Election 2024 is all About Electability: Case of (Bawumia versus Alan) versus John Mahama

Feature Article Election 2024 is all About Electability: Case of Bawumia versus Alan versus John Mahama
JAN 14, 2023 LISTEN

Happy New Year cherished readers.
This article is a case of seeing who can win an election and has experience in winning elections. That is the simple way of framing this narrative.

After all the purpose of elections is to attain power. If you don't win an election, you do not get power.

Let me start this discussion with John Mahama's election record and experience. In strategy u can talk and talk about your strength and capabilities; but all of this will not count if you pretend your opponent or competitors do not exist.

Election Record of John Mahama in National Elections.

He has been on a ballot 7 times, since 1996.
In 1996, 2000, 2004, he contested elections and won as a Member of Parliament (MP).

In 2008, he contested an election as the running mate of Prof Mills. (Who remembers a then neophyte Bawumia as the running mate of Akuffo-Addo and NPP - He brought nothing to the ticket then). Prof Mills and Mahama won in 2008.

In 2012/2016 Mahama contested for elections as a sitting President. He won in 2012 and lost in 2016.

In 2020 he contested and lost (ex-president), 2024 will be his 8th.

As weak as he has appeared in some election cycles, in 2024, he will be quite formidable.

Bawumia’ s Election Record in National Elections.

Bawumia has been the Presidential running-mate on three (3) occasions 2008, 2012 and 2016.

In 2020 Bawumia was the Vice-President of Ghana and again, running mate.

In 2024 (assuming he wins as NPP's Presidential candidate), that will be his 5th time on a ballot.

Alan's Election Record in National Elections.

0 - Zero.
He has not contested any elections as an MP in our Political History.

He has contested 3 times to be NPP Presidential Candidate and lost on all these occasions.

His share of the votes has dwindled since 2007.

In internal NPP elections he garnered 32.3% in Record19.91% in 2011 and 4.75% in 2014.

Akuffo-Addo’s Electoral Record in National Elections

Juxtapose, this with 2008 Akuffo-Addo, who many say was next in line.

1996, 2000, 2004 - He had stood for and won elections as an MP.... 3 times.

2008 - was his 4th time contesting an election.

Next in line Mantra aka "Aduru me so".

Contrary to many "myths", there is no queue in NPP leadership elections.

Elections are contested and won at the Party Congress. It is never the case that whoever was second in previous elections is given the nod the next time.

President Kufuor did not place second (2nd) in 1992, he placed 3rd.

In 1996 Kufuor fought a very hard campaign and managed to beat Adu Boahen (some say the Kwame Pianim issue was a good fortune to his cause). Others like Akenten Appiah-Menkah attributed Kufuor’s success to his political nous after he lost in 1992. According to Lawyer Appiah-Menkah even though Kufuor placed third, he followed Adu-Boahen every where.

That was Kufuor making himself available to a wider electorate. For many delegates in 1996, it was a case of Kufuor was visible, and the allegations that bedevilled his candidacy were put to rest.

(NPP delegates in 1992 had accused him of being part of the PNDC government and they felt Adu Boahen had broken the ‘culture of silence’ with his lecture titled The Ghanaian Sphinx: Reflections on the Contemporary History of Ghana, 1972-1987 - as part of the JB Danquah Memorial Lectures)

Kufuor again won in 1998 at Sunyani against a very powerful introductory speech by Christine Churcher for Nana Akuffo Addo. In spite of all the support from most of the Accra-based media houses and newspapers Akuffo-Addo placed second.

This “aduro me so” thing started with Akuffo-Addo and the “Akyem Mafia”. More so they felt it was the turn of Akyems to lead NPP. And alluded to Nana placing second in 1998.

However what many people fail to understand is that, in 2007, Kwame Pianim (who had been pardoned) could have made a claim that it was his turn. The likes of J.H Mensah could also have said it was their turn. Aliu Mahama the sitting Vice President and a Dagomba could also have said the same.

If Alan's supporters are saying it is " their turn", then the same case could also be made by Bawumia as a man from the Dombo side. Bawumia can say, Aliu Mahama suffered an injustice in 2007, so his Bawumia’s candidature is to remedy that injustice. But I believe this argument of “it is my turn” does not hold any candle.

Bawumia’s candidature should be judged on its own merits; that he is capable of leading NPP based on his track record. Nothing more, Nothing less. And the same should be said for any other candidate.

Elections are about perceptions, and in politics perception is reality. NDC are very ruthless and will play Alan like Mike Tyson, jabbing his opponent. They will eat him and spit him out.

Plus, it will feed the "perception", that NPP is an Akan Party.

A Bawumia candidacy is a dream for any political strategist. He has many paths to win a very difficult election 2024.

I don't have anything against Alan. I have supported him in the past, I think he will be a great Vice-President. His electoral record is very thin and will go against his electability.

Bawumia on this occasion presents NPP with great options to win.

Written by Kwadwo Kusi-Frimpong, a Financial Crime, Governance and Regulatory Expert, who has extensive experience working with banks and financial institutions in UK, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

He is a graduate of University of Ghana (Political Science and Philosophy), Graduate Diploma in Law and LLM from University of Law (formerly College of Law), and a post graduate degree in Financial Strategy from Said Business School, University of Oxford.