Opinion: How Ashanti region contributes votes for NDC

Opinion: How Ashanti region contributes votes for NDC
Source: Comrade Ato Kwamina Bondzie | socialistintelligentialgh@gmail.com
Date: 06-11-2019 Time: 12:11:50:am

The strength of the NDC in the Ashanti Region has reduced from 32% of the total votes cast in the 1992 Presidential elections, to 23% as of 2016.

Accordingly, there is a notion that the Ashanti Region does not vote for the NDC and therefore the NDC needs not spend time and energy on that region, with an expectation of increasing its votes.

In disagreeing with that mindset, the Socialist Intelligential presents this comparative analysis, based on Presidential election results published by the Electoral Commission, to reveal the actual number of votes that the Ashanti Region provides as contribution to NDC’s electoral successes.

For the purposes of this article, we provide below the published Presidential election results from the NDC’s orphan region (Ashanti region) and the NDC’s world bank (the Volta region) to show their respective contributions to the party’s Presidential votes.

Comparing NDC’s Presidential Votes in the Ashanti region and Volta region

YEAR

ASHANTI

VOLTA

2012

612,616

734,641

2016

503,497

629,398

         



A Socialist Intelligential analysis based on the 2012 and 2016 election results published by the Electoral Commission of Ghana

The official records from the Electoral Commission show, that the difference between the NDC’s votes from these two politically opposite regions, hovers around a hundred thousand votes. Yes, the number of votes that the NDC obtains in its weak base of Ashanti region, is just about a 100,000 less than what it obtains from its ‘stronghold’ the Volta region.

In fact, in 2016, should the NDC had obtained the same number of Ashanti region votes that it garnered in the 2012 elections (612,000), it would have been about the same number of votes that the Volta region gave the party in 2016 (629,000). Meaning the Volta ‘world bank’ and the ‘opposition’ Ashanti Region would have produced equal amount of votes for the NDC.

Again, the NDC regards the Upper East and Upper West regions as part of its traditional strongholds and treats them as such. Yet the contribution from the Ashanti Region to the NDC in any Presidential election, since 1992, has remained bigger than the contribution of these two northern sector regions combined.

The table below captures the official results released by the EC of Ghana from those regions.

Comparing NDC’s Votes in Ashanti and votes obtained in Upper East and Upper West regions

YEAR

ASHANTI

UPPER EAST

UPPER WEST

2012

612,616

274,019

186,134

2016

503,497

271,796

167,032

 


A Socialist Intelligential analysis based on the 2012 and 2016 election results published by the Electoral Commission of Ghana

Upon a closer look at the 2012 election results, the votes that the NDC attracted in the Upper East and Upper West regions (274,019 and 186,134) summed up to 460,153 votes. This was less than the Ashanti Region’s contribution of 612,616 votes that made John Mahama President-elect in 2012.

Because the NDC won the 2012 elections with more than 315,000 votes difference, it stands to reason that, candidate John Mahama would have been declared President-elect even without the votes gained in the Upper East region. Same way, NDC votes from the Upper West region could not have changed the election outcome. However, without Ashanti region’s 612,616 votes, President Mahama could not have won the 2012 polls. This means, the Ashanti region votes were a game-changer in 2012 and therefore it is a region which cannot be downplayed.

Then came 2016, where the Upper East and Upper West regions together pulled 438,828 votes (271,796 and 167,032) for the NDC’s flagbearer. Once again, their votes put together, was far less than the 503,497 votes that the Ashanti Region provided for the NDC. This means, the combined effect of votes that the NDC strongholds of Upper East and Upper West regions gave the NDC, did not come close to what the weak zone Ashanti region gave the party.

Per the 2016 Presidential results, the Ashanti Region is the region with the fourth-highest number of NDC votes, coming behind the cosmopolitan Greater Accra, Volta and Northern regions. However, in 2012, the Ashanti region gave more votes to the NDC than its Northern region stronghold, making Ashanti the third biggest contributor for the party’s last electoral victory. Therefore, to invest some time and energy to campaign and increase the percentage of NDC votes gained in the Ashanti Region from 22% to 35%, will be a strategic decision for the party’s strategists and more profitable.

Because of the erroneous notion that Ashantis do not vote for NDC, leading to downplaying Ashanti region’s contribution to the party, NDC has not adopted the right attitude of learning how to compete in the region. In a region that many believe, that family history and sense of belongingness is a huge factor in decision making, it is bizarre that the NDC is yet to exploit that characteristic to its advantage. This inertia has manifested itself in the fact that no Ashanti has emerged in the highest positions of the NDC party: such as Presidential Candidate, Running Mate, Chairman, General Secretary and Chief of Staff.

Against this background, the Socialist Intelligential is challenging the NDC to consider appointing the Running Mate for the 2020 elections from the Ashanti Region. Our position, therefore, is for the social democratic party to select an industrious Ashanti as the NDC Running Mate, in the hope of restoring the NDC’s strength of 35% in the Ashanti Region (an equivalent of 910,000 votes in 2020).

Should this proposition be considered, the party leadership must allow that Ashanti indigene, to concentrate about 70% of his campaign time, efforts and resources in his home region. In view of the current state of apathy towards Akufo Addo’s led NPP in the Ashanti region, it is our projection that this strategy will in 2020 yield about 35% of the expected 2.6 million votes cast, forecasted out of the 3.2 million people currently on the Ashanti region’s voter register.

In our respectful view, this is not asking for too much, except to say, we will be restoring the NDC’s Ashanti region votes back to its former position.

The NDC has done it before in 1992 and 1996 by getting 32% in both elections, and by dint of hard work and good strategy, NDC can do it again in 2020 judging from concerns in the Ashanti region. 

Issued By:
Comrade Ato Kwamina Bondzie
(Director of Research – Socialist Intelligential)