Failure to articulate stance on Free SHS cost Mahama in 2020 - Ben Ephson

John Mahama FUGU 447 John Dramani Mahama

Thu, 21 Apr 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mahama's 2020 election loss partly due to lack of policy clarity

Mahama, NDC vow to review Free SHS if elected

NPP accuse NDC of planning to scrap programme

Veteran journalist and pollster, Ben Ephson has explained that among the reasons that John Dramani Mahama failed to win the 2020 presidential elections was lack of clarity on a key campaign message of the governing party.

Ben Ephson in an interview with Accra-based 3FM stated that Mahama's failure stemmed partly from a lack of clarity on how he will deal with implementation of the New Patriotic Party's Free Senior High School, Free SHS, policy when elected.

Mahama and the National Democratic Congress, NDC, in the round up to the polls said the policy was going to be reviewed to make it more functional and reduce its operational challenges.

But Ephson, who is Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, said the skepticism that Mahama's position generated led to, “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.

Ephson made the comments while contributing to discussions around the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) five-year forecast for Ghana, that among others stated that, the NDC will win the 2024 elections but that will only happen without Mr Mahama as their candidate.

“The NDC... stands a reasonable chance of winning the 2024 elections,” the EIU said. It also said there was an expectation that the party will revitalize with a new candidate.

The report also touched on other areas including events in Parliament and the economy.

“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.

The NDC has rejected sections of the report on Mahama's candidature whiles the NPP has also dismissed the claim that they will lose political power in 2024, the party insists it is on course to 'Break The Eight' - i.e. retain power for a historic third consecutive term.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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