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Time for political change in Ghana

Ghana’s current economic mess demands change in how citizens vote. It seems apparent that Ghanaians cannot continue voting for the NPP and NDC and expect different results. If we want our lot changed, there is another way out: vote for a different political party in the next election or a coalition of independent Members of Parliament (MPs) to help check the Executive Branch of Government and minimize the winner-take-all syndrome.

The current NPP government’s response to the economic chaos seems to demonstrate that they have no persuasive plan to develop this country. Apart from denying responsibility for its role in the economic mess, the government seems insensitive to citizens’ concerns. Several calls to replace non-performing ministers and reduce the size of government have almost been treated with contempt. The government appears to lack concrete plans to directly meet the urgency of the economic crisis. After delaying unduly to address Ghanaians about the economic mess, the President, in his recent speech, mentioned amusing stories about money’s intolerance for noise and presented patchy policy actions that almost minimize the gravity of the situation.

The NDC on the other hand has no convincing agenda. They appear angelic only because of the NPP’s abysmal performance. People should remember the stinking corruption under the Mahama Administration: GYEEDA and Bus-branding are only two examples. Mahama’s dead goat syndrome also capped his tenure’s rot. When asked about what he will do differently in a recent Voice of America interview, Mr. Mahama said “…strengthening state-owned institutions; the fight against corruption … and so many other things that create the environment for the economy to thrive.” Respectfully, Sir, these are not necessarily new policy goals; they have the tone of previous campaign manifesto rhetoric. Clearly, if elected again, Mr. Mahama appears to have no persuasive plan to thrust Ghana out of the present chaos. And it is almost impossible for him to do that in four years, even if he could.

Why should Ghanaians continue to vote for these two political parties, given their unattractive track record?

Unfortunately, citizens face a bitter choice between two evils in the next election: maintain the NPP or re-elect the NDC. Voting for either party will be a grand failure to learn from our collective experience in the Fourth Republic.

I urge Ghanaians to vote for a different political party or independent MPs in the next election. If we the people are serious about this country’s future, if we want first-world development, if we are keen to drive our national destiny, then we cannot continue to vote the same way and expect different results. We must reject both the NPP and NDC in the next election.

This alternative sounds impossible because Ghanaians currently have unswerving loyalty to the NPP and NDC. The politicians know that. But Ghanaians can take a cue from Nelson Mandela who once said, “It seems impossible until it’s done.” Every socio-political change seems impossible at first. Ghana’s attainment of independence, overcoming an era of coup d’états, and pursuing multi-party democracy all seemed impossible. Yet, today, they are history. So, change is possible. But it begins with us. We must make a different choice in the next election. That seems the most rational thing to do.

Ghanaians must vote differently to achieve different results. A vote for either party is to endorse the rot and incompetence. A vote for either party is to continue disappointing the country’s suffering youths. A vote for either party is to endorse the blame game and irresponsible leadership. A vote for either party is to stifle Ghana’s enormous potential. If we want change, we must choose differently: Do not vote for the NPP or NDC in the next election. Vote for another party or independent MPs.

The times are ripe for change. The youths must stand up and be counted. They must champion the cause to vote for a different political party or a coalition of independent MPs who are selfless and have bold ambitions to transform Ghana.

Arise Ghana youth for your country

The nation demands your devotion

Let us all unite to uphold her

And make her great and strong

My two cents!

The author, Alex Osei-Kojo, is a US-based Ghanaian public policy researcher.

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