Before I walked into the conference room of The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) that afternoon, I knew very little about the biometric system and its implications for Ghana’s 2012 elections. And though I learnt a lot that day, I am still not one of the self-proclaimed experts of the biometric voter registration system who shout themselves coarse everyday on our airwaves.

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Elections are around the corner in both America and Ghana and the airwaves are filled with spin. In the United States, former pizza mogul Herman Cain’s campaign is over due to accusations relating to womanizing and harassment.

Here in Ghana, every few days, there are accusations about the moral failings of one candidate or another. There are charges of womanizing, homosexuality, drug use and lack of smarts.

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Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to contribute to the motion on the Budget Statement for 2012. The budget is the most important document that governments produce. It is a powerful tool in influencing economic and social development. The budget determines whether there is equitable access to services by different groups of the population such as women, children, the disabled, the poor and other minority groups. more>>

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko is mocking government’s attempt to reverse the falling standards in education. Results released by the West African Examination Council show that over half of the students who sat for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Exams failed and could not proceed to the Second Cycle Education.

It is reported to be the worst performance in 13 years.

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Other Stories

BECE results worst in 13 yrs, DI calls for urgent action
Figures from the West African Examinations Council show that the pass-rate of students who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination has been on a constant downward decline since 2009. In sum, out of the total number of 1,121,817 students who sat for the BECE in the past three years, 574,688 failed to achieve the pass mark. This means that more than half a million young people, with an average age of 15 years, have been thrown onto the streets with no employable skills in the past three years alone.
Flagbearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has described the free SHS policy being touted by the NPP as “not impossible,” citing the Constitution and explaining it as a right and a duty of all parties and government. This is in sharp contrast with the position held by the party her husband founded, which has rubbished Nana Akufo-Addo’s pledge to extend basic education to the Senior High School level and make it free.
Parliament approves over $10bn loans in 26 months
Documents available to the New Statesman from Parliament House indicates that from June 2, 2009 to August 26, 2011, Parliament gave its approval to loans, totalling $10.04 billion. This includes 9,379.62 million in US dollars and 439,664 million in Euros. Further checks made by this paper indicates that a total of $18.9 billion worth of loans have been presented to Parliament for approval since President JEA Mills took office in January, 2009.
Al Hajj Should Leave DI out of their Propaganda
The attention of the Danquah Institute has been drawn to a publication by the Al Hajj Newspaper of 26th of September 2013, and subsequently reproduced on several online news outlets, including Ghanaweb. The Al Hajj Newspaper reports, somewhat incomprehensibly that the Danquah Institute perceives and/or plans on using the “New Free Press” as a destructive tool to run-down the Asantehene “with the accusation of conspiring with President Mahama to bribe the Justices of the Supreme Court, to rule in the latter’s favor.”
New constituencies to favour NDC – Kyei Baffour
A former President of the National Association of Local Government Authorities (NALAG), George Kyei Baffour, has underscored the fears of the Danquah Institute, which said the Electoral Commission is being coerced by government to create some more constituencies in its favour. According to the policy think-tank, “Ordinarily, the creation of districts, with its apparent purpose of bringing governance closer to the people, would be welcomed.
Jobs and corruption dominate election agenda
A late surge in campaigning has improved the opposition's chances of victory as the economy stutters A succession of bad elections this year in Africa – in Uganda, Gabon and Zambia – make the 7 December presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana an important political marker for the region. In one of Africa's longest-established multi-party systems, where the electoral commission enjoys relatively high levels of trust, another set of successful elections in Ghana will send a positive signal.
Supreme Court issues directions on election petition
The three petitions challenging the outcome of the March 4 presidential elections have been mentioned this morning at the Supreme Court. A six-judge bench led by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has given its directions to the advocates representing petitioners and respondents in the cases. According to the orders given today by the Chief Justice, petitioners and respondents have been told to desist from “prosecuting the merits of the cases in any forum other than the Supreme Court,”
The talk in the United Kingdom now is all about electoral reforms. Even though the Liberal Democrat (Lib-Dem) was the only party that campaigned on a platform of introducing proportional representation (PR), the election results which delivered a hung parliament have been interpreted, remarkably, to mean that the British people want a new electoral system, even though only 23% of voters endorsed the manifesto of the Lib-Dems. Both the Labour Party and Conservative Party campaigned for the status quo but, with no single party winning a parliamentary majority, the lure of power has spoken - compelling both major parties to now see the Lib-Dem call for PR as one of outmost national interest. Call it a convergence of national and partisan interest or partisan interest disguised as national interest.
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.
No Ambiguity in NPP Constitution On Election Of Flagbearer
Some highly respected members of the New Patriotic Party have been arguing that the national leadership of the party, in choosing a date for the election of the 2012 presidential candidate of the party, must stick to the letter of the party’s constitution. This is a responsible statement, ordinarily. However, their interpretation of the constitution is that the flagbearer must be chosen in (rather than by) December 2010. Some also argue, with some ostensible generosity, that the National Congress to elect the presidential candidate can be done ‘earlier’ but certainly not earlier than September 2010 because of the time the constitution provides for nominations to be filed. The fundamental canon of interpretation is that where the words of a statute have a plain and straightforward meaning and the words are reasonably capable of only one meaning that one literal meaning must be given. Thus, if a constitution’s language is plain and clear, the duty of interpretation does not arise, and the rules which are to aid doubtful meanings need no discussion.