Ghana’s major opposition party the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been highly tipped to win next year’s general elections, the latest report of the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit states.
According to the EIU’s November edition, the elections will be close, but the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) will lose, despite the challenges bedeviling the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition now.
However, the report said the outcome of the elections is by “no means a foregone conclusion”.
It outlined the largest opposition party in Ghana needs to work around the clock to garner votes outside its stronghold while maintaining internal unity.
The EIU cited the politically-motivated murder of the Upper East regional chairman of the NPP Adams Mahama as one of the low points of the party in 2015, but highlighted the party was able to “show a more united front during its subsequent primary elections.”
The report noted the NDC will continue to enjoy strong support in the east and northern sectors of Ghana, owing to historical and tribal allegiances.
It went ahead to state that Greater Accra – a historical swing state – will be a key battleground, but said the NDC government’s mishandling of the June 3 fire and flood disasters among others and subsequent efforts to avoid a repeat “by clearing slums could well cost its votes.”
The Unit also mentioned some of the indicators pointing to a one-term presidency for John Mahama include the poor handling of the economy, electricity and fuel shortages, high inflation and currency depreciation.
“A growing number of protests against the National Democratic Congress government’s management of the country are expected, particularly, in the capital and economic hub Accra disrupting business operations there,” the Unit predicted.
“These protests are expected to peak in the early part of the forecast period when the economy is at its weakest.”
The report said public anger in extreme cases, can snowball into mass action as seen in a number of Arab countries in recent years and closer to home in Burkina Faso in 2014.