GBA Wants Campaigns Restricted

Nene Amegatcher, GBA President
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) wants active political campaigns in the run up to general elections restricted to only three months.

Currently, political parties have close to a year to do active campaigning but the bar is insisting that the prolonged political activities are negatively affecting the country’s development.

At the GBA’s annual general meeting currently underway in Cape Coast, GBA President Nene Amegatcher said the three months proposal was ideal for the country since the political tension associated with election years would be reduced.

‘We must find a means to curtail political campaigns possibly to the last three months before elections. 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.’

The GBA President also added his voice to the call on the Electoral Commission (EC) to take immediate steps to implement the recommendation of electoral reforms put forward by the Supreme Court after the landmark presidential election petition that put the country on tenterhooks.

In a related development, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a policy analysis think-tank, has urged the EC to publish well-defined electoral programmes with what it called ‘definite timelines.’

The institute which has been organising presidential debates in the country said in a statement that it would be crucial to ensure ‘clarity’ and ‘certainty’ in the minds of both the EC and political parties regarding all that must be done before general elections.

‘The Electoral Commission must avoid crash time table in the conduct of future elections in Ghana as this does not promote the cause of both the EC and the political parties,’ the institute said.

It said as far as it was concerned, the EC should particularly put timelines on the opening of voters’ register and registration of voters who might have turned 18 or who have not registered already, exhibition of voters’ register, periods that political parties are expected to receive copies of the voters’ register as well as all other pre-election activities that the EC intends implementing.

‘The trust to be built through this process could help ensure proper collaboration between the political parties and the EC towards the conduct of credible and largely uneventful elections,’ it added.

By William Yaw Owusu

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