General News of Monday, 23 February 2015
The Institute of Democratic Governance, (IDEG) wants the proposed constitutional reforms to be looked into for consideration based on consensus to improve the electoral process in the 2016 polls and beyond.
“IDEG’s Executive Director, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey says Article 290 of the 1992 Constitution which deals with entrenched positions is too ambiguous and will need a Supreme Court interpretation. Receiving the Martin Luther King Award, he noted that although Ghana’s democracy has received international recognition Ghanaians do not have much confidence in it.
In an interview with TV3, Dr. Akwetey said election 2016 will be tough if Article 290 which looks at entrenched provisions is not modified.He added that research conducted by IDEG shows that Ghanaians do not believe in the systems they vote for and are losing interest in Ghana’s democracy.
He says although the confidence of the International community in Ghana’s democratic credentials appear stronger, the tension that characterizes every election, will continue if strict electoral reforms are not adhered to.
Supreme Court Judges at the Presidential elections petition hearing in 2012 recommended a number of electoral reforms. Civil society organizations, political parties and individuals also submitted some proposals. The 9-Member Electoral Reforms Committee, yet to be inaugurated, will select which reform proposals should be implemented before the 2016 elections. Outgoing EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan says efforts are underway to implement the proposals.
“We have a number of proposals so they will sieve them and tell us which ones can be done immediately and which ones require legal backing and therefore needs to go to Parliament. So that will be the work of the committee. We have agreed with the IPAC that we set up a committee. So when we have come to a common agreement about the proposals, they will be implemented before the 2016 elections,” Dr.Afari Gyan noted.
Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey was presented with the Martin Luther King Award for his contributions to democracy in the country.
The United States government says it was particularly interested in plans and programmes that Dr. Akwetey embarked upon to deepen Ghana’s democracy.The Martin Luther King Award is given by the United States Embassy annually to a Ghanaian, who has made outstanding contribution to the country’s development.