Hon. Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Private Development has predicted that President John Agyekum Kufuor will win between 65 and 70 per cent of the popular votes during this year's presidential election.
He also predicted a massive win for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“The NPP will win between 170 and 180 seats in the next Parliament,” he said.
Hon. Bartels, who said this in an interview with “The Evening News” at the weekend, was emphatic that Professor Evans Atta Mills and the NDC were going to suffer a humiliating defeat, come 7 December 2004.
He mentioned low inflation, stable exchange rate, water and road projects, construction of schools and clinics, the performance of the agricultural sector, especially cocoa, and the peace, stability and personal security enjoyed by Ghanaians over the last three and a half years as reasons convincing enough to make Ghanaians retain the NPP government.
“Even the rains have been supportive of President Kufuor over these last three years with the result that food prices have been relatively stable,” he added.
According to him the greatest legacy of President Kufuor was his exemplary statesman-like comportment even in the face of abuses from other politicians.
He, however, stated that each time such uncomplimentary remarks were made against the President, especially by ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, Kufuor's victory was being boosted.
“Anytime he goes out to abuse President Kufuor, he wins more votes for Kufuor. He is our best Campaign Manager,” he emphasized.
Hon. Bartels, who is also a member of President Kufuor's Campaign Team, based his optimism on the tours by the party to the Western, Central, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions and said that apart from the two Nzema seats conceded to the CPP, the NPP would win all the seats in the Western Region.
In the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, he said that the party was going to sweep all the seats and also get about 80 per cent of the Eastern Region seats.
Hon. Bartels, however, conceded that the real battle ground with the NDC will be the Greater Accra Region, saying: “The NPP will have to fight hard to retain the seats it took from the NDC in the 2000 elections and add a few more.”
Those seats, he said, includes Shai Osudoku, all the newly-created seats of the old Ga South, as well as the new seat carved out of the Ga North Constituency.
Hon. Bartels claimed that the NDC had already done the campaign for President Kufuor in the three Northern regions and predicted that the party would win at least six constituencies in the Volta Region.
He urged the NDC to take the advice of Vincent Assiseh and build a political party out of its electoral machinery, which, according to him, would require another 20 years to do.