Electoral reforms: political parties must first reform, Amaliba advises
A member of the legal team that represented the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Third Respondent, in the just ended election petition hearing has suggested political parties must first reform internally before calling for electoral reforms.
Abraham Amaliba thinks although the call for reforms are fair and square, it is important to differentiate between “genuine” advocates for such reforms from those emanating for self-seeking quarters.
Speaking on Newsfile on Multi TV’s Joy News channel on Saturday, the lawyer said political parties “need to reform [themselves] so as to take advantage of the [electoral] reforms.”
“If we reform the electoral process, and you stay behind and don’t reform your own party you can’t benefit from the [electoral] reform”, added.
He said instead of limiting calls for electoral reforms to the Electoral Commission (EC), it was important for political parties to do a an “internal self assessment” so that when the reforms come, they will be able to benefit from it.
“There are a few people who want to go the market and have Afari Gyan and the Electoral Commission scandalised; and to the extent that because they have lost the election, their guns are now tipped at undermining the institution”, noted Mr Amaliba.
He said attempts by some people, the New Patriotic Party included, to bring the name of the EC into disrepute by referring to sections of the composite judgement by the Justices who ruled on the Election Petition case was bad.
“That is wrong, that for me will not work because there are laws governing these electoral processes and Afari Gyan [the Electoral Commissioner] himself”, he stressed.
Petition ‘vindicated’ EC
Abraham Amaliba says if calls for reforms are aimed at improving the country’s electoral system, then it was a in a the right direction.
“But if it is laced with calls such as Afari Gyan should resign; he cannot lead the process, then I vehemently disagree…My basis is that indeed the Supreme Court upheld what Afari Gyan did”, he explained.
He said although, as observed by the Supreme Court Judges, there are some imperfections in Ghana’s electoral process, the final verdict vindicated the Electoral Commissioner since it upheld his declaration on December 9, 2012.
“If we are able to chalk some successes in electoral reform in 2016, I tell you in the next election after 2016, we will need reform. It’s not going to end. As if these reforms that we are calling will end all problems”, he said.
The calls for electoral reforms are generally “unfounded” and “mischievous”, he claimed, positing that the EC is “one of the best on the continent if not even in the world.”
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