Tag: Ghanaian Politics


Ghana Elections: NPP to challenge NDC win

NPP & Akufo Addo aim to have final say on election result…

 

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Well we all knew what was coming as soon as the NPP (National Patriotic Party) refused to accept the results declared by the Election commission on 09 December.  Thus on 28 December 2012 the NPP (National Patriotic Party) finally filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge President John Mahama’s victory in the election earlier in December.

The NPP believed the election results were rigged in favor of incumbent President Mahama who they claimed colluded with some officials of the EC to manipulate the results. After analysing the data from 26,000 polling stations the party found irregularities such as cases of over voting and instances when people not registered by the new biometric finger-printing system were able to vote. Lastly the NPP had calculated that there were 1.34 million extra votes cast, which if withdrawn from the final tally would make Mr Akufo-Addo the winner.

Nana Akufo-Addo said it had not been an easy decision to go ahead with the challenge, but the evidence submitted was “mind-blowing and came as a shock even to sceptics in the party”.  He alongside Mahamudu Bawumia, his running-mate and Jake Otanka Obetsebi- Lamptey, chairman of the NPP filed the petition at the supreme court against the president-elect, John Dramani Mahama, the EC Chairman Kwadwo Afari- Gyan; and the EC itself.

When I initially thought about the ramifications if the NPP’s allegations are proved to be true, I could not help but think how damaging this petition may be to Ghana’s reputation as a tolerant and free democracy. However at the same time the fling of the petition shows democracy in operation with the NPP respecting the parameters of the constitution and filing the petition in accordance with the law. Moreover since rejecting the result the NPP have not sought to create unrest within the electorate but have remained calm and confident in collating their “mind blowing evidence”.

It remains to be seen whether the NPP have enough evidence to get the result overturned. The fact that international election observers described the poll as free and fair makes it seem unlikely. However if fraud is proven it will raise serious questions about the integrity of the Electoral Commission and its role in future elections. Whatever the outcome though, the Ghanaian electorate can be proud that they played an honest part in a peaceful election.

It is estimated the election challenge case is expected to be heard in three weeks. Meanwhile President Mahama is expected to be sworn into office on 7 January 2013.

Leave any comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

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

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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)

MeFiRi Ghana’s Political Corner…

Here is the fifth edition of Political Corner:

‘SUMMIT’

 

Eight Ghanaians are scheduled to attend the forthcoming G8 Summit,

Attending the Global Agriculture and Food Security to ensure crops don’t plummet.

While at the event, the representatives will promote food security,

Strengthening the relationship between Ghana at the G8 to avoid obscurity.

Mr Fenton Sands, Senior Food Security Officer of the USAID,

Told Accra journalists Ethiopian and Tanzanian personnel will also be at the committee.

He said Ghana was chosen because she had become a ‘welcome’ country to investors,

Being highly noted for her stability, dependability and a lack of regime protesters.

Madam Marjorie Valerie Abdin, First VP of Federation of Associate of Ghanaian Exporters,

Said she hoped to return with “solid contracts” to assist within the Ghanaian quarters.

The focus of discussion by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and its political charmers,

Will be maize, soya and cassava, which Madam Valerie said were mainly grown by rural farmers.

Mr John Awuku Dziwornu, a farmer from Asutuare in the Dangme West District of Greater Accra,

Said “we need to know who is working elsewhere, to improve upon our own way” by far.

He said the area was made up of small scale farmers who produced maize,

So it was encouraging that USAID was partnering with the government to improve its ways.

And that’s the latest MeFiRi Ghana Political Poetry.

To read more of Anthony Lyrics’ poetry follow him on Twitter @AnthonyLyrics and check out his website http://www.checkmyflow.co.uk

By Anthony Lyrics

Language mistranslation or…

Lost In Translation

 

In the ‘90s when the airwaves was liberalised in Ghana, scores of private radio stations sprung up as a consequence. With talk shows everywhere, people who had been unable to publicly express their views now had an avenue to make their thoughts known. Peoples’ views on the radio were raw and unchecked. But we could allow that to pass, but only for a period of time. People had just been given that freedom, so it was understandable people would initially abuse it.

Fast forward to 2012 and politicians and “social commentators” (whatever the hell that job title is!), have not improved their decorum on radio one single bit. Apart from parading themselves as experts on every issue under the sun, their choice of words shows very little respect for each other and their listeners, and the issues they discuss are petty. They are constantly on radio at each other’s throat, and they tend to speak in a combination of English and Twi. Now that’s a very deadly combination when you think of the dangers of improper translation of words and phrases and the consequences it brings.

Not long ago a politician made pronouncements on radio that the law enforcement authorities deemed to amount to treason and was charged as such. Various supporters of this politician thronged the HQ of the Ghana Police and got in a scuffle with the law enforcers. This is not an issue you would expect people to be fighting over. It’s one for the law to decide if he’s guilty or not. I tried to understand why the supporters would go fight the police like it would cause them to release this politician.

I wanted to understand the supporters, so I used a method I’ve found quite effective. I engaged a couple of taxi drivers in conversation over a period. Three different taxi drivers from Osu to Ofankor Barrier. They all had their radios on and this particular issue was under discussion. I asked all three the same question. So why was this politician arrested? The first and third driver shocked me with their answers. They told me the politician had said if people keep beating up supporters of the opposition parties it would cause a civil war in Ghana! They argued many other politicians had said words to this effect and had not been arrested so why has this man been held up in custody? This was what had infuriated supporters to rebel against the law enforcement authorities.

But that was hardly the charge against this politician. Do I blame the supporters? Yes! But I do blame these “social commentators” even more. They have unwittingly incited people into violence. They had translated “I declare war”- from the words this politician is said to have uttered, which was “there would be war” in Twi!! These people on radio have created a very volatile situation for violence to occur with their loose translation. As the news passes from one person to the other, the meaning of the treasonable words uttered has been entirely changed. This is dangerous, especially in an election year. I would hate to wake up one morning see Ghana appear on BBC or Sky News for all the wrong reasons. Let’s watch how we translate words in-between the languages we speak.

By Maclean Arthur