French, British Elections And The Lessons For Imo Opposition LGA Elections Beckons

French, British Elections And The Lessons For Imo Opposition LGA Elections Beckons

By Onwuasanya FCC Jones

It is often believed by a majority of Nigerian political commentators, that any election that is “transparently” conducted must produce opposition candidates as victors.

Maybe, because the opposition makes a lot of noise in the media and a few people applaud them, they then believe that they are popular and could win elections, but over and over again, we have seen evidence to the contrary, not in Nigeria, but across renowned democracies. Only, popular, well-structured Parties win elections, anywhere in the world.
Of course, noise making is part of politics, but noise making alone, especially, when it is not creative and also followed up with effective mobilisation and planning would be futile and a mere clang of charlatans.

Over the past few and recent weeks, elections were held in major democracies of the world, including; India, Iran, United Kingdom and France, and there are vital lessons that could be learnt about how these elections panned out, especially, for Imo opposition Parties, who might be spoiling for a war of attrition aimed at discrediting the election, by the time the most prepared and adequately organised Party sweeps the stakes.

India which is unarguably the world’s largest democracy held its elections from sometime in April but concluded it with the declaration of the results on 4th June, 2024.
A predominantly Hindu nation, the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi deliberately made the best of his Hindu extremism to mobilise popular support for his Party, and ended up winning an unprecedented third term in office.
However, Narendra Modi’s expectation to win an outright majority was frustrated by the resilient opposition, which forced him to go into alliance with smaller Parties in order to keep his power. Before the election, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was leading massively in all opinion polls conducted, and he was almost certain of a super majority, but the outcome shocked him and proves that with good preparations and strategies, any Party can win elections.

In the United Kingdom, the former Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak had to call a snap election following the shellacking suffered by his Party, the Conservatives during local elections.
His calculation was that he could at least stop the resurgent Labour Party from clinching a super majority, but his gamble failed as the Labour Party swept to victory in a landslide, bringing an end to the Tories 14 years grip on power.
The Tories did not just move on or blame over what was responsible for their loss of power, rather they have gone back to the drawing board. First, they will change their leadership, they update their manifesto and provide effective and relentless opposition to the Labour Party. This is the only way they can return to power in the foreseeable future.

The French elections recorded the most surprising outcome of all the recent elections under discussion. The far-right National Rally, which had beaten the hell out of all the centrist and leftist Parties led by President Macron’s Ensemble.
Following this, President Macron exercised his executive powers by calling an election with a very short notice, expecting to stop the surging National Rally from clinching the majority they were so sure of.
Over 200 candidates from across different leftist and centrist Parties withdrew from the election in order to unite behind one candidate to stop the National Rally. This strategy paid off handsomely as the Popular National Front, which was formed less than one month ago won the majority of seats, pushing the initially presumptive winner, National Rally to a third place.
This was a huge reversal of fortunes for the Parties from the European election which held about a month earlier, where the National Rally swept the votes, pushing the Ensemble to third place finish.

In two months time, precisely on the 21st of September, 2024, Imo State shall be electing 27 LGA chairpersons and 305 ward councillors across the State.
It is my wish, and I shall work assiduously, within democratic and legal boundaries, to ensure that the APC, my Party wins every available seat in the election. Politics is a contest of ideas and promises, and the people shall vote for the Party with the best promises.

His Excellency Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, CON, GSSRS, has kept to his Constitutional responsibility by providing the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC) with all the necessary resources they require to conduct a free, fair and credible election.
I have absolute confidence in the integrity and capacity of the individuals in charge of the ISIEC, and have no doubts that they shall conduct the fairest election in the history of electioneering in the State.

Beyond everything else, this election shall serve as a referendum on the performance of His Excellency in the last 54 months as governor of Imo State.
The resounding victory of our Party, the APC shall clear every doubt about the faith, Imolites, have in his leadership. It shall also draw a clear distinction between real political Parties and pretentious noisemakers and kindergarten political wannabes.


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