wpid-DemocracyisanIllusion.jpgElections play a very key role in sustaining democratic governance across the globe, especially in multi-party societies.

But free and fair elections are not attained only on election days; the preparation towards the registration exercise, the registration of prospective voters and the exhibition of the voters register are all part of the process.


The processes of elections came into sharp focus during the election petition in 2013, with references to pink sheets, cross-examination and re-examination and the brief ruling on August 29, 2013.

Right from the day of the ruling on the petition, parties to the dispute started calling for electoral reforms.

Indeed, the eminent jurists who adjudicated the petition recommended to the Electoral Commission (EC) to carry out electoral reforms to restore confidence in the system.

Competition for political power in the country has, since 1992, been fierce, keen and sometimes violent, resulting in the loss of lives and properties.

It is understandable that in most cases, all political parties want to win political power through fair or foul means.

They do not only campaign for votes; they also try to catch the attention of the media to be presented to the people in a very positive light.

In democratic societies, the media are the oxygen of democracy, as the people need information (and the right information) to make informed decisions.

Friends of Ghana in Africa and beyond always commend the people for upholding the tenets of democratic principles and try to encourage them never to deviate from the democratic ethos to traverse the path of failed states on the continent and elsewhere.

Reforms on the political landscape are not limited to the electoral system but also the re-evaluation of the entire political landscape to include political party financing, the powers of the Executive, the winner-takes-all policy and electoral reforms that will ensure that on election day voters and political leaders can be guaranteed free and fair elections.

We have come a long way since 1992 when the first election under the democratic dispensation used opaque ballot boxes for the polls.

Since then, and thanks to the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), in collaboration with the EC, many reforms have been made that may be responsible for the growth in democratic governance.

It is refreshing that despite the successes chalked up, the EC is doing its best to consolidate the gains so far made on the democratic landscape, albeit with some suspicion on the part of the political players.

The proposal by the EC for the daily registration of qualified voters must be supported by IPAC to deal with the challenges of long queues and confusion during nationwide registration exercises.

The Daily Graphic knows that our democratic system has not attained the status of perfection yet, but we shall get there so long as we are committed to constant electoral reforms.

Daily Graphic Wednesday, 26 March 2014


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