An independent global research, consulting and advisory group based in the UK and the USA, DaMina, has predicted defeat for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December 7, 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.
DaMina’s model, published on August 17, 2012, predicted the New Patriotic Party (NPP) recapturing the presidency and dominating Parliament in forthcoming elections.
According to the firm, traditional incumbency would not help President John Mahama who assumed the flagbearership of the NDC after the untimely death of John Evans Atta Mills.
DaMina is a well recognised and independent research and consulting firm with a special focus on African capital and commodities markets.
DaMina is managed by Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, son of NDC kingpin Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.
The research firm also has several key African personalities as senior advisors including Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Lord Paul Boateng, Ghanaian-born Member of the British House of Lords, Dr. Babacar Ndiaye, former President of the African Development Bank, H.E Kabine Koroma, former Guinean Prime Minister and Bismarck Riwane, former advisor to late Nigerian President, Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua.
“The traditional incumbency advantages that normally help African incumbents will not be of much help to Ghana’s new President John Mahama. While Mahama has been involved in Ghanaian politics for over a decade, his name recognition among the majority illiterate and semi-illiterate population is surprisingly low,” said the report, which may likely dampen the morale of the new president who has embarked on a nationwide political tour dubbed ‘Thank You tour.’
According to DaMina, despite the common hype of President Mahama’s formidability in Ghanaian politics, his popularity is considerably low in the rural areas of Ghana.
DaMina said it conducted a recent random ‘name identification’ survey in several disjointed rural communities and found out that despite enjoying traditional national media attention, “Mahama is shockingly not well known throughout the country.”
DaMina acknowledged the effectiveness of the NPP’s candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s door-to-door campaign which he has mounted across the whole country, but said he was closely matched by the former flagbearer of the NDC, John Evans Atta Mills until his death on July 24, 2012.
“Unlike his predecessor President John Atta Mills, who mounted three national campaigns (in 1996 as vice presidential candidate, in 2000 and 2004 as a presidential candidate) before being elected in 2008 by a margin of only 40,000 votes; or former President John Kufuor who also ran two national elections before being elected; or former President John Rawlings, who had ruled the country as a military head of state for over a decade before being elected in 1992, Mahama has just about three months to market his image, brand, name, party and programmes to the country,” the research stated.
“To worsen his electoral plight, Mahama has chosen former Central Bank Governor, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, as his deputy, a man well known only to the elite press in the capital, Accra, but hardly known by even a majority of semi-illiterate voters in Accra or even in his native Cape Coast.
The Mahama-Amissah-Arthur ticket will be paired against a relatively well-known opposition duo of Nana Akufo-Addo and Mahamadu Bawumia,” DaMina noted.
Mahama-Amissah-Arthur Bleak Chances
Essentially, DaMina did a comparative analysis between the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia ticket and the Mahama-Amissah-Arthur ticket and concluded a bleak chance for the latter.
“Effectively the Mahama-Amissah-Arthur team, despite whatever incumbency advantages they have as president and vice president, are as a team relatively unknown nationally compared to Akufo-Addo and Bawumia.
Furthermore, Mahama unlike Akufo-Addo will over the next three months be distracted by the burdens of the presidency, foreign travels and other ceremonial duties which will prevent him from campaigning,” it said in its report.
DaMina used data from the recently released 2010 census figures and concluded that the traditional strongholds of the NPP have grown stronger, particularly in the Ashanti Region which has about a fifth of Ghanaians and probably holds the highest voter population which votes approximately 80 percent for the NPP.
“The recently released 2010 national census shows the depth of the structural electoral problem facing the ruling NDC.
The opposition NPP stronghold of Ashanti has almost one –fifth of all Ghanaians. The Ashanti region has since the1992 return to democracy, voted almost 80% each time for the NPP.
If as expected, the Ashanti region with a slightly above turnout of 74%, votes 80% for the NPP, the opposition party will get a hefty 1.2million vote margin which the ruling NDC will have to reverse by tallying votes elsewhere throughout the country,” DaMina analyzed.
Waterloo In Volta Region
“The Volta region which has historically been a major electoral powerhouse of the ruling NDC will still vote overwhelmingly for the party, but may see turnout fall off as the NDC’s top campaigner, former President Rawlings (who hails from the Volta region) remains tepid about his support for the Mahama-Amissah-Arthur ticket.
However, even if the Volta region sees normal average turnout of 73%, with an NDC margin of 80% – 85%, that would still leave the NPP with a staggering national margin almost 560,000 votes,” stated the report.
According to DaMina, if the NPP wins the elections, Ghana will see many immediate changes in current government policies.
“Ghana’s currency, which has depreciated badly in recent months and which has precipitated a domestic shortage of forex will be re-stabilised by the new NPP government. Firstly, a new Central Bank Governor will be appointed who will have the clear mandate of stabilising prices and the Cedi.”
Also, DaMina estimates that an NPP win will bring back confidence in traders who are facing extreme difficulties keeping the more stable US dollars in the bank due to the NDC’s policy of curbing dollarisation.
DaMina stated that a new NPP government in 2013 will very likely roll back the recent unbudgeted increases in government expenditures by the NDC government.
Source: Raphael Adeniran/d-gUIDE
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