Africa envy in Ghana’s “boring” presidential election

No violence, explicit voting fraud, and perhaps no surprise — Monday’s presidential election in Ghana is becoming Africa’s slowest election this year.

However, many experts say that the continent is in a “democratic recession” and that no problems mark Ghana as a rare example where democratic principles are considered stable. ..

“Here in Ghana, we win, we win,” said 23-year-old Mavisnai, who works at a snack bar in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

In contrast to the controversial polls in Africa where President Donald Trump has continued to insist on fraudulent voting and the recent US elections and her country’s election process, she said: “Everyone” I Does not accept it. ”Anyone who wins will accept it. And anyone who loses accepts it. “

In the elections on Monday, incumbent Nana Akufo-Ad is a center-right New Patriotic Party seeking a second four-year term. He is expected to defeat his enemy, John Mahama, the former president of the Opposition National Democratic Congress, who took office from 2012 to January 2017.

Ghana has a reputation for a strong democratic norm, said Chidiodinkar, senior manager of Africa for the Open Society Foundations, which subsidizes organizations that promote democracy. “Looking at the entire continent, this is the most dramatic and boring election, and it’s an absolutely wonderful story.”

Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, who co-founded the pollster Afrobarometer, said Ghana had an established two-party system with regular changes in power. However, he warned of complacency and urged the Ghanaians to “look in the mirror at democracy and catch many of its flaws and flaws.”

Gyimah-Boadi said both major parties need to do more to curb the youth gangs they used to act as agents to intimidate each other’s supporters.

He emphasized the erosion of money on politics and said that in the absence of a meaningful election funding law, government access to oil, commercial borrowing, and the No Strings Attached from China would be dangerous. In the past, he said, there were more checks on election-related spending when Ghana borrowed primarily from multilateral and western donors.

The MoIbrahim Foundation, which oversees governance, ranks Ghana 8th out of 54 African countries on an overall index, a broad indicator of political, social and economic public goods provision. However, Ghana’s score has been declining since 2015.

Just weeks before Monday’s poll, Ghana’s special prosecutor Martin Amidu accused the government of blocking his investigation into a controversial plan to secure future gold income. , Resigned.

Wunpini Mohammed, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia, warned that democracy in Ghana looked better than it really was.

President Nana Akufoad, right front, presidential rival John Mahama, left front. Akufo-Addo is campaigning on his record of economics and coronavirus © Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP / Getty

“When we talk about democracy, it shouldn’t be limited to peaceful elections, but how the most marginal people in society benefit,” she said. With that score, she said democracy failed for many Ghanaians.

“Africans tend to put Ghanaian democracy on the pedestal,” said Ms. Mohammed. “But that’s not necessarily the way we Ghanaians see it.”

But Odinkar contrasted Ghana’s polls with this year’s series of elections in Africa. Throughout the continent, he said incumbents learned how to use violence, money, and constitutional tricks to game the election process.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Ad is expected to win the second term after four years of economic growth under his leadership © Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP / Getty

In Tanzania, John Magufuli won 84% of the votes in October after opposition candidates were threatened with murder. In the same month, 82-year-old Alpha Conde secured a third term in Guinea in a violently hurt election after resetting the presidential clock under the new constitution and revoking the two-term limit.

In Uganda last week, opposition candidate Bobbi Wine suspended the campaign after intensifying violence, with at least 16 supporters killed and Mr Wine repeatedly arrested and beaten. Yoweri Museveni, 76, 34-year-old president, is seeking another term after removing the constitutional age limit.

In contrast, Gima Boadi said there have been regular peaceful transitions of power in Ghana since returning to the multi-party system in 1992. “In the minds of most politically knowledgeable Ghanaians, democracy has been understood to be a normal form of government,” he said.

Akufo-Addo sets a record of recognized capabilities after a three-year growth of over 6% before the economies benefiting from the discovery of soaring oil and gold prices become infected with Covid-19. doing. The government has also been praised for its relatively strong response to pandemics and the implementation of free secondary education despite issues of quality, capacity and lack of funding.

Mr. Mahama’s campaign has been hampered by allegations of corruption and memories of persistent power outages during his previous administration. However, his party is backed by about 40% of voters. So to seize the opportunity, you can cover 20% of the 17 million voters by winning in two of the three swing regions.

“Ghana’s economy isn’t working for people,” Mahama said recently, dissatisfied with what many describe as a stagnant standard of living.

According to a University of Ghana survey, although the party’s loyalty is strong, voters are ready to change their loyalty, with 54% saying they will vote according to policy and only 7% saying they will vote according to ethnicity.

Ghana’s democracy is imperfect, but it can be aimed at by other nations, Odinkar said. “It’s political [race] So there should be some bruise, “he said. “But most of what you see is [realm] Of civil and civilized contests. ”

Africa envy in Ghana’s “boring” presidential election

Source link Africa envy in Ghana’s “boring” presidential election

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