A nationwide research, conducted by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), has predicted a first round victory for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“A country wide assessment, across the two hundred and thirty (230) constituencies, point to a possible first round win for the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) presidential candidate in the December 2008 elections,” the BNI report, a copy of which The Chronicle has laid hands on said.
It also predicted that the parliamentary seats of the NPP would drop, even though the party would win the majority seats in parliament.
According to the BNI, which conducted a similar survey last year, and predicted a win for Nana Akufo-Addo during their heated presidential primary, the NPP would obviously maintain its 2004 lead in both the presidential and parliamentary roles, but the total in terms of the seats to be won, are likely to drop slightly.
In a comprehensive 160-page report, the BNI noted that the key factor underlying the development was the unprecedented number of disgruntled NPP candidates, and activists who are contesting as independent candidates as a result of the fallout of disputes in the parliamentary primaries, and other intra party wrangling.
According to the report, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), would cut a slice of the votes, which otherwise could have gone to both the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC). “It must be noted that the NPP will do well particularly in the presidential in the Northern Ghana. In the Northern Region, the NPP’s presidential candidate will obtain not less than 40%.
In Upper East, the NPP will improve from 31.6% to not less than 35%. Even in the Volta Region, the NPP’s presidential candidate will garner up to about 18% from 14% in 2000.”
In the BNI’s executive summary, it says the NDC had since 1992, been the most popular and dominant party in the Volta Region and would win not less than 50% of the votes.
Contrary to the fact that the NDC was poised to win votes in the Northern and Volta Regions, the report has this to say, “The NPP, on the other hand which did not seem to then enjoy any appreciable levels of support at the polls, managed only 29.6% of the votes in 1996 which soared to 36.2% in 2004, even in the midst of the then Dagbon chieftaincy crisis, which was exploited to the full by its closest political opponent – the NDC.
The BNI stressed that presently, due to the conscious pragmatic economic policies leading to the initiation of infrastructural development in all parts of the Northern Region the party had garnered more support.
Underscoring why the party had garnered more support apart from developmental policies, the BNI was of the view that with the election of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumiah as the vice presidential candidate, the NPP was on the verge of winning more votes for its presidential candidate.
The BNI, however, made mockery of the PNC, CPP and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), saying, “As for Dr. Edward Mahama’s People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s Convention People’s Party (CPP) Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) and other opposition parties, developments show that they are virtually non-starters relative to the NPP and NDC.”
According to the report the NPP parliamentary primary in Navrongo Central was beset with a lot of problems, as such the party needed to work hard to maintain the seat.
The report however said with a bit of push, the NPP could snatch the Chiana/Paga seat from the NDC.
The latter is also likely to take the Zebila seat from John Ndebugre, who is now going independent.
Again, the NDC was capable of taking the Builsa North occupied by Agnes Chigabatia, since she had fallen out of favour.
To the BNI, the Evalue-Gwira constituency could be snatched by Catherine Afeku, if she continues to work hard.
Mr, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the NPP Member of Parliament for Amenfi East, would also have to work extra hard to retain his seat since his popularity had gone down, especially amongst the ‘galamsey’ operators.
The survey also indicated that areas in Greater Accra, which were predominantly Akan-dominated areas, especially Tema East and Tema West, are likely to vote for Nana Akufo-Addo, on account of the fact that the Akan communities in these areas were disposed to voting for the NPP, while the non-Akans vote for the NDC.
The BNI argued that with Accra, which is the deciding factor of the major elections, it appears that Akufo-Addo was likely to win by 51%, while Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, of the NDC, is also to take 49%, with a rough split in the parliamentarians.
In the Volta Region, it was noted that though the NPP had plucked one of the seats since the inception of democracy in 1992, the seat, which is currently occupied by Mr. Joseph Nayan, will go back to the NDC, with the NPP increasing presidential votes.
In the Western Region the confidential report said, the NPP was still ahead of the NDC and admonished the former to work extra hard, or face some difficulties.
Touching on the Ellembele seat, which is occupied by Hon. Freddie Blay, the BNI noted that it was likely Blay would retain it, on account that the NPP was not putting up a candidate against him, but was quick to say, “‘However, with the alleged emergence of an NPP member as independent candidate, the situation may be affected if he does not work hard.”
The survey further indicated the likelihood of the NPP retaining majority of the seats it won in 2004 in the Central Region.