Barely a year to go for the general elections, a political scientist, Dr Franklin Oduro, is urging the Electoral Commission (EC), to come out to tell the nation how prepared they are for the polls.
Dr Oduro, who is also Deputy Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), said the Commission must not waste time in executing all that was required to meet the recommended November 7 voting day.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on recent developments on the political landscape, Dr Oduro mentioned among others, the need for the Commission to provide a more credible voters’ register, which had become a subject of dispute in recent times.
Additionally, the EC must secure enough funds to execute the elections, as well as address likely electoral tension and violence.
“We should have a register that should stand the test of time,” Dr Oduro said.
According to the CDD –Ghana Deputy Director, Ghana has a rich history of organizing six successful general elections, and that of next year should not be different.
“We should be able to have successful elections on November 7. What may be a challenge is how credible people see the elections,” Dr Oduro said.
On the outcome of the recent primaries of the ruling government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Oduro said the results which showed a number of long-serving Members of Parliament (MP) losing to newer and younger people, was an indication that voting does not follow logic.
He explained that there were a lot of dynamics, including the money factor, threats, and allegation of vote buying and rigging, which could influence voting results.
He, however, urged the party hierarchy to investigate issues of threats, violence and vote rigging in some constituencies, pointing out that the poor show of some of the party’s old guns in parliament at the primaries might be an indication that the delegates had not been satisfied with the performance of their representatives roles.
Some of the big names that lost were: Nii Armah Ashietey to Dr Zanetor Agyemang Rawligs in the Korley Klottey Constituency;
Mr Enoch Teye Mensah to Mr Sam Natrey George in the Ningo Prampram Consituency, and in the Ashaiman Constituency, Mr Alfred Kwame Agbgesi , Deputy Majority Leader, who was seeking to represent the NDC for a fourth term, but lost to a new contender, Mr Ernest Norgbey.
Members of Parliament are expected to perform other functions as deliberative, legislative; and oversight roles over the executive.
“When a delegate is fed up with the performance of a sitting MP, he registers his or her anger at voting him or her out. When there are no interactions between the MP and his or her constituents, the people become fed up and vote to change the incumbent,” Dr Oduro said.
He complained that would lead to the party sacrificing quality for political expediency, and party interest would overshadow quality deliberative interest.
“You may have younger people, back benchers, who may not have the experience needed to execute effective parliamentary work. Parliament will then suffer.” Dr Oduro said.
On the 95.10% NDC massive endorsement for President John Mahama as NDC's presidential candidate, Dr Oduro said that was to be expected as delegates were to either vote yes or no.
He said, however, that the No votes were an indication that some delegates were not satisfied with President Mahama’s performance.