General News of Thu, 15 Dec 20164
Prediction of Akufo-Addo's win; lead researcher feels vindicated
The lead researcher of the study that indicated that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had a better chance of winning the December 7 election than President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, has said he feels vindicated by the outcome of the election.
He said many people discredited the research findings, with some people going to the extent of threatening him.
Dr Owusu-Mensah, who is a lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, said although the research did not give the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as high as the 53.85 per cent it secured in the presidential election, its findings were close to that.
Nana Akufo-Addo secured 5,716,026 representing 53.85 per cent, while President Mahama got 4,713,277 representing 44.40 per cent.
The survey, conducted in 24 swing constituencies in the swing regions of the Greater Accra, Central, Western and Brong Ahafo, as well as the NDC strongholds in the Northern Region, from the beginning of August 2016 to November 10, 2016, gave the NPP 49.4 per cent as against 39.6 per cent for the NDC at the national level.
The study said if the NPP was able to mobilise its core supporters to cast their votes, the party had the chance of winning in the first round. However, if the NDC and the Progressive People's Party (PPP) made some gains nationally, that would force the elections into the second round, but the NPP would still be in the lead in the first round and also likely to win in the second round.
A total of 2,400 people comprising 1,326 males and 1,074 females were interviewed in the survey which was funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
The economy/jobs (35%), education (29%), health care, especially the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) (15%) and corruption (6.5%) were the main issues that would determine which parties the respondents said they would vote for.
Dr Owusu-Mensah said he was an academician and he and his colleagues used the scientific process to collect and analyse the data.
According to him, he only put out the findings of the research, which indicated that Nana Akufo-Addo would win the election in the first round.
He said the research indicated that if the election travelled to the second round, Nana Akufo-Addo would still win.
Dr Owusu-Mensah said according to the research, Nana Akufo-Addo would secure the 50 per cent plus one vote and secure more seats than the NDC.
However, he said he was overwhelmed by at the margin of victory secured by Nana Akufo-Addo and the number of parliamentary seats secured by the NPP.
No personal attacks
Dr Owusu-Mensah said in academia, when people did not agree with the findings of a research, they raised questions with the issues of concern without attacking the personalities.
Therefore, he said, it was wrong for some people to attack him instead of dealing with the areas of concern.