Eurasia Group predicts win for Mills

While Research International predicted a win for Nana Addo Dankwa, Akufo-Addo, flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the Sunday’s elections, another international organization, has countered that, and revealed interesting revelations, as far as Sunday’s election is concerned.

In this research, it predicted a presidential win for the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), under the leadership of Prof.John Evans Atta Mills, and a landslide parliamentary seats for the ruling New Patriotic Party. It also noted that the election might go a second round.

Emasia Group which is based in New York with offices London, said Prof. Mills would clinch victory, and lobbied the NPP legislators with inclusion of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom and Mr. Kwame Pianim among others for his cabinet for the running of the nation.

The Eurasia Group, underscored that, “The opposition NDC’s likely first round win or lead, would be partly based on the large dramatic electoral population shifts from the Akan speaking areas of southern Ghana, which have historically favoured the ruling NPP, to the now NDC-Ieaning Greater Accra capital region.”

According to the Research group, Prof. Mills would be able to coerce the NPP legislators to work effectively for the progress of the nation, and was likely to appoint Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom and Mr. Kwame Pianim among others, into his cabinet.

“Ghana’s upcoming December 7 general elections will very likely produce an unprecedented outcome – a divided elected government – one of Africa’s first.

“The opposition center-left National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by former Vice President John Atta Mills, is likely to eke out a narrow win for the presidency, or maintain a healthy lead into the second round vote, and likely win it.”

The Group continued that, “The ruling center-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) will however see its 30 seat advantage in the country’s parliament clipped by over a third, however, it will still keep its majority in the legislature.”

Accordingly, it stated that the prospects of a divided government will push the genial Atta Milts into forming an inclusive cabinet, with several members of other smaller opposition parties, and probably even leading independent-minded members of the NPP.

Ghana’s much awaited December 7 elections – the second only in the country’s recent history where a sitting president has served his full two terms and is standing down – was on Sunday due to produce a somewhat unexpected outcome, contrary to a recent trend established since 1992, where the president’s party also controls the legislature, the December 7 presidential election which was unlikely to produce such an outcome.

According to them, Mills would win with over 50%, thereby stalling a second round, or lead handily into the and round vote, and win it.

The ruling center-right party, led by former Attorney General and Foreign Minister, Nana Akufo Addo, is likely to trail Atta-Mills into a second round, or lose by a narrow margin in the first round vote.

To them, Dr. Nduom was now unlikely to crest above 7% in the popular vote, adding that in 1992, Accra constituted only 14% of the national electoral pie, in 2000 it had reached 17%, and by the 2004 elections, the capital and its environs contributed 21 % of the national presidential vote.

The group hinted, however, that it was very likely that this year, despite a small drop-off in national turnout, from the 2004 high of 84% to the mid 70s, Accra will now constitute a quarter of the national presidential vote.

Rising urban -inflation and macroeconomic and micro-economic policy choices by the divided government, are likely to be moderate, nationalistic and responsible even if it takes a little longer to reach them by consensus.

The ruling party will however maintain its majority in Ghana’s parliament, because of a 2000 constituency re-districting, which favored its ethnic Akan speaking southern strongholds.

“A divided verdict at the polls, leading to a presidency controlled by the NDC and a parliament controlled by the NPP will be unprecedented in the history of the country, as well as almost historic by African standards. However, because of the particular genial personality of Atta-Mills, and the resulting lack of national leadership on the NPP side, following the likely loss of Akufo Addo and President Kufuor from leadership of the national party, both sides will cooperate to rule the country.

Akufo-Addo has resigned his Abuakwa parliamentary seat, and Kufuor is now in his 70s and heading into retirement. The NPP’s parliamentary wing would therefore become the mainstay of the party.

Atta Mills would be inclined to bring leftist third party personalities, such as former Energy Minister Paa Kwesi Nduom, and other third party members of parliament into the cabinet.

He would also likely be very open to bringing even stalwart independent minded center-right NPP leaders, such as Kwame Pianim, into a consensus government. Ghana’s constitution requires that at least a majority of all ministers and their deputies be appointed out of parliament.

Parliament, conversely, also has to give its blessings to all ministerial appointments. These constitutional provisions force a consensus.

While it may take some time for both sides to come to terms with their respective fates and new roles, the very narrow, somewhat aristocratic and old-boy networked elitist nature of Ghanaian politics, coupled with the genial professorial personality of Atta Mills, would very likely make a consensus government workable.

Despite their often vituperative statements against each other in public, most leading members of the NDC and NPP are either related by a common ethnicity, old-boy networks, religious affiliation or marriage.

Source: The Chronicle