Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has emerged as the most preferred candidate for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer position.
This is according to a latest research jointly conducted by Outcomes International Ghana and Centre for Sustainable African Development Initiatives (C-SADI) UK.
The research, conducted in all 16 regions of Ghana, used an estimated 197,000 NPP polling station executives (PSEs) as the target population.
“The most preferred candidate for the NPP’s flagbearer position among PSEs is Dr Mahamudu Bawumia leading in all 16 regions. The closest contenders to Dr Bawumia are Alan Kyerematen and Kennedy Agyapong respectively. It is worth noting that some PSEs (12.3%) indicated they have not yet decided on whom to vote for, but that does not significantly change the outcome,” the researchers said in their final report.
The reports further touted Ghana as an emerging democratic country with a good example for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
It noted that aside the several political parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are the two dominant parties.
“In spite of the current economic challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and precipitated by the Russian-Ukraine war, the governing NPP remains a major political force in the upcoming 2024 general elections,” the reports said.
The reports indicated one major political issue dominating the media landscape of Ghana in recent times is the question of who leads the NPP into the next general election.
The person who emerges as the presidential candidate is crucial as he is key in determining the direction and developmental agenda for the country, when he subsequently becomes the president. A number of potential candidates have so far been identified.
They include Alan Kyerematen, a former Trade Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a former Agriculture Minister, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President, Kennedy Agyapong, a businessman and Assin Central MP, Boakye Agyarko, a former Energy Minister, and Mr Kwabena Agyapong, a former General Secretary of the NPP.
Other potential candidates include Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, former MP and Minister of State, Kwadwo Nsafoah Poku, Energy Expert, Joe Gartey, MP and former Minister of State, and Francis Addai Nimo, a former MP.
Perspectives of the study
The study also looked into other socio-demographic factors that are likely to influence the outcome of the NPP’s presidential candidate election. For example, how ethnicity/geography and religion affect the chances of the viable candidates, as well as the basis on which delegates assess the suitability of a candidate.
PSEs form the most important constituency as they make up more than 90% of the total delegates who will elect the NPP presidential candidate. Participants were selected using multistage probability proportional to size sampling (PPS) with implicit stratification.
Subsamples were taken in three steps: the constituencies in a region were the primary sampling units (PSUs), the electoral areas in the selected constituencies were the second-stage sampling units, and the NPP Polling Station Executives were the final sampling units.
Greater Accra region had the highest number of PSEs interviewed with 1142 PSEs followed by the Ashanti region with 869 PSEs corresponding to 20.2% and 15.4% respectively. More than half of PSE’s who participated in the survey were Akan (54% [n=3056 PSEs]), and 46% (n=2585 PSEs) were non-Akan.
In terms of religious distribution, 78% of the PSEs were Christian whilst 20.6% were Muslim.
The most preferred candidate for the NPP’s flagbearer position among PSEs is Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, leading in all 16 regions. The closest contenders to Dr Bawumia are Mr Alan Kyeremanten and Mr Kennedy Agyapong respectively.
Ethnic/geographic or religious background of the candidate did not appear to have a significant effect on PSEs voting preferences. Indeed, nine out of 10 (86.4%) PSEs believe that a candidate’s religious affiliation does not matter to them when electing a flagbearer.
The main basis for assessing candidates’ suitability for flagbearer by PSEs include the vision of the candidate for the party (58.89% picked this as first or second choice), the vision of the candidate for the country (40.49% picked this as first or second choice) and the loyalty of the candidate for the party (32.51% picked this as first or second choice).
Other prominent basis for assessing candidates were the perceived competence, humility, marketability, commitment, personality and the candidate’s contribution to the party