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General News of Saturday, 12 December 2015


Tackle factors hindering credible elections – Prof. Sawyerr

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The Chairman of the STAR-Ghana Steering Committee, Prof Akilagpa Sawyerr, has charged Ghanaians to deal with the many problems that undermine credible elections in the country ahead of the 2016 polls.

He says it is not enough for the entire nation to call for free and fair elections when the main governance issues have not been addressed.
Speaking at a forum on the 2016 elections in Accra, Prof Sawyerr said it is important for the entire nation to think deeply about how to improve Ghana’s democracy as this is key to the development of the country.

“We cannot talk about free credible elections without addressing the fundamental issues that lie at the root of the challenges that we all identify. It is important that these underlying governance issues that affect the electoral system are properly dealt with. We’ve got to go beyond the surface phenomenon and address the root problems.” he noted.

Prof Sawyerr who is also a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana and a former member of the Council of State, who was setting the tone for a Roundtable discussion on Star Ghana’s election call programme, believes the nation cannot improve its governance if it always runs to donor agencies to monitor and support its elections.

On his part, a US-based Ghana Professor of law, H. Kwasi Prempeh, identified some key problems that he says are likely to affect the conduct of successful elections in 2016.

Among them he says are the increasing dip in the credibility of the Electoral Commission, the constituency creation and boundary settings, the determination of who qualifies to vote especially following allegations of some foreign nationals on the voters’ register, the bigger issue of financing the activities of the EC and national elections, ensuring sustainable peace and security before, during and after elections and the use of gate speech, inflammatory language and dangerous campaigning tactics.

Prof. Prempeh believes the issues raised above will determine the credibility and success of the results.

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