https://www.myjoyonline.com/kwame-dwomoh-agyemang-the-alan-cash-puzzle-a-worrying-sign-for-the-npp/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/kwame-dwomoh-agyemang-the-alan-cash-puzzle-a-worrying-sign-for-the-npp/

A lot has been written and said about the decision of former Trade Minister Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen to exit the ruling New Patriotic Party and form the Butterfly Movement to battle the giants of the Political Space, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress for the Jubilee House in 2025.

For some, it is a case of self-actualization within the context of the Maslow Theory. Those who share in this opinion believe Mr Kyerematen is only seeking the high office of the land after having achieved practically everything in life within the Public and Private Space. Others sharply disagree.

They agree strongly with the statement by the former Trade Minister at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel where he literally accused party apparatchiks and a few selected individuals of hijacking the NPP and skewing the electoral process to favour the ‘Establishment’ candidate, the sitting Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

He has their blessing to chat his own path.  There also appears to be a section of the population out there who are excited about a potential 3rd force beyond the dominant Political Forces (NPP and NDC).

BACKGROUND

The issues raised by Mr Kyerematen in that historic Press Conference is in sharp contrast to that ahead of the 2008 Presidential Election. After deciding to leave the party , he made a U-turn and even supported the activities of the NPP ahead of multiple elections. This is different. He has not only left the party but formed a Political Movement based on his grand GTP agenda. The question on the lips of many is whether He can pull the numbers to emerge winner of the election come December 7th,2024 by drawing the numbers of floating voters(who do not seem to be in the majority) or eat into the votes of the New Patriotic Party who he has been aligned to all these years.

PROSPECTS

Since the establishment of the 4th Republican Constitution in 1992, no political party beyond The NPP and The NDC has won political power. Other Political parties, some led by Political Colossuses of yesteryears have attempted but to no avail. Dr Hilla Limann, General Erskine, Dr Kwabena Darko, Goosie Tanoh, Dan Lartey, Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama, Dr Abu Sakara Forster and more have attempted to break the duopoly of the two giants. It has gone nowhere. None of these candidates over the years have individually polled more than 5% of the total votes cast. Some even polled less than 1% in the past.

Mr Kyerematen lays claims to his voters being the disenchanted Ghanaian who is fed up with the policies of the two Political Giants and NPP members who are supposedly disappointed with the state of Party today. Difficult to say how that would translate into votes for him on election but are these hopes realistic?

THE QUANDARY

The Npp has since 1992 benefited significantly from votes in the Ashanti Region. It is fair to say that the Region has been decisive in the outcome of all the electoral victories of the NPP. The figures from the region since 1992 has been significant. And that is an understatement. 1992(60.54%),1996(65.8%), 2000(74.8%),2004(77%), 2008(72.5%, 2012(70.9%),2016(76.3%), 2020(72.8%). These figures have contributed a great deal to Political victories in 2000, 2004, 2016 and 2020. Now for a party that enjoys such widespread support in the region, there has been a fair bit of disquiet oh how the involvement of a local may just turn the tide to benefit the NDC.

Local heroes Professor Albert Adu Boahene and John Agyekum Kufuor contested in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 respectively. The votes from Ashanti clearly pulled the party over the line. The argument has been made that a non-indigene, the current President, Nana akufo-Addo, who hails from the Eastern Region has almost matched up to the figures of President Kufuor in percentage terms as captured in the previous paragraph. There is also the argument that the indigenes are highly likely to vote for the choice of the NPP party come election day. Indeed, Dr Kwabena Darko, an indigene, contested on the ticket of the NIP in 1992 and polled a decent 3.55% of the votes in Ashanti.

Ahead of the 2024 Elections though, Mr Kyeremanten is not only a local boy but a founding member of the ruling party. He has also held key positions in government twice serving as Trade Minister and Ambassador to the United States.  He has come second in virtually all the Presidential Primaries he has contested since 2007. Now that is an individual with some clout in any political party everywhere. Any strategist of the NPP would be worried about the possibility of Mr Kyeremateng eating into the votes in their stronghold which could potentially give NDC an edge. There may be no existing data at this point on the influence of candidate Kyerematen with respect to the upcoming election but it is also impossible to rule out the numbers of a powerful breakaway party member.

The votes of the NPP in 2020 (6,692,630) representing 51.2% compared to that of the NDC in the same election (6,170,492 votes) representing clearly showed a downward trend with respect to the votes of the New Patriotic Party in 2016 (5,773,299) representing 53.6% and that of the NDC in 2016: 4,800,737 representing 44.6%. The last thing the party would want especially in a very difficult 2nd term are ‘distractions’ such as these. Elections anywhere are about numbers. The numbers that are good enough to give the needed 50% + 1 of the votes. Anything short of that clearly affects the electoral fortunes of the party.

In a part of the world where many still do vote on ethnic and religious lines, it is impossible to take that out of the conversation. The question has always been asked as to why certain tribes/ethnic groups vote the way they do. Why do majority of the Akan ethnic group vote NPP and why do others like the Ga, Ewe and Northern tribes predominantly vote for the NDC? In the 2020 election, the NDC won primarily all the seats in the Ga and Dangme areas. Ada, Sege, Ningo-Prampram, Kpone Katamanso, Tema East, Krowor, Ledzokuku, La Dade Kotopon, Klottey-Korley, Ododiodio and Ablekuma South. The NDC do not traditionally fare too well in the Akan dominated Regions in Accra. Weija-Gbawe, Anyaa Sowutuom, Dome Kwabena, Ablekuma West, Ablekuma North, Trobu and more.

The NDC but for the circumstances surrounding SALL could have won all 26 seats in the Volta and Oti Regions. The party is also very dominant in the five Northern Regions ie, Upper East, Upper West, North East, Savanna and Northern Region. Even in the traditional Akan areas outside these regions, the NPP have struggled to win votes in areas dominated by other ethnic groups. The NDC has traditionally dominated politics in the now Western North beyond Sefwi-Wiawso and Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai areas. It is same in Bono-East, Central and even Ashanti. The Npp continues to struggle to win Asawase, Ejura-Sekyedumasi, New Edubiase and Sekyere Afram Plains. These areas are not dominated by Akans.

In the Eastern Region for example, The NPP traditionally dominated twi speaking constituencies but have traditionally fallen short in the Yilo Krobo, Lower Manya, Upper Manya, Asuogyaman, Afram Plains North and South as well as Upper West Akim. These areas are dominated by Dangmes/Krobos and Ewes and traditionally vote NDC.

The Central Region is classically swing as depicted by results since 2000. Now if ethnic biases play significantly in the elections, votes in the Akan dominated areas in favour of the Butterfly Movement could be worrying for the NPP. The signals from Ken Agyepong do not look great either.

In the lead up to the elections next year, the NPP would surely amass all the resources they can garner (personnel and money) to chalk electoral success. Only time will tell whether the decision by Alan Kyeremateng would affect the fortunes of the Elephant especially in his home region of Ashanti on the back of these perceived tribal politics. We await the Showdown.

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The writer, Kwame Dwomoh-Agyemang is a Communications Lecturer at African University College of Communications, Pentecost University and Knutsford Universities.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.


DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.


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