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Opinions of Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

Vigilance Will End this Corrup

t – NDC Rule During Upcoming Elections

By Alex Bossman Baafi

I am profoundly convinced that, truly nobody can cheat nature because none of us can stop the time. All too soon an election year is here with us again. Come December 7, this year, the good people of this country will have yet another opportunity through the ballot box to give their mandate to a party and for that matter a government that will determine their destiny for the better from next year until December 2016.

First of all we all need peace before, during and after the impending elections. This has been the message from the government, the opposition parties and the civil society in general.

As part of the preparations to struggle for power, political parties including the ruling party, embark on campaigns to educate the electorate as to why they should be the preferred choice. It is the content of their messages on the political platforms that can either make or mar the nation. Campaign messages full of insults, vilifications, demonization and character assassinations of opponents on the other side of the political divide, have the tendency of rising the political temperature and when it is not carefully managed could get out of hand and create mayhem. The onus is on all of us to maintain the peace prevailing because we have not forgotten what happened in some of our neighbor countries including Cote d’Ivoire some time back last year because of electoral misunderstanding. The ingredient that will underpin the maintenance of peace during the period would be issues-based campaigns devoid of insults on political opponents. Politics of insults have helped no nation. At best, it had resulted to civil wars that had destroyed many peaceful nations especially on our continent.

There is no doubt that as a nation, we have made significant progress in our democratic electoral processes that have been recognised by the international community, we still have our destiny in our own hands. We must build on our electoral institutions and continue to lead as a peaceful country with democratic credentials worthy of emulation by other countries in the world.

In our quest to build and improve on our electoral systems, the Electoral Commission (EC) is working hard to use a biometric voting system for the upcoming December 2012 general elections. Many are pleased to welcome the process because they believe the biometric voting process will stem the tide of multiple voting which provide the avenue for electoral fraud. It will uphold the democratic principle, “one man one vote”. It will also ensure voter confidence making the outcome of the elections unquestionable, credible and easily acceptable all other things remaining the same.

Many political scientists, observers and good people of this country have predicted that if the biometric voting project proves successful and political parties are able to wage clean political campaigns, then the days of this corrupt – government are numbered.

Analysts believe that the leading opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, NPP, could make a huge impact on the electorate to improve its electoral fortunes by carefully campaigning on issues whilst articulating some of its manifesto pledges such as free secondary education very well. They contend that there are several key issues that are militating against the confidence of the ruling government to retain power. They include many unfulfilled promises. Among them are high cost of living, mass unemployment especially youth and graduate unemployment and rising cost of fuel. The one-time premium of National health Insurance could not happen. The failure of the most hyped controversial government – STX housing deal also proved very disappointing. Above all, many believe that one key issue that is fast nailing the government to its coffin is Gargantuan Corruption. We must remember that the government came to power partly because they professed to be politician of integrity when in opposition. They flew on the wings of the principle of probity and accountability. Many indeed saw the president as a God fearing politician without blemish. They banked their hope in the president as a man of integrity who can protect and make judicious use of our scarce resources. It is rather worrying that the government is deep necked in and intoxicated with corruption at the highest level. To some of the political observers, words cannot adequately express the nature of the Gargantuan Rot within this government because it is unprecedented in the history of this country. Latest revelations about the Woyomegate GHc 51million judgment debt scandal has even been described as a tip in the iceberg and on the basis of corruption alone this government has no credibility to ask the good people of this country to renew their mandate.

In spite the circumstances of the above, power is always taken and not given, therefore anybody who will think that the ruling party will surrender power on a silver platter would be living in a fool’s paradise. It is not going to be easy. The only triumph card or weapon to victory will be vigilance at all levels of the electoral process. In my opinion, at this level of our democratic dispensation, and our electoral experiences, in addition to hard work, it is only VIGILANCE more especially at the puling stations that will guarantee free, fair and transparent elections that will oust this Corrupt NDC government from power. Please everybody must be vigilant.