3 Aspirants lace up boots - Economic issues key decider - Analysts
Three political analysts have described the 2024 presidential election as an interesting and difficult one, given the calibre of aspirants who are seeking to be elected as President of the country.
The three – an Associate Professor of Marketing, specialising in Political Marketing, University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Kobby Mensah; Head of Political Science Department, University of Ghana, Legon, Prof. Seidu M. Alidu, and an independent scholar and an expert in Political Science, Public Policy and Governance, Prof. Joseph Atsu Ayee – were unanimous in their judgement that the upcoming contest was too close to call.
Reacting to the emergence of John Dramani Mahama, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen – as sure bets on the presidential ballot paper 13 months from now, the three experts told the Daily Graphic in separate interviews yesterday that the dynamics and the personalities involved made the election outcome quite unpredictable.
While two of them saw a horse race between Mr Mahama and Dr Bawumia in terms of the performance of their respective parties, one of them believed the Alan Kyerematen factor could push the contest into a run-off.
This became evident when Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, was endorsed as the flag bearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) last Saturday to contest former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Independent candidate, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.
Until the unexpected happens, these three veteran politicians will be the frontrunners of the much-anticipated 2024 general election.
Mr Mahama was the first to secure the mandate of his party back in May this year with an overwhelming 98.9 per cent votes of NDC delegates.
However, Mr Kyerematen’s dramatic inclusion followed his political somersault which was triggered by his surprise defeat in the NPP Super Delegates Conference in August this year. The dissatisfied three-time aspirant backed out of the final race, held last Saturday, resigned from the party and declared his intention to contest the presidential slot under the ‘Movement for Change’ mantra.
They said Mr Mahama, who was returning as a former President to contest Dr Bawumia, who has been a running mate for 16 years (eight years in opposition and eight years in government), and
Mr Kyerematen, who is coming out of the government to run as an independent candidate, would present the electorate with an in-depth quality of choice to make.
Prof. Mensah, in his analysis, said the candidature of Mr Mahama and Dr Bawumia presented new dynamics where people had to look at geographical and religious factors, with Mr Mahama, a Christian, and Dr Bawumia, a Muslim, both coming from the northern part of the country.
He noted that those factors would make the election keen and interesting.
“The most appealing in the dimension and the one that offers us lots to think about in our democratic practices is Alan Kyerematen's independent ticket,” he said.
“Mr Kyerematen riding on a certain movement and representing a certain candidacy that tends to unify the country by running a unity government idea that will pull people from the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, as well as people from the technocratic society as his government is quite insightful and it will be completely novel to what we are doing.
“So, I think that the 2024 election is indeed a landmark election that presents us with a lot of learnings in our democratic dispensation,” he stated.
For his part, Prof. Joseph Atsu Ayee said there were more times ahead as things would change in the coming days and so it was difficult to say who would win between Mahama and Bawumia.
He said how a candidate would turn things around in the economy was the key thing and so he could not say who would win or would not.
He said elections could only be won with ideas and that candidates needed to come up with convincing ideas about how they would turn the economy around.
“The aspirants need winnable campaign messages which “I have not seen yet”.
“But I would be able to tell during the campaign in the next six months,” he said.
Regarding the independent candidate, he said, Mr Kyerematen would not be different from past independent presidential candidates.
Prof. Ayee said Mr Kyerematen should have resigned when he thought he was not given resources when he was minister instead of complaining.
“I don’t see any message; his message is full of complaints,” he added.
He said he was expecting more presidential aspirants to emerge in the coming days.
“The three are now going to start their campaign. Honestly, the two main contenders are the NPP and the NDC. If you look at the history of Ghana, independent candidates have not done well in the presidential elections.
“Since Paa Willie’s time (the Third Republic to date), independent presidential candidates have not done well. The current candidate is not different. If you look at Paa Willie, he