The Director of Programmes and Policy Engagement at the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana), Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante says the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) victory in the just-ended Assin North Constituency by-election has boosted the party’s confidence for the 2024 general election.

Dr Asante believes the party’s win gives them a sense of competitiveness going into the main polls.

“I think we are a long way from December 07, 2024. So, there are still many things to resolve. The NPP’s own internal party primaries have to be resolved to know who’s their candidate. That would help assess the strength of the candidates going into the election.

“For me, this [Assin North] election does give the NDC some more confidence about its own sense of competitiveness going into the 2024 election,” he said on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday.

According to him, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) needs to learn from its mistakes in the by-election. He explained that the party needs to revise how it uses incumbency advantage, cautioning that the use of such a position to create impunity amongst voters as they allegedly did in Assin North would backfire.

Speaking on what could be done to avert the incidents of vote-buying in the heat of elections, Dr Asante suggested that undercover investigations must be conducted to expose perpetrators.

This, he said needs to be undertaken due to the fact that it would be extremely difficult to have individuals willfully report such cases.

“I’ve tried to press on the Special Prosecutor who is charged with dealing with politically exposed persons to get into the space because I really think it’s not just about vote-buying. I think it’s vote selling and vote-buying.

“So, I think this example has to be set in terms of even the citizens who are also receiving the money. But I think the tactics should also include undercover because you’re not going to really get people coming forward to say we’re receiving cash,” he added.

The Assin North by-election also revealed instances of voter inducement as some voters exhibited monies they claimed to have received from the parties or their reps. However, the politicians have given varying reasons other than an intention to induce voters for which such monies were being shared.

Experts have since advised that political parties desist from such misconduct because they undermine the electoral processes.