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NDC 2020 Manifesto Launch: Fact-checking Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang’s Opening Remarks

Prof Opoku-Agyemang 4 mins read

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), On September 8th, 2020, launched its 2020 manifesto titled, “Jobs, Prosperity, and More. The People’s Manifesto.

The Vice Presidential candidate of the party, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, in her opening remarks made some claims regarding the 2020 elections and elections in Ghana in general. 

“Today is September 7th and we are exactly three months away from the 2020 presidential and parliamentary election. This election will be historic in many ways. It will be the first time that such an election has been conducted in the midst of a global pandemic. It will be decided by the largest electorates in the nation’s history. It will be the first in the fourth republic to be contested by a former president and the first in which a major political party’s ticket will feature a woman…This will be the youngest electorate in the history of this nation. Seven out of every ten people who registered to cast a ballot December 7th were born a decade before the fourth republic. Nearly half of them have only ever known Ghana as a multi-party democracy,” Prof Opoku-Agyemang said (2:48:40 to 2:50:54).

Dubawa examined three main claims made by Prof Opoku-Agyemang in her address.

This is the first time in the fourth republic that a former president is contesting for the seat of the president.

President John Mahama is the first former president to contest for the seat of President in the fourth republic of Ghana.

The 1992 Constitution came into full force in 1993, marking the beginning of the fourth republic.

And since 1992, Ghana has had five (5) presidents:

  1. Jerry John Rawlings
  2. John Agyemkum Kuffour
  3. John Evans Atta Mills
  4. John Dramani Mahama
  5. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo

Of this five, John Mahama is the only one to have lost power and to again contest for the presidential seat.

PresidentTermPolitical party
Jerry John Rawlings1992 – 2000NDC
John Agyekum Kufuor2000 – 2008NPP
John Evans Atta Mills2008 – 2012NDC
John Dramani Mahama2012 – 2016NDC
Nana Akufo-Addo2016 – to dateNPP
*The years stated are when elections were held

This is the first election in Ghana in which a major party’s ticket will feature a woman.

As checked by Dubawa, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang is indeed the first female vice-presidential candidate of a major political party in Ghana.

Although there have been a number of female vice-presidential candidates in Ghana over the years, those parties are largely not considered major political parties in the country. 

In 2012, three female vice-presidential candidates were nominated during in the presidential and parliamentary elections. They are Madam Helen Matervi of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Eva Lokko of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), and Madam Nana Akosua Frimpomaa II for the Convention People’s Party (CPP). 

These parties as earlier stated, are, however, not considered to be major political parties even though Ghana has been a multi-party political system. Only the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party(NPP) have amassed the highest number of votes in the elections held. 

A previous fact-check by Dubawa confirmed this. 

The 2020 elections will be decided by the largest electorates in the nation’s history.

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Based on the information available, this new voters register has the largest number of registered voters in the country’s history.

Information available on the Electoral Commission (EC) website indicates 16,845,439 voters have been registered. This figure is subject to change depending on the outcome of the upcoming Voters Register Exhibition which is scheduled to begin from September 18th, 2020. 

In a Facebook live stream held on August 12, to inform the media and the public about notable statistics recorded during the 2020 voters registration compilation, the EC Chairperson, Jean Adukwei Mensa, had announced that the Commission had recorded a total of 16,963,306 eligible voters. This was a provisional figure and was subject to change based on the resolution of challenges reported during the registration exercise. 

Image source: Electoral Commission of Ghana

The table below shows a list of elections held in Ghana’s history from the year 1957 to 2016 and the yet to be held 2020 elections.

S/NoYearElection TypeNumber of registered voters
1February 1951 Legislative Assembly Electionn/a
215 June 1954 Legislative Assembly Electionn/a
317 July 1956 Legislative Assembly Election1,392,874
427 April 1960 Plebiscite2,098,651
527 April 1960 Presidential Election2,098,651
631 January 1964 Constitutional Referendumn/a
729 August 1969 National Assembly Election2,360,000 (approx.)
830 March 1978 Referendum4,497,803
9June 1979
Presidential Election5,000,000 (approx.)
1018 June 1979 National Assembly Election8,255,690
113 November 1992 Presidential Election8,229,902
1229 December 1992 Parliamentary Election7,336,846
137 December 1996 Presidential Election9,279,605
147th / 28th December 2000 General Elections10,698,652
157 December 2004 General Elections 10,354,970
167th and 28th December 2008 General Elections12,472,758
172012General Elections14, 03,793
182016General Elections15, 712,505
192020 (Yet to be held)General Elections16,845,439
Data Source: African Elections Database, Electoral Commission and eisa.org
N.a: Data unavailable

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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