Former President John Mahama has been elected to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) into the 2020 general elections.
Mr. Mahama polled 213,487 votes representing 95.23 percent of the total valid votes cast with the other six contenders scrambling over less than 5% in a poll that involved about 330,000 NDC voters.
The former Presidents landslide victory does not come as a surprise to many, justifying the prediction of pundits that he remains the party’s most marketed candidate.
Trailing the former president was Professor Joshua Alabi, a former Rector of the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) who secured a total of 3,404 votes representing 1.52 per cent.
Interestingly, the man said to have mentored Mahama in politics, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin placed third with 2,313 (1.032%).
NDC returnee, Augustus Goosie Tanoh, also polled 2,038 votes (0.909%) to place fourth.
Ekwow Spio-Gabrah, a former Communication Minister placed fifth with 1457 votes (0.650%) while Sylvester Mensah a former National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Chief Executive managed 932 votes (0.415%) with Nurudeen Iddrisu securing 513 votes (0.231) to place sixth and seventh, respectively.
Mahama Vrs. Nana
Although supporters of Mr. Mahama, are happy, the battle is not over yet as their preferred choice of candidate is set to face the incumbent president in the 2020 polls.
Other schools of thought have opined that although Mr. Mahama has won the NDC’s primary, he would loose the impending elections wondering what miracle he could perform when he failed to adequately utilize the “power of incumbency” to his benefit in 2016.
It may be recalled that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was declared Ghana’s 5th President of the after an impressive performance in the 2016 presidential poll.
The three-time lucky NPP leader polled 5,716,026 to beat incumbent President Mahama who had 4,713, 277 Electoral Commission Chairperson, Charlotte Osei announced.
The NDC leadership dazed by the extent of defeat constituted the Kwesi Botchwey Committee to investigate the possible causes of the party’s humiliating defeat.
This follows weeks of name calling from party bigwigs including the party’s founder Mr. Jerry Rawlings and Mr. Bagbin who compared the leadership style of the man the party has so elected again to lead it as a “reckless driver”.
…And Goosie Cries Foul
National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential aspirant, Augustus Goosie Tanoh has decried the early declaration of results at some constituencies in the party’s ended just presidential primaries.
According to him, such conduct has the potential of discouraging delegates who intend to vote for other candidates and create an impression that the other candidates do not stand any chance of winning the polls.
Goosie, speaking to journalists after touring some constituencies in the party’s presidential primaries on Saturday claimed that ahead of the 5 pm official closing time of the polls, counting, sorting, and declaration of results was done earlier in some centres with former president John Mahama coming far ahead of the six other candidates.
But Goosie said the other candidates who appear to be far behind John Mahama are also able to pull many more votes than him at other polling station and so does not believe it is a hopeless situation for other candidates.
“The real issue is the time that they declared it [the results]. You are supposed to declare at 5 pm because then you influence other people who are in the process of voting by suggesting it is a hopeless case for other candidates but we don’t think it is a hopeless case for other candidates. I’m sure you’ll find areas where we also get a margin much bigger than 600,” he said.
He, however, said he believes the party’s headquarters will take up the matter and address it.
“I got a call from a high official of the party who was also very upset that the vote has been declared when indeed it is hours more before closing so I’m not happy…. I believe our head office is handling that issue,” he said.
Despite warnings from the party leadership for results to be declared only after 5 pm, results from constituencies such as Saboba and Chereponi were announced before 5 pm due to an existing 4 pm to 7 am curfew in those areas.
Six of the aspirants prior to the election raised a number of concerns with the process, subsequently petitioning the party over their concerns.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson