political and social instability.”

It predicts further: “The presidential and legislative elections set for November will be an acrimonious contest between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the incumbent president, John Mahama, and the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and its presidential candidate, Nana Akufo Addo. The NPP goes into the election period unhappy with the management of the Electoral Commission, which it believes is biased in favour of the NDC…Given these political tensions, there is a notable risk of significant political instability and potentially even social unrest during late 2016 and early 2017.”

The EIU, however, does not expect any breakdown in Ghana's overall stability, “even assuming the elections are disputed.” It explains why: “It is a country with one of the strongest democracies on the continent and not historically prone to widespread violent upheaval.”

The Report adds: “There is also a notable upside risk that one of the parties (probably the NPP) will win by a convincing enough margin that the result is accepted and the political scene normalises quickly. Under either scenario, we would expect political tensions to subside as the election aftermath is concluded, the new government settles in and the wider economy improves, before another spike in tensions ahead of the 2020 elections.”

Source: The New Statesman

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