A critical look at most JCR elections on the University of Ghana campus shows there is a positive relationship between the outcome of JCR election results and SRC results. So what were the trends in last year’s elections? How did they affect results from the SRC elections? What are the trends in this years elections? How can results from this year’s JCR election affect next year’s election? As Mensah Sarbah Hall goes to the polls in a few days, it will be interesting to know results of the elections as it helps make projections into the next SRC elections
On the surface, one would notice in last year’s JCR elections for most halls, two candidates keenly contested for the presidency and other portfolios. There were few occasions like Akuafo Hall were the presidency went unopposed. Another unsual situation was when five candidates out of which four were ladies, contested for the vice president portfolio in Hilla Liman Hall.
In the situation of two candidates, there was almost always a black horse- less known, less charismatic and often scored less on the sheets of the vetting panel. This contrasted with a very popular character, crowd mover, student activist who seemed to have been dreaming and working towards the position perhaps way before gaining admission to Legon.
The trend started from one of the largest traditional halls on campus – Mensah Sarbah Hall. Under the able leadership of the E.C Mr. Paul Agbai and his deputy Mr. Justice Asamoah, the hall recorded an unprecedented total voter turn out of 1,203 in a time where voter apathy had taken campus over. It is not difficult to name the factors behind the success: the hard work of the E.C, the effectiveness of the vetting panel, the media exposure on Radio Univers105.7fm through face-to-face, and the popularity of the candidates as well.
The vetting panel sets a criteria on which the performance of the candidates is scored. In the case of Mensah Sarbah Hall, Joshua Boadi led the vetting results scoring 71.6% while Patrick Boyefio scored 69%.
Esther Boachie-Yiadom placed second to Ali Fauziyatu scoring 62.3% while Fauziyatu scored 65.8% for vice presidency. The statistics from Mensah Sarbah last year admonishes all that, it is not safe to assume leading in vetting results translates into an automatic victory in elections. At least not on UG campus.
In the elections, the popular candidate ‘revolutionary’ in outlook, Joshua Boadi lost to Patrick Boyefio by 73 votes. Joshua polled a total of 558 while Patrick polled a total of 631 valid votes cast.
It follows through all the other portfolios. Even though Fauziatu led the vetting results with 65.8% over Esther’s 62.3% she lost to Esther as she polled a total of 563 placing her second to Esther who polled a total of 589 valid votes cast. In the case of the two, Esther came across as naive and innocent while Fauziya demonstrated chutzpah and charisma.
Perry Johnson even though scored 70.5% in the vetting for the treasurer position lost the elections to Ofosu Asante Emmanuel who scored 67.3% in the vetting scores but won with 22 votes. Perry will later run unopposed for SRC treasurer and win.
The same can be said of Evans Ofotsu who won the sports position with 628 votes as against Okyere -Afari Amoo who polled 520 votes while in the vetting results Okyere polled 68.2% with Ofotsu scoring 64.8%. The entertainment portfolio went unopposed. This year, the position is vacant as it is reported interested aspirants could not make the 3.0 cut.
After the Mensah Sarbah Hall JCR elections, opinion sampled indicated Patrick Boyefio’s looks enhanced his chances in the elections. Comments from the panel during the vetting showed disappointment in the political naivety of the eventual winner as he couldn’t impress the panel on his knowledge in current political headline stories as compared to Joshua Boadi.
Fauziyatu is said to have lost because of her religion. The gap was not as wide. Esther did not impress observers. Her victory is said to be attributed to her membership to the largest Christian group on campus located at the Mecca of Legon- Mensah Sarbah Hall!
To the SRC elections, one you have heard too much about. Davis Ohene Fobi and Michael Dugbater scored 72.44% at vetting while Mikdad Mohammed and Kafui Agbo Jnr scored 84.63%.
In the elections however, Fobi polled a total of 5,486 valid votes cast representing 70% while Mikdad polled a total of 2,369 valid votes cast representing 30%.
This year, the number of students showing interest in positions of authority has shot up. In the just ended Business House JCR elections, three candidates contested for the presidency. Mensah Sarbah is fielding three candidates for presidency, three for vice president, two for Gen. Sec, three for welfare etc.
Generally the competition is not as keen. None really stands out except that all candidates wield flashes of brilliance.
Approximately twelve candidates have expressed interest in running for the presidency of the SRC. As said of Mensah Sarbah Hall, same can be said of candidates in the run for presidency of the SRC.
The University community will keenly listen to all fourteen candidates from Mensah Sarbah Hall on Radio Univers105.7fm tonight from 8pm to 12am to assess the competence of the candidates and more so follow the results from the elections to aid projections into next year’s election of the SRC.
Vetting results as published by the Electoral Commission sets Aaron Nii Kommey in the lead for the presidency over his two competitors with 82.6% marks. Benjamin Baba Ayamga scored 79.4% while Edward Opoku Gyan Junior followed closely with 78.2%. Amoo Elizabeth, Melody Acheampong and Schandorf D. Ayirebi-Acquah were the vice presidential candidates for this year. Elizabeth scored 76.4% while Melody grabbed 71.4% from the score sheets of the panel putting Schandorf in the led with 78.8%. As usual ladies offered themselves for the position of General Secretary. The two are: Lyzabeth Safoah King and Alfreda Asantewaa Asante. While the former scored 68.8% the latter clocked 69.8%. Richard Boateng made 70.4% for the financial secretary position with his only competitor Emmanuel Adu Acquah making 64.8%. The other positions are the sports secretary which went unopposed, welfare contested by three gentlemen and the entertainment position which is declared vacant by the E.C because interested candidates could not make the 3.0 cut.
The vetting committee scored the candidates based on six thematic areas: constitutional Knowledge, Knowledge of position-problem solving skills , general knowledge, and appearance. The constitution of Mensah Sarbah Hall directs that members of the panel must be made of the legal adviser, two electoral commissioners, one Sarknesset member, and one JCR member of repute in good standing.
Breaking News: The leading candidate for the vice presidency of Mensah Sarbah Hall JCR elections Schandorf D. Ayirebi-Acquah has quit the race at the eleventh hour. ‘This resolution is borne out of deep analytical after thoughts and serious consultation with my stakeholders and management team’ a statement submitted to the E.C said. It continues to say In an interview with him, Mr. Schandorf said unofficial polls conducted by his intelligence team showed he is the likely candidate to win. However, given the fact his victory would mean there will be only one lady among the executives, he considered it a wise decision to step down to increase the representation of ladies among the executives.
Elections are slated for October 29. Th results will be monitored for subsequent analysis and projections into the next SRC elections.