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

IMF Concludes Article IV Consultation Mission to Ghana
A mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Christina Daseking, visited Accra during April 2-12, 2013, to conduct discussions for the 2013 Article IV consultations. The mission met with President Mahama, Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, Finance Minister Terkper, Bank of Ghana Governor Wampah, other senior officials, members of parliament, and representatives of the private sector, think tanks, trade unions, and civil society. At the end of the mission, Ms. Daseking issued the following statement: “Economic growth continued at a robust pace of 8 percent in 2012 amid rising fiscal and external imbalances. A growing public sector wage bill, costly energy subsidies, and higher interest cost, pushed the fiscal deficit to about 12 percent of GDP. The external current account deficit also widened to 12 percent of GDP, while unadjusted fuel and energy prices and a tightening of monetary policy helped keep inflation in single digits.
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 statement out clarifies what is going on in Ghana
Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) issues the following Interim Management Statement, for the period 1 July to 14 November 2012, in accordance with reporting requirements of the EU Transparency Directive. The Group will announce its full year Trading Statement and Operational Update on 11 January 2013. Full year results will be announced on 13 February 2013.
THE QUEST OF STX TO BUILD A BETTER KOREA WITH GHANA
I will begin this article by asking anybody interested in knowing about the various documents - agreements, MOUs, letters, etc - on the $10 billion STX proposal for Ghana to visit www.danquahinstitute.org. You may even have the opportunity to read a letter from cabinet marked confidential. This STX deal, to my knowledge, is the single costliest, unpatriotic deal that any democratic Ghanaian government has appended a signature to since that obnoxious 1960 constitution. There is an agreement before Parliament, apparently recalled by Cabinet, for a loan of $1.5 billion for Government to give to STX to build 30,000 housing units for security agencies, including 15,240 one-bedroom flats and 9,356 two-bedroom flats. STX Engineering & Construction Ghana Limited, the recently established vehicle for this project, is curiously mentioned as the lender, when it is really the lender-on. STX Corporation, the parent conglomerate, has notable liquidity issues but can certainly raise money on an off-take agreement backed by a sovereign guarantee and oil, as the agreement with the Ghanaian Government offers.
2012 Budget Speech
Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this honourable House approves the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2012. Madam Speaker, in doing so, I humbly stand before you to present the fourth Budget Statement and Economic Policy on behalf of the President, His Excellency, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution. Click here for full Budget Speech
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 >>>
Important Questions For The Electoral Commission From Danquah Institute
Friday, October 30, 2015, is the opportunity for parties, organisations and journalists at the two-day public forum on the voters’ register to ask the Electoral Commission questions and hopefully get answers that can help decide whether Ghana will have a new register or not.
Danquah Institute Holds Conference on Biometric Voter Registration and E-Voting
The Danquah Institute, with support from other civil society groups, Development Partners and the Electoral Commission of Ghana, will on Monday, organise a 2-day seminar to interrogate the viability of Electronic Voting and the challenges and advantages of a biometric voter register in Ghana for the 2012 general elections and beyond. It will be the first of Danquah Institute’s Annual Governance & Development Dialogue Series. The two-day conference takes place at the Alisa Hotels, North Ridge, Accra, Ghana, on Feb 8-9, 2010. The first day will be devoted to Biometric Voter Registration; with Day 2 probing the question whether or not e-voting could work in Ghana and if so which model(s) would suit our environment.
If I were one of the big corporate donors who bankrolled the Republican tide that carried into office more than 50 new Republicans in the House, I would be wary of what you just bought. For no matter your view of President Obama, he effectively saved capitalism. And for that, he paid a terrible political price. Suppose you had $100,000 to invest on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated. Why bet on a liberal Democrat? Here’s why: the presidency ofGeorge W. Bush produced the worst stock market decline of any president in history. The net worth of American households collapsed as Bush slipped away. And if you needed a loan to buy a house or stay in business, private sector borrowing was dead when he handed over power.
Ghana - On the Ground: Outlook For Elections Following President's Death
BMI View: BMI's on-the-ground research has revealed key insight into Ghana's upcoming December 2012 elections. The ruling NDC party is likely to get some sympathy votes following the recent death of President John Atta Mills, but the new President John Mahama has got his work cut out in garnering support, with only a few months to campaign. A high proportion of voters are unsure who they will vote for, so the race remains wide open. However, the newly-formed NDP is unlikely to gain much traction.