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

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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 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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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

STX has the capacity to deliver Ghana's housing needs - CEO
Accra, June 9, GNA - STX Construction and Engineering Company of South Korea, on Tuesday discounted media reports that the corporate entity is bankrupt and can therefore not roll out the 200,000 housing deal it clenched with Government. Mr Bernard Kwabena Asamoah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Partner of STX said: "A company that is broke cannot be listed on Korean Stock Exchange.
Press Release: The Philippines Hold Successful Elections with E-Voting
There is no such thing anywhere in the world as perfect election arrangement, but if democracy in Africa is tosucceed then it requires solutions to the basic instruments of rigging which undermine it. The problems which led to the disenfranchisement of hundreds of UK voters during the May 6 general elections attest to that. Hints from the head of UK’s electoral commission point to future reforms involving election automation technology. Last year, India, a developing nation, showed that electronic voting is the best way forward for democracies around the world. The Danquah Institute believes that the Philippines on Monday, May 10, made an even stronger case for Ghana to consider seriously the proposals to introduce e-voting here. more >>>
Amending The Constitution Of Ghana: Is The Imperial President Trespassing?
In January 2010, Ghana‘s President John Atta Mills appointed a commission to review and propose amendments to the country‘s current constitution, in force since 1993.1 The ―constitutional instrument establishing the commission tasked the nine-member body2 to ―ascertain from the people of Ghana, their views on the operation of the constitution, and in particular its strength and weaknesses, articulate the concerns of the people on amendments that might be required for a comprehensive review and make recommendations to government for consideration. A Ministry of Justice document setting forth the administration‘s agenda for constitutional reform identifies about forty specific provisions and omissions in the constitution as likely candidates for review and amendment, and the commission is directed to consider these pre-identified issues in its review. By its terms of reference, the commission‘s final work product must include ―a draft Bill for possible amendments to the constitution. more >>>
For How Long Shall We Continue this petrol politics?
Alas the recent uncertainty surrounding the pricing of petroleum products appears being resolved. The NDC led government which won the 2008 elections on the back of some populist promises on petroleum pricing has demonstrated some level of boldness. The new government had tied itself by some of its populist campaign messages to the Ghanaian public and voters that petrol could be sold for less than was being sold at the time (Dec. 2008 GHC3.80).It also campaigned that the cost was unbearable for Ghanaians and promised to reduce it drastically when voted into office. But only five months into the new administration, a gallon of petrol is selling for GHC5.00 while a barrel of crude oil is selling for US$68!
Tullow Oil plc - Half year results
This presentation contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to the usual risk factors and uncertainties associated with the oil and gas exploration and production business. Whilst Tullow believes the expectations reflected herein to be reasonable in light of the information available to them at this time, the actual outcome may be materially different owing to factors beyond the Group’s control or within the Group’s control where, for example, the Group decides on a change of plan or strategy. Click here for full document
Ghana hatches start-ups with high hurdles
The Wall Street Journal: MarketWatch — In a light blue, three-story concrete house in the suburbs of Ghana’s capital, young entrepreneurs are developing online applications they hope will make them into the Mark Zuckerbergs of Africa. They spend long days and nights coding, strategizing and preparing to launch new software companies in an environment where competition is becoming stiffer and more Ghanaians are striving to create Web-based offerings they dream might become the next Facebook.
President Mills’ executive judgment overruling the judgment of the Supreme Court is unconstitutional and against the founding principles of the NDC: By Martin A. B. K. Amidu
On the night of Thursday 24 May 2012 I read on ghanaweb.com/GhanaHome Page a story with the title ‘Government no longer selling ‘Jake Bungalow.”’ The story in its concluding paragraph ‘“described the acquisition as “immoral”’. I also read a statement attributed to the Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) in which my nephew and kinsman Dr. Appaak was alleged to have said: “the forum will study the docket and possibly seek redress .. The plaintiff – Okudzeto Ablakwa and Omane-Boamah have also indicated that they will push for review of the case.” Another newspaper on the same web on 24th May 2012 referred to the judgment as “Stinking Supreme Court Ruling ..” and concluded that: “We wish Justice Brobbey a happy retirement and may he live long to experience ….his actions.” I also read another newspaper with the title “Two “Jake Bungalow” Judges are NNP – Akume.
Court Observer: Tsatsu's Problem as I See it‏
Tsatsu Tsikata's cross-examination of Dr. Bawumia was much anticipated and billed as the "thrilla in Accra." Unfortunately, it has turned out to be the "trivia in Accra," with Tsatsu posing non-probative repetitive questions, which the crafty Dr. Bawumia has handled with ease and sometimes even with humor. Here are the 8 top reasons why Tsatsu has failed to make an impact thus far.
Oil Probe and its Business Stifling Effect
Ghana, Oh Ghana. It was believed if any African country had the capability to evade the so-called “oil curse,” Ghana would be that country. How wrong that was. Events leading into, and surrounding our oil discovery, and the government’s handling of the parties involved leave much to be desired such that we in the Diaspora who aspire to encourage our business contacts to consider Ghana as a haven for investment are left wondering if it is worth the effort. And considering that cocoa was brought to Ghana from abroad by a member of the Ghanaian Diaspora, and most if not all major investment initiatives of significance were initiated into the country via the effort of members of the Ghanaian Diaspora, only God knows how others would be encouraged to lead such efforts in the future.
DaMina Advisors Frontier Markets Report: Ghana polls, opposition now have edge
Ghana’s new president John Mahama on 1 August picked reclusive central bank governor Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur as his nominee for Ghana’s vacant vice presidency. Mahama took office on 25 July when President John Atta Mills succumbed to years of ill health and died suddenly in Accra. Mahama replaced Mills and left his office of vice presidency vacant. Click here to read full report