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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Unlike Danquah Institute (DI) chief Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, I was not the least bit surprised, much less shocked, by the reported backtracking of the Ghana Real Estate Developers’ Association (GREDA) on its initial protest of the NDC-STX $10 billion scam, purportedly aimed at providing affordable housing to middle- and low-income Ghanaian citizens. I wasn’t surprised because in the published statement released by GREDA and signed by its president, Dr. Alex Tweneboah, the national realtors’ organization emphatically let on its rather capricious tentativeness towards the entire saga. In other words while, indeed, GREDA firmly agrees with the think-tank likes of the Danquah Institute and IMANI, to name just a few, as well as other thoughtful and well-meaning individuals, Dr. Tweneboah makes it patently clear in his press release that absent STX, GREDA would be left absolutely clueless in the negotiations process. What the preceding implies is that GREDA’s overriding concern has more to do with the fact that the association had not initially been invited as a junior partner to STX by the government.
The significance of July’s visit
Against this backdrop, July’s U.S. state visit is significant for various reasons. It will be President Obama’s first to Africa – a continent that has not only personal significance for Obama the man, but growing political significance for Obama the President - and one that has significant expectations of the first black President to sit in the Oval Office.
Ghana Gas Company operating ‘illegally’
The Danquah Institute has stated that Ghana National Gas Company, headed by Dr George Sipa-Yankey, is operating illegally as it was not created by an Act of Parliament and currently appears to be breaching the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Act, 1983 (PNDCL 64), which set up the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. The Executive Director of the Danquah institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko made this known at a press conference organised by the Institute and held at the Ghana International Press Centre on Wednesday 21st December 2011.
Extreme weather, extreme prices – what will more erratic weather do to food prices?
With greenhouse gas emissions at an all time high, and the world lurching towards a third food price spike in four years following the worst US drought since the 1950s, there is an alarming gap in our knowledge - how will an increase in extreme weather caused by climate change affect future food prices? To date, research on food prices and climate change has looked almost exclusively at the averages: how gradually rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns will affect long-run average prices. It points to a future of higher food prices: Oxfam-commissioned research last year suggested food prices could double in the next 20 years
“Ghana obtained independence from British colonial rule in 1957, the first African country, south of the Sahara, to do so. The country was full of promise and expectations of Ghanaians were high. In the words of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President, Ghana wanted to show the world that the black man can handle his own affairs. Some 53 years later, the optimism has somewhat waned and harsh reality has set in with the wide chasm between what is Ghana today and what could have been.” The above serves as the curtain opener to ‘Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Reform in Africa: Ghana’s Experience,’ written by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. The book is a comprehensive, objective, concise history of Ghana since 1957, written by an Economist, to be precise a liberal economist, cast in the developmentalist mould of a Ghanaian nationalist. But, the book is not only a historical work, stretching from 1957 to 2008. More importantly, it provides information and models that are both historical and contemporary. It is detailed, easy to read, objectively factual and accurate. It is an excellent read for both set of persons who are new to economics and the others – Economics students, researchers, economists, bankers, politicians, and historians.
“Peacock” Spio, You Misdirected Your “Piss” This Time Around!
I read the article titled “Spio Garbrah: Kufour, educate Nana Addo on how to apply wisdom” on myjoyonline.com on the 27th of January, 2012 authored by Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah, a former minister under the Rawlings regime and a failed flag bearer aspirant of the NDC. The article was in support of the hypocritical stance of President Dzi Wo Fie Asem Mills on the Ivorian Crisis. His praise article might come as a surprise to many, knowing that Dr. Spio Garbrah is acclaimed for “pissing in”. Readers would recall the “pissing in and out” banter that happened in this country last year, when Dr. Spio Garbrah published in the Daily Graphic an objective and bold article criticizing President Mills for appointing TEAM B people to manage our national affairs when he, and other TEAM A’s are on the bench. The TEAM B article caused so much confusion within the ruling NDC party. It got so tensed that the presidency through I-DON’T-LIKE-KUFOURS-FACE Koku Anyidoho described Dr. Spio Garbrah as a fake “Doctor” whose doctorate degree was conferred on him by some “TWO BY FOUR” college in the U.S.A. He also described “Dr.” Spio Garbrah as a “PEACOCK” who sees nothing good in others but himself.
YOUTH, EDUCATED PREFER AKUFO-ADDO -Poll reveals
The latest opinion poll released by Research International indicates that the Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is highly favoured by the youth and educated folk as the man who can provide the right kind leadership the nation needs at this stage of its development. On the other hand, the poll shows that President John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress enjoys more support among the aged and the uneducated than his man opponent in the December 7 elections.
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.
Is the Constitutional Review Commission Constitutional?
Two USA based Ghanaian constitutional scholars have questioned the constitutionality of the on-going constitutional review exercise. In an article to appear in African Journal of International and Comparative Law, the scholars argue that (i) the President has no power to appoint a commission to review the Constitution; (ii) only Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution; (iii) that any and all initiatives to amend the Constitution must originate from parliament; and (iv) a wholesale review of the Constitution by a Commission, as is currently being done, is alien to the Constitution. The scholars conclude that the current constitutional review exercise set a dangerous precedent and, therefore, calls for the immediate dissolution of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). more >>>
Ghana pays a premium as it sells $750 mln 10-year Eurobond
Ghana sold a $750 million 10-year Eurobond on Thursday in its second foray into international bond markets but paid a premium to investors wary of its fiscal and current account deficits.The West African producer of cocoa, gold and oil issued the bond at a yield of 8 percent. The order book was $2.2 billion, around three times the issue size, Finance Minister Seth Terkper told Reuters.