The Government says its resolve to clamp down on illegal small-scale mining and pursue financial clean-up exercise invariably affected the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) vote margin in the just ended Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
Responding to a question whether the government was surprised about the slim margin between President Akufo-Addo and Former President Mahama at a media conference in Accra, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the government’s decision to halt and properly regulate illegal small-scale mining and the clean-up of the banking sector indeed, affected the NPP in this year’s polls.
He noted that even before going for the elections on December 7, coalitions and individuals adversely affected by the “Galamsey” ban and the financial clean-up, threatened to vote against the NPP.
“True to their threats, they actually voted against the NPP, but it’s all good because government took that decision in the best interest of the Republic,”the Minister stated.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah noted that those tough decisions affected the NPP’s votes in the Prestea Huni Valley Constituency where the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Barbara Oteng Gyasi lost her seat to the NDC parliamentary candidate and other constituencies in the mining areas.
” We consider it as a good result for the government because the net result has been good for the state,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah stressed.
He said the little over 500,000 votes difference between President Akufo-Addo and Former Mahama was a fair reflection of the people’s sentiments.
He was of the conviction that the elections was free, fair and transparent and all the domestic and international election observer missions endorsed the transparency of the country’s electoral process.
On a slim margin of parliamentary seats between the NPP and NDC in Parliament, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said it was good for the country’s democracy, as both political parties needed to build consensus on matters on the floor of the House.
He said over the years, the NDC and NPP members of Parliament had agreed on almost 90 percent of issues in Parliament and believed that they needed to continue finding a common ground on issues in the best interest of the State.
“The President was clear in his acceptance address yesterday that we should compromise on issues and not as business as usual and we’re looking forward to achieving things in the best interest of the state,” the Minister added.
On protest by the NDC demanding the Electoral Commission to re-declare the Presidential results, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said there were procedures for seeking redress on electoral challenges, and therefore, urged any aggrieved party to use the appropriate channel.
“I believe that within 21 days if you have challenges with the outcome of the polls, you have to gather your evidence and go to court.
For example, the NPP had a problem with the outcome of the Savulugu Constituency parliamentary elections but we agreed to sign the parliamentary declaration form and we have expressed our intentions to challenge the issue in court,” he said.