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The 2016 General Elections: An Election of Promises

THE 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS: AN ELECTION OF PROMISES.

In what is seen to be one of Ghana’s most keenly contested elections, the 2016 general elections which is slated to take place on the 7th of December, 2016 is one that would once again go to prove a point on the solid hold Ghana has on democracy should everything go as planned. The run up to the elections has seen many issues make headlines in the media. Like it as we may or may not, these issues have the potential to affect the campaigns and general outcome of this year’s general election. Chief among these issues are the campaign promises that are making the rounds during rallies. This year’s election has been subtly dubbed “The contest of promises”.

The two major political parties; the ruling National Democratic Congress and the biggest opposition party, New Patriotic Party, seem to be in a battle of promises. It can be recalled that during the run up to the 2012 general election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party promised free senior high school education. That campaign promise seemed to be the headliner on all the campaign platforms of the New Patriotic Party. It is a sure-bet for the N.P.P because many Ghanaians bought into the idea in 2012.

As usual in any contest, President John Dramani Mahama, who is also the presidential candidate on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress who kicked against that campaign promise is still championing the course of “Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda” which was started by the late President Atta Mills. John Dramani Mahama of the N.D.C was declared winner of that 2012 election, following the sudden demise of the President Mills. Ahead of the 2016, the promises have surfaced once again. But this time round, almost all political parties have made one promise or another.

Prominent among all the promises is the N.P.P’s “one district one factory” which sparked an uproar and just like in 2012, the incumbent government has kicked against this promise which they deem herculean and almost impossible. Surprisingly, this promise opened the floodgates for many other promises to follow and the craze of promising “one this, one that” had been lingering in daily news items. It had become so widespread that some people trivialized the import of the promises by taking the promises craze to a satirical level.

Many individuals and think-tanks joined the euphoria by analyzing and even drawing budgets for these promises. Notably among them was IMANI GHANA which clearly lambasted the political parties for “building castles in the air” and throwing dust into the eyes of the electorates. Other individuals have also clearly tagged these promises as political gimmicks and should be treated with the contempt it deserves. Judging by how tense the electioneering season is getting, it would only be a matter of time before one can fully do an assessment of the extent to which the electorates have thrown their weight behind the promises that best suit their ears.

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