Former President John Agyekum Kufuor Descends On EC

johnFormer President John Agyekum Kufuor has lashed out at the Electoral Commission (EC) for asking for proposals from political parties geared towards electoral reforms.

According to him, even though the EC must be involved in the reform process, it should not arrogate the powers of spearheading the reforms onto itself.

The former President made this known to the media at an Institute of Economic Affairs (I.E.A.) Ghana post- Supreme Court verdict lecture in Accra.

He argued, “you cannot arrogate to yourself, you cannot correct yourself easily the Electoral Commission is not power onto itself. The EC is an organ or institution of the people and so cannot jump start the process of asking parties to send in proposals for reforms”

Former President Kufuor said he expected political parties, and academia, to come forward with ideas on reformation of the electoral processes without an invitation from the EC.

Our Senior Reporter, Edmund Mingle also reports from the forum that, former South Africa President, F.W.de Klerk has suggested that Ghana could form a Consultative Council to accommodate representatives of opposition parties to contribute to the governance process in the country’s quest for an all-inclusive government.

According to him, the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) could be developed into such a body to enable the other political parties who lose elections to contribute to governance process and feel accommodated.

Former President de Klerk gave the suggestion to a question on how to avoid the winner- takes- all system in Ghana after delivering a post-Supreme Court verdict lecture in Accra yesterday.

The lecture, organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs, was on the theme, “Fostering peace, national cohesion and reconciliation after the ruling of the Supreme Court.”

According to him, such a Council would ensure that consensus was built on national development issues, and reduce the politicisation of such issues “It’s also a good way of allowing minority groups to be part of the governance system”.
In addition, he advocated the devolution of political power to the regions, saying Ghana could adopt the federal system where governors would be elected for the various regions.

“That way, power gets closer to the people at the grassroots rather than being centralised in Accra,” he said.
“Federalism draws government to the people,” he said, adding that people, especially in the minority often feel left out from the governance system where power is not decentralised.”

Touching on electoral reforms earlier in his presentation, he commended Ghana for successfully going through the adjudication process over the electoral dispute, and reminded its citizens of the need to remain resolute in keeping to democracy.

He further urged Ghanaians to respect the Electoral Commission, in spite of the challenges, saying respect for electoral institutions was critical in promoting democracy.

“You should not underestimate the great responsibility shouldered by an electoral commission in any election.”
“It is a difficult and dangerous business because it is almost impossible to please everyone as passions run high,” he said.
He cited an example of an Electoral Commissioner in an African country who was hailed after first supervising that country’s first election, and booed at after the second election.

He reminded stakeholders that the task of Ghana’s EC has been complicated by the fact that the last two presidential elections had been so close, but noted that there should be consensus on the nature of reforms needed for the nation’s electoral system.

“Genuine democracy requires an independent and effective Electoral Commission and impartial and fearless courts. Ghana has led the way in Africa,” he said.

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