The USA factor in Ghanaian Elections: An Omen or a big Coincidence?
Sam Kwesi Fletcher writes:
A critically detailed look at the structure of American and Ghanaian democracies reveals a number of similarities and a few differences. The focus of this discussion is mainly on the similarities and how the US elections generally tend to exert a very significant influence on Ghana’s elections.
In the first place it has been observed that since 1992 a certain trend has been in place which does not seem to show any signs of changing. We know now that anytime the Democrats win power in the USA, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) wins power in Ghana. Similarly, when the Republicans win power in the USA, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) wins power in Ghana. An omen or a big coincidence?
We know that Bill Clinton (Democrat) was US President from 1992 to the year 2000, just as Jerry Rawlings (NDC) was Ghana’s President for the same period. Then in the year 2000 the Republicans took power with George W. Bush as US President. In that same year John Kufuor was elected Ghana’s President. Both Bush and Kufuor remained in power till 2008. The 2008 US elections resulted in a win for the Democrats with Barack Obama as President, just as the elections in Ghana resulted in a win for the NDC with John Atta Mills as President. We are aware John Mahama took over the Presidency at some point when John Mills passed on to eternity. The fact, however, remains that the NDC stayed in office till 2016, the same period Barack Obama stayed in office in the USA. In 2016 power changed hands in the USA when Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected President. In the same year NPP candidate Nana Addo was elected President of Ghana. We remember Clinton visited Ghana when Rawlings was President; Bush visited Ghana when Kufuor was President; Barack Obama visited Ghana when Mills was President; we are yet to see a visit by Trump to Nana’s Ghana. An omen a big coincidence?
Both countries are going to the polls in 2020. The Democrats are led by Joe Biden, a former US Vice President while the NDC is led by John Mahama, a former Ghanaian Vice President and a former Ghanaian President. The Republicans are led by current President Donald Trump who is seeking reelection while the NPP is led by current President Nana Addo who is seeking reelection. An omen or a big coincidence?
The polls in the US are pointing to a Biden-Democratic win on November 7, 2020. Similarly, the polls in Ghana are indicating a Mahama-NDC win on December 7, 2020. Joe Biden has committed to selecting a female Running Mate for Election 2020 and the announcement will follow soon. John Mahama has actually selected a female Running Mate to partner him for Election 2020. An omen or a big coincidence?
One cannot help but draw some parallels between the opposing candidates for both parties in both countries. Trump and Nana have been largely labeled as nepotistic, engaging in family and friends government; they are both seen as ruthless and lawless, twisting the law to favour their selfish agenda; Trump is seen by Americans as Racist, just as Nana is seen by Ghanaians as being Tribalistic; both Trump and Nana are perceived to have a special appetite for being economical with the truth; both Trump and Nana have strong affinity for digging dirt on their opponents; and both Trump and Nana have failed miserably in their management of COVID-19. An omen or a big coincidence?
On the other hand, both Biden and Mahama are largely labeled as peace-loving and empathetic; both Joe and John are perceived as gentle and unifying nation-builders; both Joe and John are perceived as lawful and law-abiding; both Biden and Mahama are seen by their respective electorates as beacons of hope for their countries as far as election 2020 is concerned; and both Biden and Mahama have made immense contributions towards the fight against COVID-19 even from opposition. An omen or a big coincidence?
Is history about to be made when both sitting Presidents of USA and Ghana become one-term Presidents? Is history about to be made when both USA and Ghana vote their first female Vice Presidents into office? How do we expect the US elections on November 7 to influence the Ghanaian elections on December 7, especially within the one clear month (November 7 to December 7) after a President-elect is announced in the USA? How will the euphoria and the narrative affect the last stretch of Ghana’s electioneering campaign? Though my questions do not demand any answers now I still want to ask: Is it all an omen or one big coincidence?