Bright Simons, Vice President at the IMANI Africa Policy think tank has reacted to the results of the Kumawu by-election, which saw the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) emerge victorious despite raising dissatisfaction with the government.
Mr. Simons had earlier analysed that the NPP may lose the seat to an independent candidate, Mr. Kwaku Duah, due to the performance he pulled in the 2020 polls.
The policy advisor cited the NPP candidate's relatively weak standing in his own party and a formidable breakaway candidate standing as an independent were factors that could split the ruling party's votes.
“The razor-thin working majority of Ghana's ruling party in the Parliament is coming under renewed pressure as the party balances on the edge of losing the upcoming by-elections on May 23rd in Kumawu, a constituency in the party's Asante stronghold.
“The ruling party's candidate is relatively weak in his own party & faces a formidable breakaway candidate standing as an independent in the upcoming by-elections who will split ruling party votes. The Opposition's candidate is more resourceful & a consensus candidate,” he tweeted on Friday, May 19.
However, the NPP candidate, Ernest Yaw Anim, won over 70% of the total votes cast in the by-election, which took place on Tuesday, May 23.
In his post-election analysis, Mr. Simons observed that the victory was possible due to the strong attachment of the constituency to the ruling NPP party.
He noted that despite pre-election analysis focusing on the strengths of the individual candidates, Ghanaians remained "dogmatically partisan,” depicting Kumawu constituents voting based on their emotional attachment to the NPP.
“Contrary to the pre-elections analysis of the likely results in the Kumawu parliamentary by-elections which had focused on the strengths of the individual candidates, it is clear that Ghanaians remain dogmatically partisan,” he wrote.