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Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
Date:06 Dec 2020
#GhanaElections: Critical issues at play

 On December 7, 2020, incumbent President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) faces main contender and former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). This is the third time in a row the two are contesting against each other. In 2012, Mahama narrowly defeated Akufo-Addo in the 2012 presidential race, winning 50.7 percent of the total votes cast. But, in 2016, Akufo-Addo beat Mahama with a surprising 53.8 percent. In fact, since 1992, the presidency has repeatedly changed hands between the Ghana’s two main political parties, NPP and NDC, via largely peaceful and transparent elections. This has cemented the country’s democratic alliance and enhanced its reputation as West Africa’s “shining democratic star.”

So, what outcome will the December 7th election deliver? Historically close elections, and a range of economic concerns coupled with worries over Covid-19 and pervasive corruption, mean it is anyone’s guess. Fighting corruption was one of the main campaign platforms of the current NPP government. In fact, Akufo-Addo claimed the “war of graft” was his top priority, urging citizens to step up to help expose corruption and misuse of public funds. The NPP government recently created the Office of the Special Prosecutor, an independent agency in charge of investigating and prosecuting allegations of corruption. But the agency lacks teeth, and has had very limited success, due to “wanton disregard of statutory requests made by the office for information and production of documents to assist in the investigation of corruption and corruption-related offences”. Corruption remains pervasive, and Ghanaians are hesitant to report it: only one-third (34%) of Ghanaians believe they can report incidents of corruption without fear of retaliation or other negative consequences.
Voters are also faced with widening cracks in the Ghanaian economy, resulting in negative impacts on their own lives. The most important issues for Ghanaians include unemployment, infrastructure and roads, education, and health. Yet GDP is projected to grow only 0.9% this year, the lowest growth rate since 1992, due to the pandemic.
The election may also be a referendum on how Akufo-Addo handled the Covid-19 crisis. The president took immediate action, closing the country’s borders and instituting a partial lockdown in major urban centers from mid-March to mid-April. The government also closed schools, banned public gatherings, and enforced enhanced public hygiene measures. Major economic relief measures include the Coronavirus Alleviation Program, which focuses on strengthening public health systems and providing Covid-19 treatment were also initiated. The NPP response seems to be working: borders have recently reopened, and case counts and deaths remain extremely low.
While the outcome of the 2020 Ghanaian presidential election remains difficult to predict, what is clear is that voters have serious issues to weigh as they head to the polls.

Source: ISPI 

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