STUDY IN CHINA

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ghana’s Opposition Draws Inspiration From Nigeria Vote Win

Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice Presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party in Ghana. Photographer: Chris Stein/AFP via Getty Images
Ghana’s main opposition party is drawing inspiration from Nigeria’s incoming President Muhammadu Buhari to wrest power from the ruling party and unseat a leader in office.

“The Nigerian election is an inspiration for us,” Mahamudu Bawumia, vice presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party, said in an interview on May 15 from his offices in Accra, the capital. “We have to learn from a party that can take out the incumbent.”

The NPP will focus its campaign for next year’s election on the economy’s poor performance under President John Dramani Mahama, said Bawumia, 51. Ghana is facing its biggest power cuts in a decade and has Africa’s worst-performing currency against the dollar this year.

Buhari, 72, won the March election in Africa’s biggest oil producer with 52.4 percent of the votes cast, defeating 57-year-old Goodluck Jonathan and his People’s Democratic Party in the first lawful transition of power since British colonial rule ended in 1960. A former military general, Buhari was helped by the economy’s downturn following a plunge in oil prices and Jonathan’s failure to subdue Boko Haram militants.

Ghana has had several peaceful transitions of power since its independence in 1957.

Like Buhari, the NPP’s 71-year-old leader Nana Akufo-Addo will need to appeal to a youthful population demanding jobs and better government services. Akufo-Addo contested the presidential vote twice before, compared to Buhari’s three times before he was successful.

Bloomberg

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