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

Calling Danquah a spy is insulting to the memory of Ghanaian Nationalists
In his book, “By Nkrumah’s Side”, Tawiah Adamafio, a former confidante of Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Information Minister of the Convention People’s Party administration, who was later on to be tried and convicted for the Kulungugu assassination attempt on the life of Ghana’s first President, wrote of the nature of the CPP at the time: “I knew their intrigues and jealousies, the vicious whispering campaigns and the rumour mongering, the deliberate name-smearing and wicked mud-slinging, the character assassination, the interminable inner party struggle, the incompetence and greed, the bribery and corruption.” more>>>
INTRODUCTION The process is underway to pass a law that will determine how we use our Oil resources. We at IMANI,AfricanLiberty.org and African Leadership Initiative) have been involved with the analysis of best options for a while. Our review of the Proposals towards the law reveals that the provisions in the bill are likely to lead to the following: Resource Curse phenomenon, as with Nigeria Dutch Disease, where other industries will be neglected and may shrink Political tension with dire consequences as people try to get access to loosely guarded oil revenue Agitation in the Western Region due to neglect and degradation Serious dislocations in the economy
Press reports on President Mills' death
Ghana has seen a smooth transition of power after the sudden death of its president, but as the nation mourns attention is already turning to who will replace him as the ruling party's candidate in a December vote. Vice-President John Dramani Mahama was sworn in hours after the announcement of the death through sudden illness on Tuesday of 68-year-old President John Atta Mills.
As the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council prepares to hold a special session tomorrow on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire since the 28 November presidential election run-off, Reporters Without Borders urges the council and other international bodies to pay close attention to the press freedom situation there. The publication of newspapers has been obstructed, local retransmission of certain foreign radio and TV stations has been blocked and there has been a disturbing decline in the security of journalists, creating a climate of fear and intimidation for the media.
Structural Transformation of Ghana’s Economy
When approached by friends to give a presentation on Ghana, the initial idea was to shed light on the much heralded status of Ghana, joining the exclusive club of oil producers and what would be the development prospects for the country. However, realizing that Ghana being a developing country, perhaps it would be a better idea to present a broader picture of the development challenges facing the country, including how prudent the new oil revenue will be managed.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report
Since its inception in 1997 by scholars at Babson College and London Business School, GEM has developed into one of the world’s leading research consortia concerned with improving our understanding of the relationships between entrepreneurship and national development. This is the 10th annual GEM Global Report. Over the past decade, harmonized data on entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspirations have been collected to provide annual assessments of the entrepreneurial sector for a wide range of countries. more >>>
TWO DECADES OF FREEDOM: What South Africa Is Doing With It, And What Now Needs To Be Done
As the 20th anniversary of the birth of democracy in South Africa, on April 27 2014, approaches, it seems a perfect opportunity to take a step back and get a long-range perspective on the important question: “So, what has Nelson Mandela’s South Africa done with its freedom?” Goldman Sachs has produced this report in the hope of contributing to- wards a more balanced narrative on South Africa; one, which in the wake of 2012’s tragic events at Marikana, had become somewhat hysterical, short-term and often negative
Voter Registration Can Make or Break an Election By Nana Attobrah Quaicoe, DI
Distinguished Guests, the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Danquah Institute was invited by the coalition of pressure groups agitating for a new register to come and share with the general public the doubts we have raised over the last few years on the integrity of the voter registration that took place in 2012 and the way forward. We accepted the invitation and I am happy to say that this is my first public statement since my appointment by the governing board of the institute as its Executive Director on 1st September.
I consider it a privilege and honour to be asked by the Media Foundation for West Africa to join in the double celebration of its 10th Anniversary and that of the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law and to be asked to deliver an address on “CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: SIGNIFICANCE AND CHALLENGES. I readily accepted the kind invitation of the Executive Director of MFWA, Professor Kwame Karikari, not only because this invitation is a duty I must honour as Chairman of the NMC, but more importantly because I belong to that generation of journalists who fought for media freedoms and have seen the two sides of the coin, what it is to be a journalist or a citizen living under a CULTURE OF SILENCE, and under a CULTURE OF FREEDOM.
Cedi flashing Signs of Currency Crisis
If the currency crises in Mexico and Russia ring a bell, then watch the new Ghana cedi. The cedi dropped to a record low of GHc1.77 per dollar and the downfall is accelerating with no support in sight. The cedi versus dollar exchange rate shows the cedi has been in a perpetual fall against the US dollar. President John Kufuor’s administration converted the cedi to a new Ghana cedi and delineated four zeros from the old cedi. The change meant ten thousand of the old cedi became one new Ghana cedi.