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The Economic Intelligence Unit Predicts Electoral Victory For the NPP in 2020: How did it come to this conclusion?

The Economic Intelligence Unit, has for the umpteenth time waded into Ghanaian politics with its prediction that the ruling NPP would comfortably win the 2020 general elections.

It attributed the potential victory to a couple of factors including a rebounding economy,, the Ghanaian public satisfaction with the NPP’s style of governance and the direction the country was headed.

Now, I don’t know how the Economic Intelligence Unit came by its conclusion. To the best of my knowledge, the EIU didn’t disclose, at least publicly what its methodology was.’

The following questions therefore are in order: did it carry out a survey of ordinary Ghanaians to gauge their take on the state of the economy; did it interview government officials, who to protect their jobs will parrot what government tells them, knowing full well that the shortcomings of the economy?

Or did it rely primarily on data that was less reflective of the anger and frustrations of Ghanaians with the NPP and more endorsing of the government’s policies?

Whatever the EIU did, its prediction did not sit well with the main opposition party, the NDC which promptly issued a rebuttal, claiming the forecast was misleading, overly unreliable and inappropriate given the dire economic conditions in the country.

Then, it pointed out instances in the past when the EIU’s predictions fell flat and did not amount to much.

Obviously, the NDC has an axe to grind with the EIU. After all, the Unit predicted the party’s defeat in the 2016 elections. The NDC thinks, however, erroneously that the Unit is inadvertently tilting public opinion in favor of the ruling NPP.

Meanwhile, the NPP is giddy, extremely exalted by the prediction. It thinks it’s chances in the upcoming elections have been immensely bolstered by the glowing endorsement of the EIU, despite the fact that Ghanaian public opinion on its overall performance is dismal.. The prediction itself, come to think of it, is a shot in the arm for a flailing NPP.

I have no qualms about the Economic Intelligence Unit and the work it does. As a subsidiary of an international renown magazine —the Economist— the Unit thrives on the forecasting and analysis of political and economic events in countries around the world. That is its bread and butter.

On occasions, its predictions have been met with glee and applause and other times with derision and contempt by those who suspect it is in the pockets of dominant political parties which it isn’t. It is fiercely independent.

That said, I have deep seated ambivalence about the EIU’s forecast about next year’s elections. To say the NPP will trounce the NDC is to leave out one salient point which is that there is a palpable distrust of the NPP and an intense dislike of its policies.

Nobody knows what the outcome of the 2020 elections will be; but from the look of things on the ground, the NPP does not appear to be a shoo-in, a sure bet to win as the Economic Intelligence Unit will have us to believe.

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