Ghana Bar Association calls for end to long political campaigns

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has questioned the value of long political campaign prior to presidential and parliamentary elections in the country.

GBA President Nene Amegatcher said the long periods of political campaigns have not helped Ghana’s development, and has, therefore, called for a change.

“We must find a means to curtail political campaigns possibly to the last three months before elections” the GBA President said at the Association’s annual meeting in Cape Coast Monday.

Nene Amegatcher said before such a proposal is implemented, there is the need in the interim to avoid a repetition of the events that led to the challenge of the 2012 election results by opposition New Patriotic Party Supreme Court.

Nene Amegatcher said central to avoiding an election petition at the Supreme Court will be dependent on the priority the Electoral Commission places on the electoral reforms, from various quarters, including think tanks, and religious groups.

He said the EC must rely less on part-time polling officials to guarantee the integrity of elections.

Nene Amegatcher also spoke against politicisation of state institutions.

He noted that generally, “politics has been made so attractive in this country that the technocrats seeing the benefits derived by their political superiors have been struggling to be like them”.

Public Relations Officer, Tony Forson, also said on Newsnite on Joy FM Monday, the GBA’s call for an end to lengthy political campaigns must be considered critically.

He said although a government in power may be doing its best to ensure good governance, its efforts may be deflected from its mandate when it feels that the opposition is campaigning.

He said that deflection does not augur well for good governance.

He said elsewhere in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, long election campaigns are non-existent.

Peter Mac Manu, a representative of NPP on an agenda to reform elections in Ghana said the GBA’s proposals were good.

“It’s the right thing to do”, he noted.
He, however, advised that when the proposals are legislated, governments in power must not flout them. Story by Ghana | | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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