A 2001 Department of Political Science (University of Ghana) survey revealed that 76.5% of those who voted for the then New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Presidential candidate, Mr J.A. Kufour in the 2000 elections, did so because of the party (NPP). 20.1% voted for Mr Kufour because of his personal traits.
In 1997, the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) conducted a survey on the 1996 elections. The IFES study revealed an interesting phenomenon, that “most of those aligned with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) voted for the man (President Jerry Rawlings) whilst most of those aligned with the NPP voted for the party.”
For those interested in research facts to back up arguments, these two surveys confirm a few widely believed views. One is that up to the 1996 elections till 2000, the personal charisma and popularity of ex-President Rawlings was not in doubt. Another is that in the main, presidential candidates of other parties, including the NPP, got most of their votes because of the parties they represented. In the particular case of then candidate Kufour, his personal traits accounted for about a fifth of the votes he got in 2000, a recognition of the tireless manner he worked between the 1996 and 2000 elections.
But is the popularity of ex-President Rawlings unlimited? Are there limitations? There are limitations and the first hint of this limitation was in the dissent within the NDC when he announced that his personal cho8ice for the NDC flagbearership for 2000 was his then Vice-President, Prof. J.E.A. Mills. This was known as the Swedru Declaration, an immediate and devastating consequence was the formation of the National Reform Party (NRP). A question that has always lingered is – will there have been such opposition if 1995, Rawlings had made the same declaration? Probably not