IDEG pushes for electoral reforms

The Institute for Democratic Governance Ghana (IDEG) has proposed key reforms in the country’s electoral system to prevent conflict during the 2016 general elections.

Emeritus Prof. Kwame A. Ninsin, Scholar-in-Residence at IDEG, proposed the reforms on Thursday at the Alisa Hotel in Accra on behalf of the group.

He presented a paper at a public dialogue on the electoral reforms process organized by IDEG and the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) in collaboration with Gyandoh Asmah & Co., an Accra-based law firm under the theme: ‘The role of constitutional reforms in consolidating peace, stability and national cohesion.’

The dialogue was aimed at providing the options to strengthen democratic governance with respect to sustaining credible elections, peace and national development.

He proposed frameworks for political party regulations and appropriate capacity-building for policy building, among others.

“These proposals would require some form of constitutional amendment,” the academician stated.

He also suggested that the electoral reforms must be solely controlled by the ordinary citizens via their elected representatives in Parliament. He said that the parliamentary process must provide opportunity for various opinions and interests to be synthesized into a consensual document.

“Hence, Parliament should own the process from the beginning to the final act of amendment so that the essential compromises and consensus could be built,” he said.

Continuing he noted that “this is important in order to confer legitimacy on the final document.”

He emphasized the need for the reforms to be carried out with a sense of urgency before the 2016 elections.

The professor said: “Considering the fact that the political storm has been gathering momentum, especially since the 2000 elections, we should not behave like the proverbial ostrich.”

A retired lecturer of law based in the Netherlands, Prof. John Griffiths, in a presentation at the public conversation, said thorough consideration must be made before carrying out the reforms.

Participants at the forum were drawn from Parliament, the Judiciary, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, political parties, academia, civil society, professional bodies, development partners, media and the general public.

Source : Daily Guide