The New Patriotic Party (NPP) branch in the United Kingdom (UK) wants Ghanaians to urgently organize a national stakeholders? forum on how future elections should be run in the country.
?NPP-UK is asking for an urgent stakeholders? forum to be convened in Ghana to propose some electoral reforms for the Electoral Commission (EC) to implement ahead of the 2016 elections in order to ensure there is lasting peace in our country and accountability in our electoral system.
A statement issued in London by NPP-UK said ?the protracted Supreme Court petition over the 2012 election dispute awakened Ghanaians to some of the flaws and the imbalances in our electoral system and how they impacted on our election results.
?Even though the verdict went in support of the Electoral Commission, it was very clear from the evidence adduced in court that all is not well with the way our elections were conducted, including the application of CI75 in the whole process.
The statement said ?the need for electoral reforms was widely discussed in Ghana during the petition hearing and immediately after the verdict was given.
It added that no concrete steps had been taken so far on the issue of reforms.
The IEA Effort
?The IEA made an immediate attempt to bring to the fore, the need to openly discuss electoral reforms but it ended in a whimper. The Electoral Commission, having been relieved with the way the verdict went, gave an early indication that it was prepared for discussions on reforms.
?However, like many issues in Ghana which are paramount to our democracy, justice and lasting peace but which are left in the backburner because the urgency for it not apparent, we all seem to have forgotten the need to openly talk about electoral reforms ahead of 2016. The need for sustainable reforms in the advancement of democratic processes towards 2016 and thereafter cannot be overemphasized.
?It is in line with this need for lasting peace in future elections and the sustenance of our democracy that we are asking for a national stakeholders? forum for electoral reforms.
?Experience elsewhere in the world has shown that strong and informed stakeholder inputs in reform processes remain the most viable platform on which genuine political and electoral reforms can be achieved. The objective of such a forum will be to facilitate strong stakeholder consensus and commitments on critical actions that need to be taken to strengthen the electoral process ahead of the 2016 national elections.
?It is statistically impossible in any country, other than Ghana, to have a voter population almost 60% of the national population and a voter turnout at 80% at any given elections, national or local.
?In UK where no one queues to register or even vote the national statistics show a national population as at December 2013 to be 63.7 million. Voter population as at December 2012 was 36,353,900, a rise of 0.5 per cent from December 2011.
The NPP-UK said, ?Voter turnout at the last parliamentary elections was 65.1%. All these are done through virtual doorstep processes. If one looks at the statistics in Ghana, the figures are staggering.
?With national population of 24,658,823, voter population is 14,158,890, making it 58% of the national population on the voters register. Voter turnout is 80% and all these are done through challenging conditions including queuing to register and vote.
The release said ?in a situation where the total number of voters for 123 seats in Parliament is far greater than that of 148 seats, the need to look at issues such as gerrymandering becomes very important to allow for fairness in representation.?
A Daily Guide Report