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Ransford Gyampo expresses misgivings over number of presidential candidates

Professor Ransford Gyampo, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, has observed that some political parties only resurface during election years and go to sleep thereafter which was helpful for multiparty democracy.

He said those groups were not political parties worth their salt rather election machines and realise it a waste of space for some of the parties to be cleared by the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest elections.

Prof Gyampo suggested that “real sense of multiparty democracy should be target such that in any major electoral contestation, it becomes difficult for one party to win clear majority of votes, without support and assistance of other political parties.

“Until political parties in our country strive to achieve it, clearance by Electoral Commission of as many as 12 candidates to be on ballot papers will not only create confusion in voter selection during voting, but will also amount to waste of space on the ballot papers.

“A multiparty democracy connotes existence of more than two political parties, with more or less equal political strength, such that in any major electoral contestation, it becomes difficult for only one party to win clear majority of votes, without support and assistance of other political parties.

“If only one party can win an election without the support and assistance of any other political party, then we are not practising true multiparty democracy because space for electoral contestation in true multiparty democracy can only be given to political parties that also function in inter-election period.

 “As agents of interest aggregation, articulation, political socialisation, leadership grooming, for shaping political destinies and socio-economic well-being of the country, as well as agents that offer constructive criticisms that keeps regimes on their toes to do the right thing,” Prof Gyampo noted.

He indicated that a political group that surfaces only during elections and goes to sleep afterwards, only to be heard when there is another election, is not a political party, but an election machine.

Prof Gyampo cautioned that not until political parties accept blunt truth, be strategic in what they crave for, until the Electoral Commission rigidly enforce electoral laws as they apply to political parties in inter-election period, or in between election seasons, the country may remain duopolistic for a long time, particularly, when partisan realignment is rare in transitional democracies like Ghana. -3news.com

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