Ben Ephson Crucifies Mahama’s Running Mate

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Renowned pollster, Ben Ephson appears to have sent the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) chances of returning to power further into a ditch as he has asked the former President John Dramani Mahama to drop his 2020 running mate, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang.

According to the Managing Editor of the Dispatch newspaper, the former President should forget 2024 if he maintains Prof Opoku-Agyemang as running mate.

He however strongly believes that the former President has a chance of winning the 2024 general elections but must present a fresh running mate.

Mr. Ephson was of the view that Mr. Mahama would have to repackage himself and form a strong alliance by choosing any of the National Democratic Congress’s presidential contenders as his running mate.

Already the Economists Intelligence Unit (EIU), London-based researchers has said “Our baseline forecast is that ongoing public dissatisfaction with the slow pace of improvements in governance—such as infrastructure development, job creation and easing of corruption—will trigger anti-incumbency factors and push the electorate to seek a change.

“The NDC therefore stands a reasonable chance of winning the 2024 elections,” the EIU said.

The report further said that it expects Ghana’s underlying political stability to endure over the forecast period, despite a highly acrimonious party-political landscape.

The fierce rivalry between the two major parties—the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC, the EIU said, will remain the core feature of the political scene.

“A razor-thin NPP-led working majority in parliament (with 138 out of 275 seats) implies that achieving consensus on contentious reforms, including planned tax rises, will prove tumultuous. In November 2021 the minority government rejected the proposed 2022 budget bill over the introduction of an electronic-transaction levy (e-levy); this was later reversed, and the 2022 budget bill was passed by an NPP-led majority, albeit without the e-levy clause.

“Similar issues with achieving consensus on major legislation will slow policymaking and test the government’s strength throughout the remainder of its term (until 2024). We expect a transfer of power to the NDC in the 2024 elections, driven by anti-incumbency factors and public dissatisfaction with the current government.

“However, irrespective of who retains power, we expect policy continuity in the medium term, with a focus on improving food security, industrialisation and economic diversification. The new government will face similar challenges to its predecessor, but overall political stability will prevail,” the report said.

It further indicated that public discontent with the government stems from factors such as rising prices (stoked further by the Russia-Ukraine war).

But Mr. Ephson speaking on Accra based radio station said “Mahama would have to repackage himself because a Mahama with the same running mate is going to be difficult [to win 2024 general elections]. He may have to form an alliance or perhaps, pick one of the [NDC presidential contenders] as his running mate.

“Because where Mahama is, he has the advantage of being marketed already. And Mahama with all his body language looks like retaining his running mate for 2020 [general elections]. If he does, I think he should forget 2024.”

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