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NPP Must Ensure Volta Votes Are Called In Early

Fri, 3 Jul 2015 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York

May 17, 2015

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

In the lead-up to Election 2016, the movers and shakers of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) ought to ensure that the habitually late calling in of votes from the Volta Region is reversed. The myth, as was recently affirmed by the Volta regional chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), is that, somehow, it is late votes from the Volta Region that have been doing the magical trick of putting the NDC ahead of the NPP in both the parliamentary and presidential elections. Mr. Gyapong Kudjoe would like to remind the Flagstaff House to bear this in mind when it comes to regional budgetary allocations (See "Accord V/R The Attention It Deserves - NDC Chairman" Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 5/17/15).

What our point-personnel on the ground have told us is that NDC operatives in the Volta Region have successfully colluded with the erstwhile Afari-Gyan-led Electoral Commission (EC) operatives to ensure that votes from the Volta Region are the last tabulated and called in. This, apparently, is done to ensure that the Volta votes are able to offset any significant margins separating a poised-to-winning New Patriotic Party from a badly trailing National Democratic Congress. The Volta Region has thus become notorious for both over-voting and ballot-stuffing. But what makes Mr. Kudjoe's special pleading all the more suspect is its unmistakable subtext of bribery. In other words, the Volta regional NDC chairman's blunt assertion is that votes from his virtual no-go region for the NPP is, somehow, superior or more significant than NDC-favoring votes from the nine other regions of the country.

We wish we could believe the preceding. Even NDC General-Secretary Johnson Asiedu-Nketia does not agree with Mr. Kudjoe. In the wake of the 2012 general election being called in favor of then-Interim President John Dramani Mahama, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia was widely quoted by the media to have soberly and sheepishly observed that the margin of votes differentiating the victorious presidential candidate from the losing candidate was the abject lack of vigilance on the part of polling agents representing Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr. Mahama's main political opponent. Some have suggested that the NPP ought not to waste precious time and capital resources campaigning in the Volta Region, as election records for the past twenty years indicate that votes called in favor of the New Patriotic Party have been consistently and statistically insignificant.

We, on the other hand, firmly believe the foregoing proposition to be a suicidal recipe. But, of course, there is truth and common sense in what the "Boycott-The-Volta-Region" critics are saying. What really needs to be done is for the NPP to budget the lowest amount of resources for its electioneering campaign in the Volta Region. And then, also, whatever minuscle amount of resources alloted the Volta Regon ought to be concentrated in the few constituencies and districts where the New Patriotic Party has done reasonally well in the past. But even more significant is to ensure that this time around, electoral book-cooking is reduced to the barest minimum in the Volta Region.

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame