Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has reiterated the need for a review of the current constitutional arrangement which gives the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) an open-ended security of tenure.
He said manning the EC for about 20 years as in the case of Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the immediate past EC chairman, was not the best.
He, therefore, proposed that the position be given a five-year tenure instead of the enjoyment of an open-ended security tenure as a Supreme Court Judge.
Mr Kufuor, who was speaking yesterday at his residence in Accra when he received a delegation of political parties and governance institutions from Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya, however, said the EC chairman’s term should go over one election.
He said if the EC chairman performed well in the organisation of the elections, his or her term of office should be extended.
However, he said, if the EC chairman failed to organise the elections well, his or her tenure should not be renewed.
He told the delegation that calls for a review of the tenure of the EC chairman was one of the reforms needed in Ghana’s electoral system.
Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan was the chairman of the EC for 20 years. Following his retirement this year, President John Dramani Mahama, appointed Mrs Charlotte Osei, a former Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), as the new head of the EC.
Mr Kufuor said it was crucial for Africans to tolerate one another in politics, irrespective of tribes or ideology.
“Why shouldn’t we treat each other with respect. Rather, we look at one another as enemies or second-class beings,” he said.
The former President said the world was opening up, with more people showing human feelings in disaster situations, despite the pockets of violence in some countries.
The Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Mrs Jean Mensa, said members of the delegation wanted to learn from former President Kufuor’s rich experience in the promotion of democracy, good governance and economic development in Ghana and Africa.
The Deputy Secretary of Administration of ZANU PF of Zimbabwe, Mr July Moyo, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said the members wanted to learn how dialogue could be used to settle squabbles.
He expressed the hope that Ghana would help Zimbabwe to craft a new level of dialogue needed to deepen its democracy.
The delegation was in Ghana for three days to study the country’s model of inter-party dialogue.
It was hosted by the IEA, under its Ghana Political Parties Programme.
Members of the delegation held meetings with executive members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the major opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).