Wednesday 19 October 2016

Yen Ara Asase Ni

With all the tension rising up the walls of the Ghanaian Supreme Court regarding unfavourable decisions with The Electoral Committee and with the elections just around the corner, it’s only right that I share a post.

Firstly, let’s get the boring part out of the way ... How does the elections work in Ghana?

It is quite simple, this December the President will be elected using the ''Two -Round system”, whilst the 275 members of Parliament will be elected in single member constituency using first past the post voting. On the 24th of July 2012 the previous president John Atta Mills from the National Democratic Congress Party sadly passed away and our current President John Dramani Mahama took office until he was formally elected in 2012. The two most predominant parties: The New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress Party. Like most democratic nations, the voting age in Ghana is 18.

The Ghanaian general election will be held on the 7th of December 2016. Which party and which leader will lead the nation into 2017 is the burning question on almost everyone’s mind.  Many of you reading are probably expecting a prediction of the elections results to soon follow in the next paragraph or so.  Nevertheless, I think election outcomes in West Africa are quite unpredictable, you never really know what to expect based on reasons such as corruption which I will further elaborate in the next couple of paragraphs.   I asked Samuel Agyaba Afriyie; a business student from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology what his views were on the upcoming elections. Samuel expressed that it is likely for Mahama to be elected into office once again because of the great support he has in the Northern and Eastern regions of Ghana , he said “their votes plays an important part”. This was rather interesting to me because most reforms and policies only affect these regions to a certain extent and unfavourable decisions tend to be more detrimental on these two regions. However, Samuel went on to explain that it is more or less a bit like tribalism this is because Mahama, is from the Northern region. Esther Tinker on the other hand, a politics student at the London School of Economics, believes that Ghana is ready for a completely new government and we may just get that this year.                

In June 2016 NPP's deputy chief scribe Nana Obiri Boahen made a controversial statement that colonial rule is better for Ghana than Mahama's"mediocre leadership'' I weep for Ghana . If that kind of mediocre leadership can’t be stopped then I prefer colonial rule”. This was quite alarming to me, and although his statement could be argued as highly biased it is what led to me to witting this article. A number of political researchers have said that voter turnout will be much greater than it has ever been in history. Why this may be has many fundamental reasons such as the fact that in 2014 Electricity tariffs went up 80%. Water tariff went up 60%. VAT went up 20%. Petrol price went up by over 50%. Dumsor is still an ongoing issue that frustrates over half the population. Therefore, this year Ghanaians will vote carefully, looking at manifestos and proposed policies that they will most definitely benefit from.


A recent survey by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, revealed that 46 percent of Ghanaians sampled across the across the country believed the EC will likely announce wrong vote tallies or switch election results. “63 percent deem the prospect of their votes not being counted unlikely, but nearly a third remain sceptical, while a large minority (46%), believe it is very and somewhat likely that the wrong vote tally would be announced,” the CDD survey revealed. - See more at:  So it seems like there isn’t even confidence in the electoral system this year which is very worrying.  Nelson Mandela once said "We need the commitment of leaders at all levels in order to achieve the better life all that we promised our people’’. We can only hope and pray that everything goes adequately.

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