In most elections in the developed and developing world, incumbent governments are often the odds on favourite to win UNLESS…
The situations change when the incumbent governments take the power they have acquired through the ballot box for granted and in the process, take suicidal political decisions.
The situations can also change when the main opposition party or parties get more serious, repackage their messages and aim at those who actually matter - the floating or swing voters.
The Danquah-Busia political tradition had, prior to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) winning the 2000 elections, been in opposition for 28 years.
The last time a party in this tradition had access to political power was between September, 1969 and January, 1972, with the Progress Party (PP). On January 13, 1972, the PP government was overthrown in a coup d'etat by the late Col. I.K. Acheampong.
It is with this background that the NPP National Executive, led by its Chairman, Mr. Peter Mac Manu, prepares to see the party get set for the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary elections; they do so, mindful of the tasks ahead.
The party is preparing with the knowledge that the person who led them to two electoral victories in 2000 and 2004, President John Agyekum Kufuor, cannot contest in next year's elections.
The level of success the NPP is likely to achieve in 2008 in the main, depends on the NPP government headed by the President and to a lesser extent, the Party. How much burden will the President, as leader of the government in power carry?
Whoever is elected as the NPP's Presidential candidate for 2008 will HAVE (he has no choice) to campaign on the record of the eight years of the Kufuor administration.
Any attempt to do otherwise will only spell doom for the person because he will have to deal with some embarrassing questions like did you resign from government when you disagreed with his policies?
President Kufuor has, in terms of making and effecting policies to impact on the elections, 19 months (May, 2007 to November 2008) to do so. He will have at the back of his mind that from January 2008, he will, in addition, be introducing and campaigning for the NPP's 2008 flagbearer.
The NPP national executives will have to deal with the headaches that incumbent governments deal with in the run-up to elections. Their work has become heavier as the incumbent is exiting. They will have to be firm, fair but very tactful because the joy of democracy is that in terms of voting, all persons are equal with one vote.