By the middle of July, the nation expects its sovereign Parliament to debate and vote on the constitutional amendment intended to change the date for holding general elections in Ghana from December 7 to November 7. Since, 1992, when the presidential election was held in November, all subsequent ones were held on December 7. The bill needs both Parliamentary Majority and Minority to agree in order to become law.

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In recent months, political parties in Ghana including the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the Progressive People’s Party, religious groups, the media and civil society groups such as the Let My Vote Count Alliance have made the case for urgent and honest electoral reform in the lead up to the November 2016 elections.

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Voter Validation is an exercise aimed at cleaning up the voter register, and is considered to be the only feasible solution at this stage, as a lesser alternative to compiling a whole new register.  The Electoral Commission’s Panel of Experts, the team tasked with making recommendations to Mrs Charlotte Osei and the EC leadership on how to get a credible register for 2016, has told the EC to carry out Validation, because it is at the moment the most viable option for a credible election.

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Pro –opposition Think Tank, the Danquah Institute says the Electoral Commission (EC’s) decision to use de-duplication processes to rid the voters register of multiple registration will do very little to make the current voters register credible.

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Other Stories

Yileh Chireh’s Strike Against Ministerial Responsibility
Wednesday, sounding rather frail, the absentee Minister of Health, gave interviews to say that no, he had not gone on leave to campaign in his constituency. He was only there to ‘interact’ as part of his medical leave. Joseph Yieleh Chireh was reacting to a report in the Chronicle that while patients were suffering under the doctors’ strike, the minister responsible was campaigning in his Wa West Constituency, Upper West Region.The Chronicle said “Mr Yieleh Chireh was at the Dabu Electoral Area in the Upper West Region on Tuesday, holding meetings with NDC executives in the constituency, in a bid to retain him to contest the [parliamentary] elections” next year.
ECOWAS must Not Give up on Diplomacy on Cote D'ivoire
Ghana is presently caught in the whirlwind of Africa’s latest political quagmire: the post-election turmoil in Ivory Coast. President Mills has decided against sending Ghanaian soldiers as part of an ECOWAS-superintended military force to oust the ostensibly recalcitrant Laurent Gbagbo. The Ghanaian president’s bold decision to reject a regional plan to employ military action against the leadership of a fellow sovereign African nation-state is the right one, even if the reasons the nation’s public servant numero uno has given his fellow Ghanaians and the international community are not tenable.
The Deficit In Parliamentary Oversight In The Fight Against Corruption by HON. OSEI-KYEI MENSAH-BUNSO
Before we can proceed to identify the oversight responsibility of Parliament in a democracy, it is imperative to be clear about what our own understanding of ‘democracy’ is. As a concept, democracy is innate and almost universally accepted as both ideal and a goal. It is foundationed on shared values of humanity in spite of cultural, social, political and economic differences which may exist between and among people. The pivotal object of democracy is to protect and promote the fundamental rights of the individual to achieve social justice, facilitate social and economic development of the communities, strengthen the cohesion of society and engender a congenial environment for sustainable peace, domestically and internationally.
Hundreds of Congo's registered voters may be fake
For several weeks now, accusations have been flung back and forth between the election commission and the opposition about the voter register, a database of around 32 million voters that identifies those eligible to vote in the November elections. The stakes are potentially huge, as if the register is rigged, it will be difficult for observers at the polling stations to identify fraud. The report is a confidential document written in early August by Zetes, a Belgian company contracted by the Congolese government to issue biometric voters cards.
Democracy and Africa’s Search for Development
The clamor for democracy all over the globe is not accidental. Those who go about such business of agitating for democratization are convinced that no society truly desirous of development can ignore democracy. The democratic experiences of the developed countries of the world lend credence to the truth of this claim. However, the reverse seems to be the case in many of the third world countries where there has been a huge golf between the anticipated gains of democracy and the reality on ground. Click here for full report
Ghana: lies, damn lies and estimates
New oil, Chinese investment, stable government, highest growth in the world: Ghana is a new success story. But be careful with the exact figures. While all countries revise their GDP numbers and other accounts, Ghana’s revision of the data takes some beating. The Q2 GDP figure was reported in September as 33.5 per cent. The new figure? 16.4 per cent, less than half. Other numbers given for individual sectors are even further reduced.
Defending a negative highlights a negative, but character is key
In the 2008 general elections Nana Akufo-Addo had to do four things, two positive and the other two negative. On the positive side, he had to campaign on President Kufuor’s record to justify why the NPP had to be allowed to continue ‘moving Ghana forward.’ Also, he had to tell Ghanaians what his message for the future was -- what he intended to do if given power. Here he had to be careful and avoid charges like why the NPP did not do what he is promising to do in the nearly eight years that it had been in power.
So Who Are The Real Property-Owning Democrats?
Last week I wrote, "As an ardent believer of a property-owning democracy and a fierce critic of the shameful, lackluster commitment that the NPP showed in realizing this -- its philosophy -- when it was in office for 8 years, my initial reaction was one of great excitement to the news that a public-private-partnership was going to add 200,000 new, decent, affordable homes to the local housing stock. I greeted the news with some chuffy grin of irony: it took a so-called capitalist party to implement a health insurance policy and it is taking a so-called social democratic party to democratize property ownership." The NPP's founding father, the great man, Joseph Boakye Danquah, saw it as the patriotic duty of the party in government “to liberate the energies of the people for the growth of a property-owning democracy in this land, with right to life, freedom and justice, as the principles to which the Government and laws of the land should be dedicated in order specifically to enrich life, property and liberty of each and every citizen.”
Making Water and Sanitation a Reality for All Africans
Dirty water and poor sanitation sicken and kill tens of thousands of people each year in Sub-Saharan Africa, and imposes a heavy economic cost on countries equal to 1.4 percent of GDP in some countries. No one should accept this situation as destiny. We can change it. Since access to potable water and sanitation was first recognized as a Millennium Development Goal in 2000, budgets for water and sanitation has grown in much of Africa. But bigger budgets and more spending have not appreciably expanded access to services in most countries.
Voter Registration in Africa
Voter registration is highly complex and is the single most expensive activity within the framework of elections. Voter registration is not just the technical implementation of an activity; it is a holistic political, administrative and practical process. The role of voter registration is especially important when it comes to emerging democracies: it can make or break an election. The quality of the process and the product – that is, the voters’ roll – can determine the outcome of an election and consequently the stability of the democratic institutions in acountry. Click here for full article