Freedom of speech is not just valuable as a democratic end in itself. It is strongly linked to popular perceptions of both media effectiveness and good governance, according to new data from Afrobarometer, collected during face-to-face interviews with 51,605 people in 34 countries during 2011-13.

People who indicate they are free to say what they think also report higher levels of trust in their leaders, lower levels of corruption, and better government performance – especially greater success in fighting corruption. Greater freedom of expression is also linked to mass media that are more effective in keeping a watchful eye on government. These findings can be interpreted in several ways. It is possible that capable, effective and trustworthy governments also grant greater freedoms to their people and their media.

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Political parties in the country have cast doubt on the Electoral Commission’s ability to implement reforms following the challenges which confronted the 2012 polls.

The Commission has come under criticisms by some political for its inability to deal effectively with some of the problems that bedevilled the elections, that some argue, could have been avoided.

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The Supreme Court judgment of 29 August 2013 on the Presidential Election Petition raises both legal and jurisprudential questions that the nation has to confront for years to come. It is doubtful if the majority position of dismissing the petition ever took into consideration the wider implications for the promotion and the sustenance of the rule of law, constitutional development, the advancement of democratic aspirations of the country, and the wider national interest.

This commentary seeks to address those issues and argue that, the majority in the case failed to appreciate the wider national interest that the case sought to advance.

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The Danquah Institute is calling for an open international tender for the biometric voter register used in the conduct of the December 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections to be cleansed of all double registrations.

In an exclusive interview with the acting Executive Director of the Accra-based policy and governance think tank, Mustapha Abdul Hamid, he stated that a credible voter register is the gatekeeping process that seeks to ensure that only those eligible to vote are indeed allowed to vote when they arrive at the polls to cast their votes.

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Other Stories

Mr President, Rule, Don't Preach
Prayer, thanksgiving and fasting are no substitutes for hard work, creative thinking and visionary leadership. to a GNA report on Ghanaweb.com posted on January 29, 2010, President John Atta Mills has declared Sunday, March 14, 2009 as a National Prayer and Thanksgiving Day and has therefore asked all Ghanaians to support and participate in it. In the news item in question, the president entrusted the nation into the hands of God and appealed to the Christian clergy to support government to put the nation on a sound spiritual foundation.
Spilling our Oil Revenue over NHIS Seas
85 million barrels of oil is supplied everyday across the globe. Ghana hopes to add an additional 120,000 barrels a day to this number - pretty modest by any stretch of expectation. For the next 10 years, revenue accruing to the state from oil production may not go beyond $5 billion. We, therefore, need to be very very wise in how we use the oil revenue in a way that it will open other potential areas of wealth for us rather than using it to cure all our social ills. The key is identifying a few winnable growth pillars and supporting them with resources. As I write, after a whole year’s national road show and countless verbal assurances from the President that Govt will use oil revenues responsibly there is very little detailed indication of that. Responsible usage should not be viewed only through the cloudy vortex of transparency but by which specific programmes or projects those revenues will be spent on. Our revenues can be transparently wasted.
Ghana sits on time bomb – Capt. Koomson
A retired officer of the Ghana Armed Forces, Captain Budu Koomson, believes prevailing conditions in the country make the staging of a coup d’état imminent. This, according to him, was because “the blatant abuse of state wealth by political operatives can trigger something like this coupled with the political stalemate in the society.”
In the aftermath of the 2008 presidential elections, no question haunted NPP leaders and supporters more than why and how Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, the party’s presidential candidate, lost the elections to John Atta Mills, the then NDC candidate, who had been written off by most political analysts. Did the NPP primary season inflict irreparable harm on Akuffo Addo? Did President Kuffuor do enough for the campaign? Did the campaign team spend too much time on big rallies, which attracted curious people, instead of building grassroots organization? Did the campaign team waste valuable time in areas that the candidate had no chance of winning? Was the campaign too slow in responding to allegations by the NDC? Did NDC steal the verdict again? In “Chasing the Elephant into the Bush,” Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy attempts to address some of these questions.
STRENGTHENING PARLIAMENT IS KEY TO FIGHTING CORRUPTION -Says Minority Leader
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, yesterday stated that strengthening parliament’s financial oversight responsibilities is critical to combating “the evil enterprise of corruption which has become cancerous in Ghana.” He further noted that corruption hurts the poor disproportionately, by diverting scarce funds intended for development, undermining government’s ability to provide such basic services as potable water, schools, shelter, clinics, toilet facilities, farming inputs to the populace and thus aggravating inequality and injustice and thereby discouraging foreign aid and investment.The Minority Leader made the observation when he delivered the 2013 Liberty Lecture at the Auditorium of the British Council on the theme: “The Deficit in Parliamentary Oversight in the Fight against Corruption.”
Wikileaks Ghana: Top of the Pops
Embassy was approached by two advisors to National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate John Atta-Mills, Edward Nunoo and Sylvanos Tamakloe, who told Political Office that Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan was being pressured by the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) to announce false results that would be supplied by the NPP. The EC Chairman told Ambassador that the allegations were "utter nonsense." #WIKILEAKS more>>>
Congo on Edge While Election Results Delayed
With almost 90 percent of polling places reporting, Congolese President Joseph Kabila appears to have won another five years in office with nearly half the vote. But the country will not know officially until Thursday due to a 48 hour delay in the release of final results.
AN Overview of Dr Bawumia's Book on Ghana's Economy
The book inter alia undertakes an in-depth review of Ghana’s monetary policy regimes since independence: Direct Controls, Monetary Targeting, and Inflation Targeting under different governments (including Nkrumah, NLC, Busia, Acheampong, Rawlings, Kufuor). Financial sector development and reforms that have taken place alongside the monetary policy regimes are also placed under the microscope. These include regulatory and legal reforms, capital market and money market reforms, banking reforms, currency redenomination, reforms, payment system reform, rural banking reforms, and Ghana’s debut sovereign bond issue. Why were these monetary policy regimes and financial sector reforms adopted? What role did the political economy play in the reforms and outcomes? What was the impact of the different monetary regimes and financial sector reforms on the performance of Ghana’s economy? more >>>
Hope and Experience: Election Reform through the Lens of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project
The American electoral system is in many respects an outlier among the world’s democracies. The indirect election of its president through the casting of electoral votes by the states, with no federal constitutional standing for the popular vote, is perhaps the most peculiar. Another is the extraordinary range and frequency of elections, matched only by Switzerland’s system. In the realm of election administration, two characteristics stand out: the highly decentralized nature of the system and the oversight and control of the election system by partisan elected officials. more >>>
Fraud and corruption is costing Britain £30 billion a year
It is almost 25 years since the Roskill Report published its radical recommendations for improving the way complex fraud, corruption and financial market crimes are tackled. In that time the complexity of business transactions and the amount of activity in financial markets have both increased dramatically.