Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says Election 2020 presented the worst “skirt and blouse” situation since the 1992 poll at the start of the Fourth Republic.
Otchere-Darko said: “I think the easiest explanation one can give is that the president is popular. And then, if you amalgamate, the president is more popular than his party, as it were, or than his parliamentary candidates. It’s pretty easy to say so.
“Now, this is, I believe, the worst skirt-and-blouse situation that we’ve had since 1992 … clearly the skirt and blouse one can interpret to mean that the president is popular… and then you could also say the PCs were not popular,” he said.
Speaking on Asaase Radio’s Town Hall Talk, he added: “But I think we should be careful not to jump to conclusions, not as yet, because a lot of research was done before this and you would notice that in many of the constituencies that’s where there were difficulties for the parliamentary candidates in terms of their electoral showing.
“There were difficulties before the election.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, defeating John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, Jean Mensa, the chair of the Electoral Commission, announced on Wednesday (9 December).
Akufo-Addo won with 51.59% of the total votes cast, against Mahama’s 6,214,889 representing 47.36%. Akufo-Addo polled 6,730,413 votes out of the total 13,434,574.
According to the Electoral Commission (EC), out of the total 275 constituencies, the NPP has won 137 parliamentary seats, the NDC has 136 and an independent candidate, Andrew Asiamah Asamoah (the incumbent NPP MP), has one. This brings the total number of seats declared so far to 274.
It is not clear whether the Fomena MP-elect will support the New Patriotic Party in Parliament, because of the frosty relationship that led to him leaving the party before the election.
But Otchere-Darko said: “I think the president going there [Fomena] was also to stress the point that this was a difficult situation and we need to somehow mobilise all our support … but what you see in Fomena and all these areas is the president actually ended up winning …
“I personally had sympathies for the MP in Fomena and I don’t think I was alone, in the sense that we had this trend in Fomena where ‘one strike and you are out’: you come in as an MP and after four years the executives and the chairman will bring in a new candidate and ensure that somehow the delegates vote you out.
“So, that is a systemic issue in Fomena which the party must take seriously.
“In many instances, when you go into it, we would realise that the NPP lost not because of external issues, but internal. We saw plenty of this in 2008 and they’ve repeated themselves.”
He said the NPP’s post-election analysis should explore this problem deeply, particularly as: “We can all see how the primaries are conducted and that a lot of these decisions must be backed by data, and not necessarily because I want to keep women or because I want to keep this person because this person is relevant for me.”
Otchere-Darko argued that there should be a synergy between what the party or government want done and what grass-roots voters want, adding: “I think when you have a disconnect that’s when you get into difficulties, as we’ve seen.”