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The ritual of incumbency advantage: When will opposition be happy and incumbent government bemoan this drawback?

Voting?fit=800%2C502&ssl=1 Ghana goes to the polls on December 7

Mon, 23 Nov 2020 Source: Daniel Yiadom Boakye

Incumbency advantage manifests in varying forms in an election year and may include amongst others, the hijacking of the media masses especially the state-owned, luring the security agencies to the side of the incumbent, being in bed with the election management body, last-minute cutting of sods and commissioning of development projects.

This practice, to a greater degree, emasculates or disadvantages the opposition but rather projects the fortunes of the incumbent for the reason of lack of level playing ground, is met with the harshest of criticisms from amongst the sympathisers of the opposition including their affiliate civil society organisations and especially presidential candidates of the major political party in opposition.

However, the opposite is what happens with the incumbents as they are seen busily indulging in the practice and leaving no stone unturned to perpetuate it to their advantage like no body's business thereof.

The irony, however, is when there is a change of government. The crying begins and the media landscape is replete with complaints from amongst the members of the opposition, who were recently incumbent, about how unfair and bumpy the playing ground has become.

Pondering about this in recluses, the questions that come to mind and demand immediate answers from our political players are whether they will ever rejoice over this ritual of incumbency advantage when they are in opposition. The answer to this question comes in handy in view of the fact that they seem to enjoy it when they are in government.

Not only but also, an answer is urgently needed as to when politicians in government will criticise or bemoan this practice and by reason of their discontent, begin to put measures in place that reduce, if not annihilate it entirely, from our body politics.

It is my humble opinion that if it is good in government, it must equally be good when in opposition and vice versa. That, I believe, is a mark of consistency devoid of hypocrisy and projects an image of unparalleled integrity for the politicians from across the divide.

If it is bad, then what are we waiting for?

Columnist: Daniel Yiadom Boakye
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