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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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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No society has been able to sustainably develop its human and physical resources to affect the most of its people without a strong values system. The competition of Ideas they say are the vehicles of transformation but even that requires values to guide it. The Danquah Institute recognizes that a society without values is one in retrogression.  The Institute therefore places high premium on the interactions and exposures that help to build confident and patriotic citizens with integrity.

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Other Stories

In the last fifteen years a problem has presented itself to the courts in the form of a limitation on a power which, prior to this time, most courts had come to consider as axiomatic. This was the power to punish for contempt. In its broadest sense, this power had existed in the courts from the time of their inception, founded in a public policy which regarded it as an attribute both inherent and necessary for the protection of the judicial function.' While never entirely above regulation, 2 restriction upon any aspect of its exercise was re- garded as a matter of immediate concern to the courts in which it vested. Thus, when Bridges v. California 3 decided in 1941 that the power of state courts to impose criminal punishment for contempt on individuals who, by public comment, attempt to exert influence over judicial proceedings was subject to the freedoms of speech and press guaranteed by the First Amendment, the decision was looked upon by many writers with varying degrees of alarm. 4 Nor was it unnatural that the flood of commentaries which the case evoked should deal primarily with the long range effects of the decision, rather than to attempt more than a surface analysis of the holding itself. Viewing the law as it developed out of the Bridges case and the ones which followed, it is felt that there is a need for clarification of this nebulous field, and to submit an interpretation which, it is hoped, represents the law as it stands today. Full Document
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 >>>
DI: Use Wulensi by-election as pilot exercise  for biometric register and verification
The Danquah Institute has learnt with some regret the news that the Electoral Commission intends to use the old 2008 voters' register for the upcoming July 31 Wulensi by-election. We write to encourage the EC to have a rethink and proactively take the opportunity that this unexpected by-election represents to use Wulensi as a pilot test for the new technology of using a biometric voters' list and biometric verification system for our general elections.
Rev. Degbe: 2012 elections will be more credible, peaceful
Rev. Dr. Fred Deegbe, the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, believes that while the electoral process is still beset by problems, the upcoming polls will likely be more credible and peaceful than previous ones. Part of the reason that he is confident is because the police and other security personnel have been well equipped not only with weapons but with communications gadgets to call for backup when necessary.
IEA Debate: NPP to introduce ‘Anas principle’ to increase tax revenue
The Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo has noted that his government will introduce a new system for the efficient collection of tax revenue which he has christened, The Anas principle. Speaking at the IEA Presidential Encounter on Tuesday, the NPP flagbearer explained that the new system will be made up of “highly motivated professional groups of young people who will work undercover to unearth examples of corruption wherever they can find it.”
DI laments Government decision to stop Ghana’s multi-billion off-shore banking
The Danquah Institute has described as “very unfortunate” and “loss of a multi-billion dollar opportunity”, the decision by the Mills administration to discontinue with the arrangement by the previous government to make Ghana an offshore banking centre. Nana Attobrah, Head of Research, DI, made this known when he addressed the press Wednesday on the growing multi-million dollar trade in illegal international transfer of money to Ghana.
Revealed: Britons to be asked for NI number, date of birth and signature to get right to vote
Every Briton will be asked to hand over their National Insurance number and signature to keep their right to vote, under new plans. The information will be added to local electoral registers and held at city halls across the country, raising concerns about the security of the data. The Government also admitted that the new plans could discourage people from voting.Last night campaigners sounded the alarm about the plans, which are to be introduced after July, suggesting that the breadth of information which will be held by councils will present “the perfect kit for identity fraud”.
Radio Remains Top Choice for News Even as Traditional Media Loses Ground
Radio remains the dominant news source for most Africans; more than 60% of the people in every state except Egypt consume radio news, according to Afrobarometer's survey of 34 countries. Both television and internet are growing as sources of news, chipping at radio's dominance, but 77% of people on the continent listen to radio news at least a few times every month, the survey shows. Afrobarometer's report, "The Partnership of Freedom of Speech and Good Governance in Africa," was released today at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Nairobi. Written by Winnie Mitullah and Paul Kamau from IDS, the report tracks media use across 34 countries in 2011-2013 (Afrobarometer Round 5), and over time in 16 countries (2002-2012).
Ghana police criminally prosecute journalist over sources
New York, July 23, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Ghana ’s attorney general to drop prosecution of prominent journalist Ato Kwamena Dadzie under the 1960 criminal code in an attempt to get him to reveal his sources. The Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service on Monday charged Dadzie, acting editor of Accra-based private station Joy FM, with publishing false news “with intent to cause fear and alarm,” defense lawyer Shadrach Arhin told CPJ. Dadzie is free on a bail bond of 5,000 cedis (US$3,430) and faces a misdemeanor offense carrying a maximum sentence of two years in prison or a fine, according to his lawyer. Police referred the case to the attorney general’s office for legal advice, he said.
Government’s decision to cut spending on capitation grant and other social interventions hurting education
The Danquah Institute is worried about the institutionalised nurturing of a future of hopelessness and uncertainties for an estimated 90 percent of Ghanaian children. The situation is being worsened by the policy decision of the current Government to slash funding in the critical areas of Capitation Grant, School Feeding, Teacher Training/Incentives, Textbooks, and the overall administration and investment areas of the Education Sector. The amount allocated under the new Social Intervention Programme (SIP) to Education of GH¢102.9 million is not enough to keep up with inflation. This would hurt the positive trend over the last six years or so which has seen more and more children from deprived backgrounds gaining access to education.