Political Scientist and member of IRIS Research Consortium, Dr John Osae-Kwapong has indicated that having independent candidates in the governance of the country helps to strengthen the state’s democratic process.
Speaking to Samson Lardy Anyenini on Newsfile, Dr Kwapong stated that their presence in parliament “aids to moderate and mediate the partisan conversations and discourses”.
“Having independent candidates in principle is a good thing. I think it is helpful to the democratic process,” he said.
His comments follow the decision of some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to withdraw from the party and run as independent candidates for parliamentary seats in their various constituencies.
According to Dr Osae-Kwapong, the two main political parties have over the years dominated the political space, leaving very little room for independent candidates.
“If we look at region by region, we would notice that no independent candidate has had success in the region we identify as swing regions. None in Greater Accra, Central, Western or the Brong Ahafo Region,” he added.
He further stated that he would not be a surprised if voters in these respective regions decide to cast their votes for the independent candidates.
“A few instances of Independent candidates winning have come from regions that you can point to as party strongholds.
He hoped that as Ghana continues to “grow and mature, hopefully, a few true independent candidates at some point may emerge”.