The Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) is demanding for multi-party governance reforms ahead of the 2016 elections to build national peace and cohesion.
The CFI, which is a coalition of civil society groups, academia and individuals, is being led by the Institute of Democratic Governance, Ghana (IDEG).
The CFI noted that the current political duopoly being practiced in Ghana was the cause of unnecessary tensions and fears that characterizes Ghana’s electoral process every four years.
Speaking at the launch of the “National Interest Dialogue Forum on Multi-Party Governance” in Accra on Monday, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of IDEG, said the aftermath of the 2008 and the 2012 elections were clear indications that the country’s electoral process needed a reform.
He said Ghana had made significant strides in sustaining its relatively young democracy and had good democratic credentials on the sub-region after six successful presidential and parliamentary elections; and that observations, analysis and insights from engaging and influencing the outcomes of the two elections have highlighted a number of challenges.
The forum, dubbed the “Civic Forum Initiative” would serve as a standing mechanism for promoting broad-based and inclusive participation in the constitutional amendment process and Multi-Party Governance reforms in the country.
Dr Akwetey mentioned recurring threat of political violence in general elections, weakening of national cohesion, politicization, corruption and a paralysis of public service bureaucracies, as the challenges arising out of a political duopoly that promotes self-serving politics and exclusionary government as justification for their demand.
He said the other reason was the lack of sustained political dialogue and national consensus on measures for resolving the challenges peacefully.
The above challenges, he noted, were matters of profound national interest, which collectively underscore the fragility of the multiparty governance system and pose serious risks to its stability, peace and sustainability in the long-term.
“There is a growing public concern that the challenges appear to be intensifying but not receiving adequate and sustained attention from political leaders and policy-makers in government.
“The clearest evidence of this apparent neglect is that the proposed amendments to the 1992 Constitution have either not addressed any of these critical challenges or not done so effectively,” he asserted.
Dr Akwetey also called for complimentary reforms to fill gaps in the Constitution review and amendment process to promote inclusive governance and remove the threat of political violence in the country’s electoral process.
The forum was organized by IDEG, the National Peace Council, National House of Chiefs, Manhyia Palace and Star-Ghana, in collaboration with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the Daily Graphic.