2024 Presidential election: Winner not forgone conclusion
A political scientist, Dr John Osae-Kwapong, has stated that the winner of the 2024 presidential election is not a foregone conclusion.
He said while the political winds appear to be blowing favourably in the direction of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the winner was far from a certainty, and that time and the many pre-election surveys and polls to be conducted would give a clue of the nation’s pulse as 2024 unfolded.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra, Dr Osae-Kwapong said the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, had a difficult task of explaining the challenges the economy had faced, bearing in mind the arguments and assertions he made in 2016, which propelled the NPP into power.
He explained that the economic challenges over the last few years were a sore spot for Ghanaians, and a serious vulnerability for the incumbent party.
“Given that the NPP won the 2016 election, especially by making a strong economic case for rejecting the John Mahama government, it must expect to face the same in the upcoming election.
“Having said that, in politics, nothing is ever a foregone conclusion.
Voters can be unpredictable as well,” Dr Osae-Kwapong added.
He said although Alan Kyerematen might be running as an Independent candidate, it would be interesting to see how voters would decide to choose among the three candidates after Mr Kyerematen resigned from a major political party.
He explained that the challenge facing the country’s democracy was the growing dissatisfaction with the way democracy was working.
“The ultimate vote of confidence in our democracy will come from how well our leaders work to address the emerging challenges and growing dissatisfaction,” he stated.
Dr Osae-Kwapong said having served as a Member of Parliament (MP), Vice-President and President, Mr Mahama would be coming into the race with the intersection of two perspectives — legislature and executive — with a very pragmatic sense of duty in holding the highest office of the land.
For Dr Bawumia, he said, the Vice-President had framed his campaign for the presidency as a journey of optimism with the slogan “it is possible”.
“That sense of optimism, I suspect, will be the way he frames his election narrative as he makes the case for a Bawumia presidency.
I picture him saying to the Ghanaian electorate: ‘Believe that it is possible to deal with our current economic challenges’,” he said.
Dr Osae-Kwapong said Mr Kyerematen had demonstrated that sometimes, partisans do break from the establishment as a sign of their dissatisfaction.
“In our body politic, there is an expectation that party faithful will remain steadfast and loyal to the party even when they have unaddressed legitimate grievances.
Mr Kyerematen has offered us an opportunity to rethink the famous economic theory that political scientists have borrowed called ‘Exit, Voice or Loyalty?’.
It simply asks: ‘When dissatisfied, do you share your concerns but remain in the party (Voice); do you leave the party (Exit); or do you remain without uttering a word, at least not publicly (Loyalty),” he said.