A former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Miss Marietta Brew, has raised concerns about the declining public trust in the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana.
Speaking at a Constitution Day Public Lecture event hosted by the UPSA Law School in collaboration with the One Ghana Movement, a Civic Society Organisation, Miss Marietta Brew highlighted the worrying trends revealed by the Afrobarometer Round 9 Survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in 2022.
The survey indicated a significant decrease in the credibility of the EC and the trust placed in the institution by the people of Ghana.
Only 9.8% of the population reported trusting the EC a lot, compared to 20.8% in 2019. Similarly, 22.7% said they somewhat trusted the EC, down from 32.1% in 2019. Notably, 39.7% of respondents indicated that they do not trust the EC at all, a significant increase from 18.9% in 2019.
Miss Marietta Brew, speaking as an ordinary citizen relying on the survey data, concluded that there has been a notable increase in public mistrust of the Electoral Commission.
She pointed to a pivotal moment in the 2020 elections when the Commission Chairperson publicly admitted to inadvertently announcing incorrect numbers in the declaration of Presidential Results.
The subsequent correction of the mistake without involving political parties or providing a clear explanation was seen as a factor contributing to the decline in credibility.
In a country where elections are closely contested, and outcomes often hinge on small margins, any admission of errors is likely to impact the credibility of the EC. Miss Brew stressed that the decline in public trust was not unexpected, given the circumstances surrounding the 2020 elections.
Acknowledging the constitutional independence of the EC, Miss Brew emphasized that this independence is not absolute, as the Constitution also subjects the EC to principles of accountability and other checks and balances.
She pointed to specific incidents, such as the electoral crisis in Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL), and aspects of the 2020 Election Petition, as contributing factors to the erosion of trust in the EC.
Despite these challenges, Miss Brew maintained that Ghana’s reputation as a thriving democracy remains intact.
Other notable speakers at the event included Joe Ghartey, a former Attorney General, and Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, a former EC Chair.
The discourse illuminated the complexities and challenges within Ghana’s democratic framework, underscoring the need for continued dialogue and efforts to uphold the integrity of the electoral process.
OneGhana Movement seeks to promote public policy accountability, seek to promote civic responsibility and promote the prioritisation of the national interest over partisan politics.
It also seeks to influence the Ghanaian society, and by harnessing the power of our collective insights, it hopes to shape the orientation of policymakers and inspire the citizenry to action.
The mission of OneGhana Movement is promoting citizen and policy accountability and the prioritisation of the national interest over partisan politics by employing policy analysis, advocacy, legal and financial interventions to drive social and political change in Ghana.
Projects of OneGhana Movement
OneGhana Movement has embarked on some important projects and programmes to achieve its objectives.
RightWay Initiative – ‘Adopt A Bin’ campaign
The absence of public waste bins along streets and irresponsible citizen behaviour have contributed to the growing sanitation challenges faced in Accra.
In an effort to address this challenge, the OneGhana Movement in conjunction with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is undertaking the RightWay Initiative – ‘Adopt A Bin’ campaign.
Public waste bins were deployed and put out on the streets of Accra for citizens to have access to dispose handy refuse properly.
Ghana Action Series
As part of the Ghana Action Series, OneGhana Movement has organised a series of lectures touching on vital issues of national importance.
Justice for June 3 flood and fire disaster victims
The pressure group is pursuing justice for victims of the 2015 June 3 flood and fire disaster victims.
The disaster saw the death of over 150 persons after an explosion at a Goil fuel station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle area.
The campaign includes legal aid for victims and public advocacy on corporate and regulatory accountability.