General News of Tuesday, 2 October 2018
A lecturer at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana is calling for a single seven-year term for presidents in Ghana.
According to Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, this would enable elected presidents concentrate on issues of national development instead of that which would win them another term.
“The opportunity to stand for and be re-elected for a second term as president as part of the rules of our electoral system or our democracy has shifted attention of elected presidents away from national developments to personal political survival,” he noted.
Dr Kpessa-Whyte stated that even though the idea of seeking re-election aims at promoting accountability and responsiveness, it has proven to foster an “environment of perpetual partisanship” as both the ruling and opposition parties struggle to outdo each other in the public space.
He further noted that presidents “perceive genuine and honest conversations as deliberate attempts to undermine their efforts and create public disaffection for their re-election chances” adding that the four-year term does not give the nation enough time to changeover from “partisan electoral campaigns to the pursuit of national development”.
He is, therefore, calling for a consideration to limit the president’s time in office to a single term.
“Once we are able to eliminate the anxiety over re-election, we stand a better chance of having sober-headed leaders who will think more about the legacies of socio-economic transformation through their tenure and work to ensure meaningful progress on the lives of our people,” he stated.
He added at the option of recall will allow citizens to activate processes to recall a president if they feel the country is being led astray.