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Politics Wed, 24 Dec 2014

‘Let’s ensure free & fair polls in 2016’

2012 flag-bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP,) Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has underscored the need for the Electoral Commission (EC) and the ruling government to ensure that the 2016 elections become free and fair for the sake of national unity and cohesion.

That, Dr. Nduom argued, could only become possible if the Political Party’s Laws are respected and adhered to by the various political parties.

He intimated that the EC must be seen working to ensure that any party that flouts the laws governing the political parties in the country is dealt with.

For instance, the PPP’s 2102 flag-bearer cited an example from the Political Party’s Law that requires every political party to declare its source of income, assets and liabilities.

He bemoaned the situation where political parties fail to declare their assets and their sources of income.

“We cannot have free and fair elections when political parties fail to let the people they intend to govern do not how they run their affairs,” Dr. Nduom pointed out.

He decried further the situation where some political parties allow foreign companies and individuals to finance their party activities, especially during elections time.

That situation, according to Dr. Nduom, contributed to electoral malpractices in the past elections the country has had.

Dr. Nduom made these observations when he continued with his series of interactive national discourse on Ghana, Great and Strong, a non-partisan programme broadcast every Saturday from 7:00P.M., -8:00P.M., on Ghana’s premier internet radio, www.hedjorleonlineradio.com.

For the past three weeks, Dr. Nduom, who apparently is the host of the programme, had engaged viewers and listeners on most pressing national issues.

These included the institution of National Sanitation Day, elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs,) energy crisis, dwindling economy, drugs, electoral fraud among others.

According to him, free and fair election which is one of the benchmarks of every democratic society should determine how political parties operate in the country..

And until that was done, the astute politician asserted that the country would continue to have problems with its elections.

“How do you expect our general elections to be fair when political parties are not properly checked?” he asked.

Dr. Nduom recounted what happened in the 2012 elections when the biggest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP,) disputed the presidential election and subsequently filed a suit at the Supreme Court to invalidate the results of the presidential election which saw Mr. John Dramani Mahama win the election.

And as a result of that election petition case at the Supreme Court, economic activities slowed for about eight months, Dr. Nduom explained.

He went on to caution the EC not to allow what happened after the 2012 polls to repeats itself.

“The EC is capable of conducting free and fair elections if only it will be allowed to carry its mandate without fear or favour,” Dr. Nduom observed.

Listeners and viewers who contributed on programme via telephones and text messages lauded the patriotism of Dr. Nduom.

Caller by caller could not agree more with Dr. Nduom when they all admitted that it is only when there is an equal level playing field for all political parties that could bring sanity into our elections.

For instance, a caller from Sekyere-West in the Ashanti region, Robert Aboagye, called on the EC to do well to make the 2016 polls free and fair.

According to him, Ghanaians cannot go through any mental torture again as it happened in 2012.

“I implore the EC not to make any political party take the whole country to ransom by challenging the 2016 elections,” Mr. Aboagye said.

Source: Today Newspaper