The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) should not make the 2016 elections a matter of life or death, Alexander Kaakyire Duku Frempong, a lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, has admonished.
Mr Frempong cautioned the two parties to desist from attacks and rather focus on the relevant issues affecting the electorate rather than on personalities.
He said the tendency for affairs to degenerate into “an issue of life or death because the NPP and NDC know that it is either one or the other which will be chosen” was characteristic of every two-party democracy.
But he cautioned that “it should not be the case”, adding that the members of the party should focus on concepts to develop the nation.
In an interview with Emefa Apawu on Class FM’s 505 news programme on Wednesday August 24, Mr Frempong stated: “An election campaign should talk about issues. It should be a debate of ideas and not insults.”
He said he wished the country “had a system with a very credible third party with the potential to come into power”. Mr Frempong said the recent recriminations between the two parties “is not the way to go” as politicians must rather convey their ideas to woo, especially floating, voters.
He maintained that each of the two main political parties had a base of die-hard supporters, hence “there is an urgent need to convince” non-party affiliates to make them aware of what “you can offer and not running down another candidate”.
The flag bearer of the opposition NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, has criticised President Mahama on several occasions for being incompetent and mismanaging the economy leading to hardships.
President Mahama, on the other hand, while addressing NDC supporters in the Northern Region on Tuesday August 24, described Nana Akufo-Addo as a divisive leader who was going round pleading to be elected president. Mr Mahama told the electorate to reject the NPP flag bearer because the presidency was not for experimenters.
“...It is a very dangerous experiment. Ghana is not at the stage where we are experimenting leadership, and so you cannot come and beg that we should try you. We are not in the era of experiments and trials; we are in the era of what is sure. We have seen this government; one of the major successes of this government is peace and stability. What we need in Ghana is an understanding president. The era of dictatorship is gone: we are not looking for a dictator, somebody who cannot stand criticism in his own party. If you criticise him, he will sack you. … That is not the kind of leader we are looking for. We are looking for a leader who can bring people together," he said.
“We are looking for a leader who can unite Ghana and not a leader who will divide Ghana. If you cannot unite your own party, how do you unite a nation?" he questioned.
Mr Mahama also stated at a recent campaign in the Western Region that, perhaps, Mr Akufo-Addo was sleeping on his journey to the region thus his inability to have seen the government’s road rehabilitation works in the region. Mr Akufo-Addo, who had earlier visited the region had complained about the poor roads in the area.