Politics of Issues or of Sides: A Treatise on What Caused the Eventual Outcome of the 2012 Presidential Elections in Ghana

By Adu-Gyamfi, Samuel; Yartey, H. T. | Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, April 2014 | Go to article overview

Politics of Issues or of Sides: A Treatise on What Caused the Eventual Outcome of the 2012 Presidential Elections in Ghana


Adu-Gyamfi, Samuel, Yartey, H. T., Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies


Abstract

This article is a preliminary study which analyses the outcomes of the 2012 presidential election in Ghana, which saw the National Democratic Congress retain power. The paper argues that even though issues are supposed to guide voters in making their choices in elections, the outcome of the 2012 election was influenced by other factors also. Key issues that have been studied include respondents' responses on education (free Senior High School and Quality Senior High School); National Health Insurance (NHIS) have been studied. The others include party affiliation, personality of the voters, ethnic orientation and incumbency among others. The Data for this paper was gathered in Adum-Kumasi, a strong business area that has several people from various parts of the country come to do business. The other areas include Kejetia an entrepot and KNUST and Edwase which is a University community. Responses from the thousand (1000) respondents to questionnaires represent the position of Ghanaians from all walks of life. Responses from respondents have been thematically pieced together to form the discussions. The study points us to the future, the need to focus on issues during elections. It proposes that knowledge of the issues affecting the people and succinct appreciation of what parties propose in their manifestos as well as their past and present achievements in the governance of the nation among other significant issues should inform electorates in their choice of a president during presidential elections. It also points out that when the people are able to reach this height of choosing presidents base strongly on issues, we can assume or conclude that multi-party elections in Ghana and the democratization process which took off from 1992 after a long period of military rule, would have been deeply consolidated.

Keywords: issues, sides, new patriotic party (npp), national democratic congress (ndc), democracy, elections

INTRODUCTION

After the 1966 coup, Ghana had intermittent constitutional periods from October 1969 to January 1972 and September 1979 to December 1981. From 1981, the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) held on to power till 1992 when Ghana returned to constitutional Democracy. The military dictatorship periods included: National Liberation Council in February 1966-October 1969, the National Redemption Council (NRC)/ Supreme Military Council (SMC) from January 1972 to June 1979, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) in June 1979 to September 1979 and the provincial National Defense Council, December 1981 to January 1993.

In November 1992, Ghana held multiparty elections to return the country to constitutional Rule. It was won by the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Also on 7th Defense 1996 another election was won by the NDC (the incumbent party). However, the earlier election in 1992 was not fully accepted by four political parties, namely, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Peoples National Convention (PNC), the National Independence Party (NIP) and Peoples Heritage Party (PHP). They argued it was not transparent enough. The NPP for example referred to it as the stolen verdict. However in 1996, the results of the elections were accepted by the opposition parties. On December 7, 2000, Ghanaians went to the polls again this time it was won by the NPP and J.A Kuffour was sworn in on January 7, 2001.

Several factors have been attributed to the loosing or winning of elections by political parties. A noticeable one has been socio-economic. For instance, unlike the 1992 and 1996 elections, the 2000 elections were held at a time of widespread disenchantment with the ruling government, (NDC), particularly in the urban areas where problems such as increasing unemployment, inflations and depreciating currency had become conspicuously burdensome. (Aryee, 2010). These real problems were exacerbated by reports in the media of corruption among the government functionaries (Aryee, 2010). …

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