Change Naana Opoku-Agyemang if you want to win – Ben Ephson tells Mahama

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Pollster and Managing Editor of the Dispatch, Mr Ben Ephson has told former President John Dramani Mahama not to pick Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang again as his running mate if he wants to win the next elections.

Changing the running mate is one of the things Mr Mahama can do to reverse the findings in the Economist and Intelligence Unit (EIU) report which indicated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will win the elections but only when Mr Mahama is not their presidential candidate for the party.

The EIU said “Our baseline forecast is that ongoing public dissatisfaction with the slow pace of improvements in governance—such as infrastructure development, job creation and easing of corruption—will trigger anti-incumbency factors and push the electorate to seek a change.

“The NDC therefore stands a reasonable chance of winning the 2024 elections,” the EIU said.

The report further said that it expects Ghana’s underlying political stability to endure over the forecast period, despite a highly acrimonious party-political landscape.

The fierce rivalry between the two major parties—the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC, the EIU said, will remain the core feature of the political scene.

“A razor-thin NPP-led working majority in parliament (with 138 out of 275 seats) implies that achieving consensus on contentious reforms, including planned tax rises, will prove tumultuous. In November 2021 the minority government rejected the proposed 2022 budget bill over the introduction of an electronic-transaction levy (e-levy); this was later reversed, and the 2022 budget bill was passed by an NPP-led majority, albeit without the e-levy clause.

“Similar issues with achieving consensus on major legislation will slow policymaking and test the government’s strength throughout the remainder of its term (until 2024). We expect a transfer of power to the NDC in the 2024 elections, driven by anti-incumbency factors and public dissatisfaction with the current government.

“However, irrespective of who retains power, we expect policy continuity in the medium term, with a focus on improving food security, industrialisation and economic diversification. The new government will face similar challenges to its predecessor, but overall political stability will prevail,” the report said.

It further indicated that public discontent with the government stems from factors such as rising prices (stoked further by the Russia-Ukraine war).

Speaking in interview with TV3 on this report, Mr Ephson said “Mahama can do a few things which could change the EIU findings. If maybe he will take a new running mate that could change the dynamics.”

He further noted that Mr Mahama suffered defeat in the 2020 general elections due to his failure to state clearly his position on the implementation of the free senior high school programme.

In his view, a lot of people were not sure of Mr Mahama’s plan for the free SHS hence “the heavy defeat, the over 500,000 votes margin he suffered.”

“One thing is clear which cost Mahama dearly in 2020 was his inability to articulate his views on the free SHS. Many people felt that when Mahama wins he is going to tamper with the free SHS, he may even cancel it and that cost Mahama a lot,” he said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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