Fifty-one percent of Ghanaians are more concerned with infrastructure development ahead of the 2020 December presidential and parliamentary elections.
This was revealed in the latest survey report by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD).
Speaking in an interview on the implications of these findings, Director of Research at the CDD, Dr. Kojo Asante said they had observed a shift in concerns from a similar report in 2016, where unemployment topped the chart and infrastructure placed fifth.
In a recent survey released on International Youth Day, unemployment and education were the most pressing problems for young Ghanaians.
But in line with this survey, the International Youth Day survey asked adults of all ages to cite the most important problems they want the government to address and infrastructure and roads were the most frequently cited priority; mentioned by 59 percent of respondents followed by unemployment at 39 percent and education at 38 percent.
Ahead of the polls, there have been numerous communities that have demonstrated to demand better roads.
Some communities have even threatened to boycott the polls if their road infrastructure does not improve.
“What it does signal is that even our development challenges are still very vast in spite of all the investment that we have made and therefore we need to understand better how progressive we improve infrastructure for people,” Dr. Asante said.
Meanwhile, 71 percent of Ghanaians have expressed confidence in the country’s various security agencies to ensure the conduct of a peaceful general election.
There is, however, some apprehension about the presence of armed guards, according to Dr. Asante.
“In 2016, it was very clear that we did not want armed security at the polling station but it does reflect a certain concern about the prospect of violence on election day.”
“It is an opportunity for us to look at it very carefully and see what the best way is to ensure security and make sure people can feel safe at the polling station but also ensure that in solving that problem, we don’t create an opportunity for problems to happen,” he added.
Other election-related findings
- The public expresses broad confidence in the integrity and competence of the EC and its ability to deliver free and fair Election 2020.
- They deem the EC’s level of preparedness, together with other election-related state and non-state agencies (particularly the military and police), adequate. Most importantly, they express broad confidence in the EC and allied bodies’ ability to deliver credible Election 2020.
- Levels of trust in the EC and other non-party state and non-state bodies directly and indirectly involved in delivering peaceful elections with credible outcomes are generally high, particularly for the military, police, and media.
- However, there is considerable apprehension about violence by party and candidate supporters. They remain concerned about the activities of party vigilantes – which is underscored by the desire of 8 in 10 respondents in our survey for armed security personnel present at the polling stations.
- Serious concerns remain about the integrity of the vote count and result transmission process. A large minority – more than 4 in 10 – express concerns about the wrong vote tally being announced, and about a third are not confident that their vote would be counted (concerns that are far higher than 2016). This is the likely reason why a substantial majority of respondents want to see independent domestic and international observers present for the polls.