The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Tuesday held a stakeholders workshop on electoral reforms in Accra on the theme ?Towards Transparent and Acceptable Elections in Ghana – Proposals for Election Reforms.”
Dr Michael Ofori-Mensah, Senior Research Fellow at IEA, said Ghana had made a steady progress in consolidating multi-party democracy over the last 21 years and had successfully organised six successive elections since 1992.
He said even though the Electoral Commission (EC) deserved some of the credit of the successes achieved, there were challenges that still faced the electoral system.
?Elections all over the world are fraught with varying degrees of irregularities and the election petition at Ghana?s Supreme Court, which disputed the results of the 2012 elections on the grounds of irregularities, exposed challenges in the nation?s electoral system that requires attention,? he said.
He said the IEA, as part of its commitment to strengthening the pillars of Ghana?s democracy, in addition to ensuring a peaceful and transparent elections, decided to organise the workshop for key stakeholders so that some of the concerns raised could be critically examined.
Dr Ofori-Mensah said the IEA recognised the fact that the input from the general public as well as key stakeholders remained crucial if recommendation for reform were to carry weight.
In a speech read on his behalf, Professor Mike Oquaye, former Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya and leading member of the New Patriotic Party, said Ghana needed electoral reforms, especially as the 2012 elections, were fraught with irregularities.
He said some of the reforms that needed to be carried out include the comprehensive audit of the voter register, streamlining the legal regime of the electoral process and enhancing the competence and professionalism of the EC to meet public expectation.
He said the laws on over-voting should also be defined and its consequence as well as taking a look at the composition and tenure of office of the EC officials.
Nana Ato Dadzie, chairman for the occasion, commended the IEA for its commitment to consolidate Ghana?s democracy.
He called for the legal backing of the Inter Party Advisory Committee to give it much voice in the entire electoral process.