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Neo
22nd August 2012, 09:56 PM
A cross-section of Ghanaians say they are going to assess the Mahama/Amissah-Arthur team by how it checks the cedi from suffering further dramatic slippages.

They also said they will assess the team on how it fights corruption, ensures a peaceful election campaign and improves the economy generally.

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Majority of those The Finder spoke to were, however, quick to add that they accepted the fact that the team did not have much time so they were not ‘expecting miracles.’

The Finder spoke to 45 individuals from different categories of life in Tamale, Kumasi and Accra in the wake of the nomination of Mr Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur for the Vice President position by President John Dramani Mahama.

A 41-year-old forex bureau operator at the Tamale Central Market, Mr Maxwell Atim, said: “We have witnessed major improvement in the economy under the able leadership of the late President Mills, of which the current President was part. What we have not addressed as a country is the stabilisation of the currency and measures to address the inflation.”

He added that he expected the new President to adopt drastic policies that would boost confidence in the economy.

In Kumasi, a teacher with the Garden City Senior High School, Mr Timothy Owusu, suggested that President Mahama must use the time at his disposal to stabilise the cedi in order for him to become attractive to appeal to voters.

“The cedi has been falling freely for some months now. Every Ghanaian is feeling the pinch so if the President has any hopes of retaining power, then he must check the free falling cedi to convince Ghanaians that he has the competency to do the job,” he said.

One interesting aspect of responses from Kumasi interviewees was the emphasis on the need for the President to ensure a peaceful election campaign.

The majority of the people our correspondent talked to stressed the need for the new President to ensure that the heightened political tension that had engulfed the nation prior to the demise of the late President is brought under control.

A number of them said efforts should be made to keep the nation united despite the partisan interests as well as ethnic and religious differences.

Some said beyond ensuring peaceful elections, they expected a smooth handing over of power if the need be.

In Accra, a number of interviewees, who said they had not yet decided who to vote for, mentioned their economic welfare as a major factor likely to influence which way their votes would go.

"I will have to be convinced that my standard of living will improve," said a middle-aged man, who added that he would look at which candidate would look after his welfare in deciding whom to vote for.

One young man said, "I will vote to ensure that I have a more gainful employment and also for whoever will send employment to my hometown."

Other interviewees, including a priest, said they were watching to see how the government approached the issue of judgement debts before deciding whom to vote for.

This year's general election is the sixth since 1992 when the country embarked on her current dispensation, but polling of Ghanaian voters has often come with significantly varying results in previous elections.

At the beginning of the year, some pollsters predicted another tight race between the two major political parties – the National Democratic Congress (NDC), then led by the late President John Evans, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by Nana Akufo-Addo.

A possible strong showing by the smaller parties and new parties – including the Progressive People's Party (PPP), led by Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, and the NDC breakaway group, the National Democratic Party (NDP) – it was suggested, could make a second round between the two major parties more likely.

In its country report on Ghana in January this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a research and analysis unit within the Economist Group in London, had predicted that the favourable economic picture of high growth and relatively low inflation were certain to inure to the advantage and benefit of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

But the same organisation also published another report in the mid year saying that the Woyome judgement debt had negatively impacted on the ruling party's election fortunes.

Other polls had predicted a second round voting by indicating that no party would get 50+ votes the first time.



Source: BBC