Tag: Ghana Elections 2012


Ghana a definite ‘model African democracy’

Election 2012: The people are the winners as the “model African democracy” that is Ghana shows it is divided as ever in another tight election

Ghana_Elections_Me_FiRi_Ghana_dot_Com

Seen as a model of democracy and stable governance in a sometimes volatile continent, Ghana lived up to that reputation with almost impeccably observed election. Current incumbent President John Mahama Dramani was declared the winner on Sunday night in tight contest which almost mirrored the contest of 2008.

The electoral commission said that Mr Mahama had won 50.7% against his NPP rival Nana Akufo-Addo on 47.74%. On a slightly sour note the opposition party, NPP claimed the poll was fraudulent and will contest the result, accusing the governing NDC party of conspiring with electoral commission staff to fix Friday’s poll. The NPP also claimed they had “enough concrete evidence” to prove that Mr Akufo-Addo had won the election.

Whether there is indeed evidence in existence to substantiate the NPP’s claims remains to be seen. What is clear though is the peaceful manner in which the Presidential ballot was carried out, and much of the credit for this must go the Ghanaian electorate themselves. Many voters turned up at the polls more than four hours before the sun was even up, standing inches apart in queues that in some places stretched 1,000-people deep. Each polling station had a single biometric machine, and if it failed to identify the voter’s fingerprint, or if it broke down, there was no backup. When it became clear that large numbers of people had not been able to vote, the election commission announced it would extend voting by a second day.

However this did not faze the Ghanaian people deeply attached to the tradition of democracy, with voters seen urging each other to remain calm while they waited their turn to vote. The result announced by the electoral commission showed how split the country is in regards to support of the two main parties and the direction the country should go. Naturally there will be a lot of disappointed NPP supporters at this time, however thankfully that disappointment has yet to turn into violence on a severe scale.

Ghana was once a troubled nation that suffered five coups and decades of stagnation, before turning a corner in the 1990s. It is now a pacesetter for the continent’s efforts to become democratic. No other country in the region has had so many elections deemed free and fair, a reputation voter’s hold close to their hearts.

In a country where the provocative style of politics followed by the two main parties does not help to diffuse tension between rival parties, the electorate did well not to rise to the bait dished out by some of their own leaders.

Whether or not we have heard the last of this election result, one thing is for sure; the people of Ghana should yet again be applauded for their tolerance of the democratic process.

Long live democracy in Ghana!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates:  Dr Abu Sakara

 

The NPP and NDC are not the only parties contesting the 2012 election…. Step forward the CPP (Convention People’s Party) and their enigmatic leader Dr Abu Sakara. Although he does not have the profile and support that messieurs President John Dramani and Nana Akufo-Addo enjoy, Dr Sakara is revelling in his underdog status to charm any potential undecided voters.

Michael Abu Sakara Foster is a Ghanaian agronomist (Agricultural Scientist) and politician. He is committed to rebuilding the CPP to provide Ghanaians an alternative choice to the two dominant parties. The CPP believe a win for them in the election will free the country from the antagonism between the two major parties which seem to be mired in the politics of acrimony to the detriment of the country.

Dr Sakara has supported parliamentarians in four constituencies in northern Ghana since 1996 and participated in two election campaigns. He has also been an active member of the Patriots whose efforts were aimed at rebuilding the CPP. He contested the 2007 congress and won a position as the first National vice chair person of the CPP.

Possibly his greatest moment in his fledgling mainstream political career was his strong performance in the first IEA Presidential debate. He came across as a competent leader and was viewed by many people as the winner of the first debate, outshining the two big names (Dramani & Akufo-Addo).

The CPP have campaigned along to a soundtrack that Ghana needs alternatives that the current two parties have failed to deliver when in power and that the governments current policies are not working.

Some of the key policies from the CPP manifesto “A new way forward, Ghana must work again” are as follows;

 

  • CPP are advocating increased state participation in the ownership of the oil and gas industry. Better auditing of the cost of exploration and development as well as improved monitoring of the output of the oil and gas.

 

 

  • Facilitate and support acquisition and utilisation of land by legislation for agricultural purposes, including fish, farming and ranching, with preference for local business.
    Support development of 200,000 hectares of sugar cane production in rotation with rice and soya bean within four years. This will provide more than 500,000 jobs in directly related industries and eliminate our protein deficit by providing a source of adequate animal feed.

 

 

  • A CPP Government will ensure the election of district chief executives within two years of coming into office. Abolish government appointees to the district assemblies
    Propose an increase of the District Assembly Common Fund from the current 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.

 

 

  • They propose to implement the Whistle Blower law, which encourages the public to report corrupt practices, Pass the Freedom of Information Bill (if still pending) as part of a broad legislative agenda to improve governance and fight corruption.
    Ensure compliance with the Constitution and advocate to put open public assert declaration at the heart of public service.

 

While not expected to challenge the candidates of the two main parties at the election, Dr Sakara has slowly established the CPP as the third party in Ghanaian politics. Thus after a strong showing in the IEA Presidential debates this election could be an opportunity to cement this status and possibly make further gains.

The more choice for Ghanaian voters only makes for a stronger democracy.  Will this year’s election be the springboard for the CPP to challenge the two main parties in the future?

Leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)