With weeks to the American general election, like Ghana, President Donald J Trump has been leveling accusations at the country’s election management body, giving pundits reason to believe that he is preparing the grounds for his likely impending defeat.
The actions of the US leader, according to many, is akin to that of the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, former President John Dramani Mahama, who has been crying foul ahead of the 2020 general election.
American President Donald Trump, this month, continued his attacks on the US election process when he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power at a White House press conference.
When asked whether he would depart the White House peacefully, should he lose the general election, Mr Trump could not give a definite answer.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that,” he said.
Defeat staring in the face?
The comment by Mr Trump has since been condemned by both Republicans and Democrats in the US Senate, who have unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming a commitment to a peaceful transition of power.
Mr Trump’s comment follows series of unprovoked attacks on the US electoral process.
Many say the recent attacks on the electoral process are likely reaction to the perception that Trump is behind and lurching toward a loss in November.
Mr Trump has repeatedly, falsely, claimed that mail-in ballots, which will be more important in 2020 due to COVID-19 in-person voting restrictions, are more susceptible to fraud without providing any evidence. He has repeatedly warned that the vote will be “rigged,” again with no evidence, and pushed for more restrictions on voter registration.
President Trump’s attempts to discredit US elections began almost immediately after he took office in 2017, when he commissioned the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to try and support his repeated claims that Hillary Clinton received 2.9 million more votes in the 2016 elections due to fraud. The commission was disbanded in January of 2018 after finding no evidence to support the claim.
Candidate of the Democrats, Joe Biden, currently leads by 6.5 per cent in national polls, according to the RCP National Average, while forecasts by The Economist and FiveThirtyEight give Biden an 85 per cent and 77 per cent chance of winning, respectively.
Recent statewide polls by Fox News, an outlet known to be favourable to Trump, found that likely voters currently favour Joe Biden by five per cent in Ohio and seven per cent in Pennsylvania, both key swing states that Trump won in 2016.
Mahama and Trump
The actions of Mr Trump has been liken to actions of the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic congress, John Dramani Mahama, who has constantly accused Ghana’s Electoral Commission of moves to rig the elections.
Last week, Mr Mahama reiterated his threat that he and his party would not accept the results of the 2020 general elections if it is not conducted according to their dictates.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr Mahama claimed that there had been numerous reports of missing names, gender mismatch and repeated ID numbers observed in the ongoing exhibition of the provisional voters’ register.
This, according to the former President, amounts to preparation for “a flawed election”, threatening he will not accept the results of such an election.
“It matters very little whether the situation confronting us is a product of incompetence, or malice or both. Our demands are the same regardless. We want to see fairness, transparency and integrity in the process leading up to the elections, including in this exhibition exercise.
“We in the NDC have exhibited restraint at all times in this process. Even now we are committed to doing so. But let me serve notice, once again, that we will not accept the results of a flawed election,” he repeated his previous threat.
His threat follows a similar one he gave ahead of the compilation of the new voters’ register.
Already, polls conducted by organisations such as the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana and London-based Economist Intelligence Unit have predicted victory for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in this year’s election.