Ghana’s Electoral Commission has set up a 10-member working group to scrutinise raft of proposals submitted to it for electoral reforms aimed at amending existing laws, administrative procedures and arrangements ahead of the 2016 general elections. Following the 2012 presidential election dispute culminating in a petition to the country’s Supreme Court, there was a clamour for electoral reforms from political parties, civil society organisations, individuals and technical staff of the commission. This public outcry, coupled with the Supreme Court’s recommendations, forced the West African country’s elections body to initiate a roadmap for the process. The committee, made up of representatives of the commission’s members, political parties and civil society organisations is, therefore, tasked to examine those proposals for the reform.
Electoral commission chairman, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan charged committee members to have an eye for changes that would bolster the integrity and independence of Ghana’s electoral system. “Electoral systems are not finished products, they evolve over time, so from time to time every electoral system needs one kind or other of reform,” he said.
But, “to over-regulate the electoral system,” he said “leaves no room for innovation or administrative solutions to unforeseen problems or even to take advantage of new electoral products”. “We urge the committee to critically and dispassionately examine the principle of no verification no vote, as it currently operates under the election law,” he added.
The committee is also required to come up with the most cost effective ways of managing Ghana’s elections, promoting transparency, accountability and stimulating collaboration with stakeholders to ease tensions.
Full Article: Ghana: Electoral Commission acts on reforms | West Africa.