Most Ghanaian elections have been one touch victories for the winning party be it a party in government or an opposition party.
In the 2008 general election, this changed when the late Prof Atta Mills came face to face with the current president, Nana Addo.
This was an election in which both candidates were contesting to become president to annex the seat of leadership. The New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo led in the first round but failed to secure the 50% plus one vote and this meant Ghana had to go for the run-off for the first time in our political history.
The run-off held on 28th December 2008 saw John Atta Mills emerge the elected president on January 3, 2009. This win was less than 1% and this made it the most contested election in Ghanaians democratic dispensation.
The results of the first round and the runoff showed that whiles the late Atta Mills gained over 2% more votes to win the second round, NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo gained just 0.64% more.
|Candidate||Party||First round||Second round|
|John Atta Mills||National Democratic Congress||4,056,634||47.9||4,521,032||50.23|
|Nana Akufo-Addo||New Patriotic Party||4,159,439||49.13||4,480,446||49.77|
Fast forward to 2020, the battle will undoubtedly be between the NDC and the NPP who have John Dramani Mahama and Nana Addo respectively.
Both candidates have a fair chance of winning the election from a neutral point of view. Each of these candidates would have served one official term as president of Ghana. The ever-changing and sophisticated Ghanaians electorates would be choosing between these two gentlemen.
Whiles the NDC brings John Darmanin to come and complete his unfinished business, the NPP is seeking the mandate of Ghanaians for a second opportunity to continue its works.
Can the NDC push elections 2020 to a second round? This is not an easy to answer question haven experienced leadership under the two politicians, Ghanaians themselves are getting immersed in this thought.
It is however highly possible that this election could get to the wires like it did in 2008. If it does, the pressure will be on the ruling NPP who have tasted defeat in a run-off in 2008 under Nana Addo.
Should this election go for runoff and should the NDC win, it would mean Nana Addo would have lost two major elections in a run-off and another in which the NPP went to the supreme court to get the will of the people annulled.
On the other hand, the NDC has tested a runoff victory before and may better understand and know what to do to win a run-off.
Nana Addo in 2016 won by over 900,000 votes difference and a run-off would mean a loss of confidence in him and the NPP by the Ghanaian electorates.
Both parties would prefer a one-touch victory to a second-round but a runoff in the 2020 elections will be to the advantage of the NDC and John Dramani Mahama – Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang ticket.
The Nana Addo -Bawumia ticket would prefer a one-touch victory no to a run-off that looks like a penalty shoot-out in politics.
The two political parties would leave no stone unturned to win this election however, the credibility of the election lies more with the electoral commission which must be an independent institution of government.
When both parties officially kick start their election 2020 campaigns, unveil their manifestos, and hit the ground running, Ghana’s will be listening and watching closely. Every neutral who wants the best of leadership and policies for Ghana is more likely to pray for a run-off than a straight win for any of the parties.
However, each of the parties would prefer a one-touch victory which is not likely to happen should we have the other parties and presidential candidates making a huge impact in terms of votes they accumulate.