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19.12.2008 Business & Finance

Election pales Christmas fever… As market slows down

By Linda Akrasi Kotey - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Though Christmas is just around the corner, there appears to be very little to show and tell about the festive occasion, which is often celebrated amidst pomp and pageantry.

The situation has resulted from the upcoming two-tie election run-off, between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), slated for December 28.

A visit to the central business area of Accra, by the paper, revealed it all with some traders and shop owners alike, complaining of poor patronage and sales.

Some of these traders gave different accounts of the situation in the market. Whilst some said sales were bad, others would not complain, saying that it was normal.

Both buyers and sellers attributed the development, to the apprehension surrounding the election.

Although the streets and pavements were still crowded, it became evident that many people were doing window shopping.

A trader, who deals in ladies shoes, summed it all: “Most of the people who come here only ask of the price, and they tell you they are coming, but they don't come back.”

Even the sales of paraphernalia of the various political parties, had subsided to a low level.

Ama Nyamekye, a trader at Rawlings Park, who deals in party paraphernalia, told the paper the market was bad that she was no longer able to sell a quarter of what she used to, before the December 7, elections.

Initially, Ama said she used to sell close to twenty cartons each day, and linked the sudden decline in sales to the upcoming election.

Another dealer in children's clothes, Mrs. Alhassan, also told The Chronicle her sales had declined so badly, that she was wondering whether she could make any profit.

Comparing the sales of this year to previous years, she said in the past she would have run out of stock by now.

A host of other traders, who spoke to the paper, were contemplating whether or not to go to their hometowns to vote, considering the cost involved in traveling to some of these regions outside the capital city.

Whilst appreciating the fact that voting was an important process, their main concern was to sell their products. Ho

wever, Mr. Ansah, a retailer of shoes, had a different story to tell. He apportioned the blame on the radio stations.

To him, it is the radio stations which were not making Ghanaians to feel the Christmas fever, since according to him they give too much attention to politics, instead of playing Christmas carols.

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