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Majority of incumbent governments, including NPP,  retained power in 2020 elections contrary to claims by John Boadu

Claim: General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, has claimed that about 90% of ruling governments lost their incumbency in 2020. 

False. Checks by DUBAWA indicate that as many as 30 Presidential elections were held in 2020 globally. Out of these elections, 20 representing 66.6% of winners were candidates from the ruling party.

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General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, has said that his party is among a few to have been re-elected in presidential elections in the heat of the COVID 19 pandemic.

According to him, about 90 percent of ruling parties suffered defeat in their respective countries when elections were held in the year 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Accra-based Peace FM Akan language, the politician said that the re-election of the New Patriotic Party in 2020 was a testament to President Akufo-Addo’s efficient management of the economy in the midst of the pandemic.

“All political parties in the world, almost about 90 percent of them, in the year of COVID, when they contested, they lost it. Look at [Donald] Trump, before COVID did you see the things he was doing? But the management of COVID did not help him and so he lost. Look at Angela Merkel’s party, they lost it. I can cite a lot of examples. The same thing happened in India. [For] Ghana, because of what President Akufo-Addo did, because of his management of the economy, in the year of elections, during COVID, we won our election,” John Boadu said in Akan which has been translated into english..

His claim can be found between minutes 1:22 to 2:22 of a video uploaded on the Despite Media channel on Youtube.  

The video, uploaded on April 21, has since attracted over 500 views and a number of comments.


To investigate the claim by John Boadu, DUBAWA put together a list of countries that held presidential elections in 2020.

Although the claimant was not specific as to the year for the election, DUBAWA used 2020 since Ghana’s presidential election was held that year.

More so, it was in 2020 that COVID-19 was very dominant in countries and was formally declared a pandemic by the WHO.

To begin with, checks by DUBAWA indicated that India’s last presidential election was in 2017 which saw Ram Nath Kovind being elected as President.

Article 56 of India’s constitution (Page 58) states that “the President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office”

This means that India is expected to go to the polls again in 2022 to elect a new President.

In view of this, John Boadu is wrong to cite India among countries where the ruling party lost an election during the year of COVID. The country’s last election was held in 2017, which is about two years before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Again, DUBAWA came across 30 countries, including Ghana, that held elections to elect a leader for their respective governments in 2020.

These countries are Central African Republic, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Seychelles, Burundi, Malawi, Guinea,  Ghana, Togo, Myanmar, Tajikstan, Singapore, Taiwan, Bolivia, Suriname, Guyana, Vicentia, United States of America, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Moldova, North Cyprus, Belarus, Polish, Kiribati, Belize, and Iceland

Relying on reports from credible media organizations, DUBAWA noticed that, like Ghana, 20 countries out of the 30 identified, had the ruling party retaining power.

The 20 are Central African Republic, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Burundi, Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Vincentia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Belarus, Poland, Kiribati, and Iceland.

However, in Seychelles, Malawi, Bolivia, Suriname, Guyana, United States of America, Dominican Republic, Moldova, Belize, and North Cyprus, an opposition party emerged as the winner.

It cannot, therefore, be said that 90% of incumbent governments lost power in the heat of the global pandemic in 2020. 


John Boadu’s claim that as many as 90% of ruling parties across the globe lost in their re-election bid to lead their respective countries is false.

Out of 30 countries where presidential elections were held, DUBAWA confirmed that the ruling party secured re-election victory  in 20 of those elections.

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