The 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections are more than 24 months away and it is perhaps difficult to predict outcome now but the two main contenders swear that they will be victorious.
While supporters and members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) say that they have began the short walk to occupy Falstaff House, their counterparts in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) insist that President John Dramani Mahama is not about to vacate the seat of government.
Interestingly, the two political parties look and sound alike ideologically and have promoted the same policies over the last 30 years.
Last week, president Mahama made a bold move to take over the constituency of his opponent when he declared that Ghana is working towards reducing over-dependence on state-run institutions to create pathways for private investments.
He had earlier told a forum organized by the Ford Foundation in New York that at independence, the Nkrumah Government made the mistake of attempting to solve the unemployment problem by establishing state enterprises.
According to him, his government would develop an economy led by the private sector to create employment for citizens.
President Mahama sounded like former President Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo put together when he declared that “the policy of liberalization is the way to go, especially on the African continent” citing Ghana’s telecommunications sector as a clear example of successful policy of liberalization and deregulation.
Currently about 70 per cent of Ghana’s telecom sector is controlled foreign interests.
Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the NPP does not disagree with president Mahama on these issues.
His main beef is that the Mahama administration is incompetent and corrupt and that its poor performance has worsened the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
It is important to note that the plight of ordinary Ghanaians have been worsened largely through the implementation of policy options accepted by both the NPP and the NDC.
The Automatic Adjustment Formula for the determination of utility tariffs and the price of petroleum products has been endorsed by other parties.
Both parties also accepted the Foreign Exchange Retention Agreements with the mining companies under which some of the companies’ retain as much as 98 per cent of their foreign exchange earnings abroad.
Between the two parties, more than 400 state enterprises established by the Nkrumah Government have been privatized and they have cumulatively devalued the national currency by more than 26,000 per cent.
Given the fact that there is not much to choose between the NDC and the NPP, the question as to which one of them will win the 2016 elections is an open one.
At the end of the day, what will matter most would be which party is able to convince or deceive the people that it can work to improve their living standards.
Source: The Insight
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