On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, the Electoral Commission of Ghana got candidates’ reps to choose their positions on the ballot paper.
Our elections do come down to a ballot in the end – and a new frenzy of interpretations and meanings are trending widely on social media and all around us. Advertisements emerged within a few minutes on social media.
Positions on a ballot paper for elections in Ghana are very crucial as they can lead to memorable slogans being conjured through accidental or occasional music.
For real, a candidate’s position on a ballot paper can be easily remembered if the pundits conjure the right interpretation, and get the electorate to accept such interpretations as credible.
In the 2000 general election, J.A. Kufuor of the NPP was placed bottom and commercial drivers on the Accra – Cape Coast Highway greeted each other with a thumbs down while saying “Asee Ho”, meaning the bottom.
Thus the 7th position did not need to be memorised or crafted into anything meaningful.
This “Asee Ho” tagline resonated with the electorate and even if one did not remember the political party or the colours of the NPP, by just saying “Asee Ho” everybody knew the party and candidate one was talking about.
Fast forward to 2020, that is Tuesday, after the balloting for positions and the political parties and pundits have started interpreting their positions differently just to suit their marketing process.
Effectively, the issues-based politics we have all been craving for has come to an end.
From now till election day, this lottery system and the spiritual, intellectual, numerological and whatever interpretations Ghanaians can conjure will dominate the public discourse.
The incumbent NPP is going into the December 7 elections with the mantra “4 More 4 Nana”.
Ordinarily, their expected victory would have felt secure if their candidate was placed in the 4th position from the top on the ballot paper.
This is because the 4th position will have corresponded to the “4 More 4 Nana” mantra.
Instead, the NPP rep picked the number one (1) spot, with the number four (4) position being occupied by the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) candidate.
In the first round of balloting to determine the order of balloting for positions, however, the NPP picked number four (4), meaning their rep was to be the fourth person in turns to pick a number.
The NPP has crafted different interpretations to their number one (1) spot, all of which according to them reinforces their campaign message.
John Boadu, the General Secretary of the party has also conjured his own.
He indicated right after the balloting process that the NPP’s position is paramount as it signifies the party’s achievements chalked since taking over the helm of affairs.
“We would have loved four but God is the one who decides these matters and the place he has given us is fantastic. This makes the campaign message very easy because in terms of managing the economy we are number one. In terms of everything in this country, we are number one,” John Boadu immediately conjured a thesis.
“It is going to be added to the crafting of the message going forward that it [the party] is number one. We have done so much for this country within three and a half years. We have resolved almost everything that was not resolved by the NDC – weak economy, inflation within that period. We are the first in this country to have done that within three and a half years.”
Perhaps Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey of blessed memory the acclaimed NPP campaign strategist would not agree for the NPP to love number four (4)?
The NDC, on the other hand, has been campaigning for their comeback candidate John Dramani Mahama – he will be occupying the number 2 slot on the ballot paper. To the NDC, this signifies the second coming of John Dramani Mahama.
The party folks have been able to bring in the ‘God factor’ stating that God has ordained the second coming of John Mahama.
According to the NDC’s National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi in a tweet, the NPP’s position on the ballot paper indicates “President Akufo-Addo is ordained for just one (1) term”.
And on the part of the NDC, he added: “John Mahama will be number two (2) on the ballot on 7th December, meaning God has ordained him, John Mahama for a second (2nd) term.”
The CPP has not been left out of the theory of the interpretation. Their party’s flagbearer, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet described his placement as four years of heaven.
He told Joy News that Ghana has endured four years of ‘hell’ under both the Mahama and Akufo-Addo administrations, so, the citizens will now have the chance to enjoy a good life under a CPP administration.
He said the position four (4) on the ballot paper is voting ‘4’ prosperity.
“I think four is a resounding figure for us and Ghanaians in this particular instance and we are looking forward to relieving Ghanaians from the ‘hell’ NDC and NPP have put them through,” Greenstreet conjured.