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We invited the media today for this news conference because we find it strange and potentialy dangerous that the most reasonable solution that was tabled by the VCRAC Crabbe panel for giving Ghana a credible register for credible elections in 2016 appears to have been totally ignored by the Electoral Commission. We, therefore, want to draw attention to this and ask you, journalists, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to demand urgent answers from the Electoral Commission on the fate of the wise proposal from the EC’s own panel of experts for the introduction of validation for the voters’ register. Full Publication

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Barrister Mike Igini was, until recently, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Cross River and Edo States respectively. In this interview, he bares his mind on the use of the card  reader  for the 2015 general elections. Excerpts:

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We study election fraud in a competitive but not fully consolidated multiparty democracy. Results from a randomized field experiment are used to investigate the effectiveness of newly-introduced biometric identification machines in reducing election fraud in Ghana’s December 2012 national elections. We uncover a non-random pattern to the frequent breakdowns of the equipment. In polling stations with a randomly assigned domestic election observer, machines were about 50 percent less likely to experience breakdown as they were in polling stations without observers. We also find that electoral competition in the parliamentary race is strongly associated with greater machine breakdown. Machine malfunction in turn facilitated election fraud, including overvoting, registry rigging, and ballot stuffing, especially where election observers were not present. Our results substantiate that partisan competition may promote election fraud in a newly-established competitive democracy. They also show that domestic election observers improve election integrity through direct observation and also thanks to their second-order effects on election administration. Full Publication

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Other Stories

Millions of people in Niger are at risk of running short of food, relief agencies have warned, as high prices and a shortage of rain take their toll on one of the world’s poorest countries. The landlocked West African nation lies at the epicentre of a food crisis spanning the Sahel, the arid region on the southern fringe of the Sahara. The United Nations estimates that 7.8m people in Niger could be affected unless donors deploy some $130m (€102m, £88m) of emergency aid immediately. Parts of Mali, Burkina Faso, northern Nigeria and central Chad are also at risk. “All the signs show that we are at a critical moment,” said Touré Kalil Hamadoun, who leads the operations of the charity Médecins Sans Frontières in Zinder, a town in southern Niger. Weekly admissions of malnourished children to MSF’s main feeding station in Zinder doubled in the second half of April.
The BOG Anti-Money Laundering-CFT Guideline
The world has experienced phenomenal growth of financial services over the last couple of decades. This globalization has led to increased cross-border activities enhancing global financial intermediation. Unfortunately, this development has been accompanied by a spate of transnational organized crime including Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) perpetuated by underground economies. Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing affect whole economies, and therefore impacts negatively on economic, political and social development, posing serious challenges to all countries. Click here for full Report
We Must Take Postive Lessons From Kenya’s Women Only Elections
As we join the rest of the world in commemorating today, 8th March, as International Women’s Day, we wish to use this occasion to address the unacceptable issue of very low representation of women in governance and decision-making in Ghana and many other African countries and commend the great strides being made elsewhere on the continent. In spite of all the difficulties, we recognise the progress being made by the African woman, especially, in societies that are becoming somewhat gingerly tolerant against the pull of enduring prejudices.
Ghana Jubilee oilfield partners buy FPSO vessel: GNPC
Partners in Ghana's Jubilee offshore oilfield, operated by Tullow Oil, have bought a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel from Tokyo-listed Modec, Ghana's state oil company GNPC said on Friday. Sources close to the deal said it valued the "Kwame Nkrumah" vessel, which was leased to the Jubilee partners for its first year of operation, at $750 million.
2010 Census results out April 30 - GSS
The final results of the 2010 Population and Housing Census are expected to be released on Monday, April 30, 2012, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has indicated. Originally, the results were scheduled to be released on March 31, 2012 but some initial field challenges which impacted negatively on the data collection process have necessitated the rescheduling of the date for the release of the results.
$1.5BN STX DEAL: WHO IS THE LENDER?.....Joe Ghartey asks, 'Is it a Khebab Seller?
After five postponements since it was first introduced to Parliament on May 4, 2010, the controversial $1.5 billion loan agreement was finally debated in Parliament on Wednesday, July 14. The Minority punched a lot of holes in the agreement which showed that Government and STX had been most incompetent in presenting the deal for approval.
YOUTH, EDUCATED PREFER AKUFO-ADDO -Poll reveals
The latest opinion poll released by Research International indicates that the Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is highly favoured by the youth and educated folk as the man who can provide the right kind leadership the nation needs at this stage of its development. On the other hand, the poll shows that President John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress enjoys more support among the aged and the uneducated than his man opponent in the December 7 elections.
Unlike Danquah Institute (DI) chief Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, I was not the least bit surprised, much less shocked, by the reported backtracking of the Ghana Real Estate Developers’ Association (GREDA) on its initial protest of the NDC-STX $10 billion scam, purportedly aimed at providing affordable housing to middle- and low-income Ghanaian citizens. I wasn’t surprised because in the published statement released by GREDA and signed by its president, Dr. Alex Tweneboah, the national realtors’ organization emphatically let on its rather capricious tentativeness towards the entire saga. In other words while, indeed, GREDA firmly agrees with the think-tank likes of the Danquah Institute and IMANI, to name just a few, as well as other thoughtful and well-meaning individuals, Dr. Tweneboah makes it patently clear in his press release that absent STX, GREDA would be left absolutely clueless in the negotiations process. What the preceding implies is that GREDA’s overriding concern has more to do with the fact that the association had not initially been invited as a junior partner to STX by the government.
Parliamentarians from around the world met in the Chamber of the Canadian House of Commons October 13–16, 2002, and formed the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC). At this meeting, corruption was identified as the greatest threat to the democratic ideal of self-government, endangering representative institutions selected in free elections by a broadly enfranchised people. Corruption was not only seen as a threat to democracy but also perceived to undermine economic development, violate social justice, and destroy trust in state institutions. In addition, if most commentators were right, corruption is getting worse in many countries and becoming an increasingly widespread phenomenon.
NDP joins Let My Vote Count Alliance
The Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings’s led National Democratic Party (NDP) has joined pressure group the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA).The LMVCA, a pressure group is made up of members of some major opposition parties in Ghana who have embarked on a nationwide campaign to rally support for Nana Akuffo Addo and Co in court.