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20 June 2016

Ghanaian youth, a powerful voting block?

By: Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada.

Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada.Hundreds of Ghanaian youth who are eligible to cast ballot in selecting a presidential and parliamentarians should be primed to become the most powerful voting block in Ghana.

To become powerful voting block, they should neither be apathetic nor disengage themselves from the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections slated for November 7, 20016.

Analyzing the campaign manifesto of the National Democratic Congress NDC, the adopted policies and programmes of the New Patriotic Party NPP, promises and assurances from other political parties, one can say that the upcoming elections will be for the youth to decide.

The cancellation of tertiary student allowances, increase in graduate unemployment, undue delays in payment of wages and salaries of even the fortunate youth employees calls for a radical change only through the ballot box come November election.

GHANAIAN YOUTH QUAYE [2]

Throughout Ghana, over half of Ghanaians aged between 18 and 36, are crying every now and then of difficulty in finding money to pay for their tertiary education or find jobs to live responsible lives.

Which also makes it logical to find out whether the same youth went to the polls in the last election to cast their ballot and for what manifestoes, policy and programmes or assurances and promises?

Numerous complaints by the countries youth now indicates the young voters did not turnout in the last election therefore the NDC government not feeling the pinch to adhere to their problems.

Before any government of the day will pay much attention to the country’s youth, there is the need for the majority of the young voters to cast their ballot as student associations’ push young voters to become politically engaged during this election season.

The deputy minister of education in charge of tertiary, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the other day was heard saying that the cancellation of allowance for tertiary students has increased enrollment in tertiary institutions.

GHANAIAN YOUTH QUAYE [3]

Counteracting, the NPP vice presidential candidate Dr. Mohamadu Bawumia, said the cancellation has brought untold hardship on tertiary students and that an NPP elected government will bring it back to cushion students.

Seeking reelection as the NDC presidential candidate, President John Dramani Mahama, has made it clear several times that the country is not ready to offer free compulsory universal basic education.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, NPP presidential candidate wresting power from president Mahama, has posited that an NPP government under his leadership will offer free compulsory universal basic education to every school going child which is long over due.

The NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo Addo, has stated that when elected into office as president, will better the economy to create the enabling environment to create jobs for the youth who are jobless.

Whiles president John Mahama is advising the youth not to be idle but acquire skills in order to take advantage of the opportunities his so called resilient economy is offering and not be left out.

GHANAIAN YOUTH QUAYE [4]

These statements and counter statements on political platforms one will agree have offered the young voters the opportunity to make inform choice come November 7 elections.

Apart from the two political parties manifesto’s or policies and programmes, one can also say that young voters have expectations after the election as they want to find jobs, have tertiary education and start a family, but feel constraint by gloomy economy and debt.

In this year’s election campaign, the NPP has targeted young voters on campuses and through social media, promising to create jobs for young workers and increase student loans and grants to win the support of more than half of their voting population.

The high youth turnout in the polls will mean the NPP did not let down a generation of voters who they need to come out again next four years when the NPP want to retain power.

But what should be a caution to them is that no political party can take for granted that young voters will always be there for them, but all parties can understand it is important to reach out and that it can have real results for them.

End.

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