Ghanaians vow to punish non-performing government in elections — CDD Report

Ghanaians have vowed to vote out any government that performs unsatisfactorily, according to a CDD report.

A survey by the Democratic Development Ghana (CDD-Ghana) has revealed why the National Democratic Congress (NDC) managed to snatch more Parliamentary seats from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in last year’s election.

In the survey, 22 percent of the Ghanaians engaged in the CDD-Ghana post-2020 election survey said they voted against NPP MPs because of non-performance.

It said non-performance of NPP Members of Parliament was the cause of the massive fallout in Parliament.

They told CDD in its survey that the only way they could make successive governments act in ways that meet their expectations is by voting against unsatisfactory performance.

Also, 67 percent of respondents said they have lost confidence in Akufo-Addo to fight corruption and protect the public purse in the next four years. 50 percent of respondents also said they would jointly demand government action in protests and demonstrations.

The research also reveals that fewer than half of Ghanaians are optimistic that, in the next four years, the Akufo-Addo NPP-led government will perform “much better or better” in addressing educational needs (45%), providing reliable supply of electricity (44%), maintaining roads and bridges (44%), and providing water and sanitation services (43%).

The category of respondents under the policies, rule of law and governance section also reveals that only one-third of Ghanaians (35%) are optimistic about government’s ability to reduce crime.

According to the report, while Ghanaians are split (48% vs. 48%) on the government’s ability to ensure that rule of law is upheld in the next four years, majority of them are not confident in its ability to protect the country’s financial resources (53%) and curb corruption and official impunity (62%).

“Unemployment (57%), infrastructure and roads (36%), education (36%), management of the economy (32%), and health (19%) are the five top policy priorities Ghanaians would want to see government addressing.

“…Education, infrastructure, healthcare and agriculture are the four priority areas that Ghanaians recommend for additional investment, in case government wants to increase public spending,” the report noted.

Read full statement below:

Highlights of Findings from CDD-Ghana’s Post-Election Survey (May 23 to June 3, 2021) Background

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana held another successful presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7, 2020, which produced unique outcomes. The incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, President Nana Akufo-Addo got re-elected as president though he lost a significant number of votes compared to the 2016 election results. The NPP lost 32 parliamentary seats, of which 31 went to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and one to an independent candidate leaving both NPP and NDC with 137 seats each. And, for the first time in the Fourth Republic, the country has to deal with a “hung” Parliament with a staunch opposition NDC member as the Speaker of the House.

The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) initiated the post-election survey this year to measure citizens’ expectations of the NPP government’s performance in the delivery of its 2020 manifesto promises, as well as expectations from Parliament – specifically, citizens’ interpretation of the outcome of the elections, particularly the parliamentary one; expectations of the likely impact of the current “hung” Parliament; expectations of the likely impact of the election of NDC person as Speaker of Parliament; and expectations regarding the performance of the NPP government in the next four years.

Methodology

Every adult citizen had an equal chance of being selected for 2020 post-election survey. A nationally representative sample of 2,400 adult citizens were randomly selected. The sample is distributed across regions and urban-rural areas in proportion to their share in the national adult population. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in the language of the respondents’ choice (a standard English questionnaire was translated into Twi, Ewe, Ga, Dagbani and Dagaare). Sample size of 2,400 yields a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. Fieldwork (or data collection) for the 2020 post-election survey was conducted from May 23 to June 3, 2021.

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Highlights of the Findings

Opinions about the outcomes of the 2020 Elections

 A cumulative 58% attributed the reduction in President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vote margin to the president’s policy decision and actions (cited by 21%), his MPs’ and appointees’ performance (19%), as well as the president’s performance (18%).

Respondents attributed the loss of seats by the NPP to the non-performance of the NPP and its MPs (33%), as well as the party’s bad campaign strategy (24%).

 RespondentsattributedthegainstheNDCmadeintheparliamentaryelectionstothenon- performance of the NPP MPs (22%) and the NDC’s campaign strategy (15%). They also saw it as a way of punishing the NPP for non-performance (13%).

Opinions on policies, rule of law and governance

 Fewer than half of Ghanaians are optimistic that, in the next four years, the Akufo-Addo NPP-led government will perform “much better or better” in addressing educational needs (45%), providing reliable supply of electricity (44%), maintaining roads and bridges (44%), and providing water and sanitation services (43%). Only one-third (35%) are optimistic about government’s ability to reduce crime.

 Only about three in 10 Ghanaians or fewer are optimistic about government’s ability to fight corruption (30%), and promote collaboration between the ruling and opposition parties (25%).

 In general, most Ghanaians expect changes in the way the Akufo-Addo led-NPP government handles a number of national development issues in the next four years.

 Majority of Ghanaians (52%) are confident that the second Akufo-Addo led-NPP government will consolidate the gains of the Free SHS program, but a similar proportion (57%) have no confidence in government to expand the 1D1F initiative across the country.

 While Ghanaians are split (48% vs. 48%) on the government’s ability to ensure that rule of law is upheld in the next four years, majorities are not confident in its ability to protect the country’s financial resources (53%) and curb corruption and official impunity (62%).

 Ghanaians are evenly split in their confidence in government’s ability to consolidate the gains made in the planting/rearing for food and jobs program in the next four years, but a majority (61%) express lack of confidence in the government’s ability to expand the one- million-dollar per constituency initiative.

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 Unemployment (57%), infrastructure and roads (36%), education (36%), management of the economy (32%), and health (19%) are the five top policy priorities Ghanaians would want to see government addressing.

 Education, infrastructure, healthcare and agriculture are the four priority areas that Ghanaians recommend for additional investment, in case government wants to increase public spending.

Expectations of the 8th Parliament

 Most Ghanaians expect the current composition of Parliament to have both positive and negative impacts on some parliamentary functions and government’s programmes. While a large majority (80%) say the current Parliament will “keep the executive in check” and “improve practice of parliamentary democracy,” many (61%) also say it will slow down decision-making and make MPs connive more on issues that affect them (60%).

 Majority of Ghanaians have positive views on the election of an opposition NDC member as Speaker of Parliament. Many of the respondents believe it will make the president and government more transparent (77%) and also promote NPP-NDC cooperation and collaboration (72%). However, about a half (52%) do not think it will make any difference.

 SignificantminoritiesofGhanaianslackknowledgeofwhattranspiredduringthe2017and 2021 ministerial nominees vetting as they could not offer any meaningful comparative evaluation of the two events. Almost a half (45%) of respondents could not rate the level of scrutiny of nominees for ministerial positions by the vetting committee members, truthfulness of responses given by nominees for ministerial positions, the depth of knowledge and competence exhibited by ministerial nominees, and the depth of questions posed by NDC/NPP parliamentarians on the vetting committee.

Expectations of public office holders

 Ghanaians expect politicians and public officials to be accountable for their actions (40%), show integrity in their work (24%), be honest (24%), respectful (19%) and competent (19%).

What can citizens do to ensure responsiveness and accountability?

 When asked how citizens can ensure political leaders acts in ways that meet citizens’ expectations, Ghanaians cited voting against political parties that err (67%), jointly demanding government action (50%), and publicly condemning actions of leaders and their supporters (49%).

Source: Modern Ghana