Thursday, May 22, 2008

Election 2008: A straight fight between NPP and NDC - Prof. Ayee

Professor Joseph Ayee, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ghana on Thursday said this year's election would not culminate in a run-off as was being predicted, but that it would be "a straight fight between the NPP and the NDC candidates".

"Indeed, the outcome of the elections will go either way depending on their ability to market their manifestoes and programmes to the electorate, addressing pressing economic issues like unemployment, provision of basic services, high utility bills, corruption and dealing with tensions and conflict arising from party primaries and other challenges to internal democratic practices", Prof. Ayee said. Delivering a paper at the second annual colloquium of the Faculty, as part of activities marking the 60th anniversary celebrations of the University of Ghana at Legon near Accra, Prof. Ayee said the election would be an issue of how the two parties marketed themselves. The Faculty has devoted this year's colloquium under the theme: "Elections, Democracy and Development under the Fourth Republic" and was to discuss the elections to address some of the issues and challenges that have been perceived as sources of concern since the 1992 elections.

Prof. Ayee, reviewing what the effect of the election would have on the direction of government and politics, noted that if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) won the election, "There will not be any substantial change in policies and programmes". "It will be business as usual. If there will be changes at all, they may be cosmetic.

"However, an Akufo-Addo government is likely to be compelled to fulfil some of the electoral promises of its predecessor such as job creation, a reduction in the size of government, a reduction in the high cost of living, the provision of affordable housing and the vigorously pursuing a zero tolerance for corruption".

On the contrary, Prof. Ayee said if a National Democratic Congress (NDC) won, it was "likely to result in significant change and direction in the content of some public policies and programmes and the way they are implemented".

He said even though there was nothing new in the campaign vision of the NDC as outlined by Prof. John Mills, "there is the possibility that being a new government in power will put some pressure on it to do things quite differently".

He however, stated that the electorate needed to be "cautiously optimistic" because of the saying; "politicians are the same". Prof. Ayee said the elections would be a test of the "resilience and robustness" of Ghana's democracy, and called on the Electoral Commission and the electorate to ensure that the country passed the test to live up to the accolade "Black Star of Africa", saying, "this is a task that all concerned must try to fulfil at all cost"

"The President is expected to outline a major economic policy today to deal with the escalating food and oil prices. Some have interpreted this as a ploy on the part of the government to buy votes, while others have pointed out that the package is too late in coming. "Whatever is the case, escalating food and oil prices, unemployment and the provision of basic services are crucial and the candidate who has the right strategies should be able to win the elections".

1 comment:

Kwekoolio said...

What a sad commentary - he is saying that, although neither party has anything new to offer, he expects one of the two to win "one touch." He is either biased or delusional(or both)