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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ghana Supreme Court Has Spoken


Elections are a means of regulating political rivalries in the broader interest of the nation. As the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security highlighted in its 2012 report, the importance of elections with integrity lies in the legitimacy they confer on the winners and the security they ensure for the losers. Democracy is not about winner-takes-all politics; it is about the winner serving all his or her people and shoring up the rule of law.

The winner has to be given a chance to lead, and the losers have to find their rightful place in opposition, keeping the government in check and preparing rival policies to present to the electorate the next time round. 

In 1957, Kwame Nkrumah said, “We are prepared to pick it (Ghana) up and make it a nation that will be respected by every nation in the world.” Let us live up to Kwame Nkrumah’s aspirations today and show the world what we are capable of.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Call to Stop The Sycophancy

A group calling itself the Concerned People and Executives of the ruling National Democratic Congress within Tema metropolis, says it will resist any attempt to reinstate dismissed Chief Executive for the area, Kemps Ofosu-Ware.

A release issued on Wednesday by Kingsley Dotse Mensah for and on behalf of some members of the Assembly as well as some executives of the three constituencies in the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, described as "poor", the quality of leadership exhibited by the dismissed Mayor.

Kemps Ofosu-Ware is among 33 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives relieved of duty by president John Mahama after serving their four year mandate. Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Akwasi Opong-Fosu subsequently directed Regional Ministers to act in their stead pending approval of newly nominated MMDCEs.

However, Greater Accra Chairman of the ruling NDC, Joseph Ade Coker is unhappy at President Mahama’s appointments of Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs) and District Chief Executives (DCEs) in the capital.

"We believe that as a regional party, we have to make some inputs regarding the nomination or re-nomination of MCEs and DCEs in the region", Mr Ade Coker told Joy News.

But Mr. Ade Coker's reaction has been deemed by some party supporters in the region as a well-groomed plot by the leadership of the party to get the outgoing mayor reappointed.

"The bad leadership and personal character traits of Kempes Ofosu Ware simply served as a catalyst for the National Democratic Congress not getting a single seat in the metropolis, notable among which is the very seat he personally contested and lost by 3 votes although the president who doesn’t stay with the people here won in that same constituency by an overwhelming 2000+ margin".

They accused Mr. Kemps Ofosu-Ware of demonstrating "lack of understanding or consideration to the myriad of problems confronting the good people of Tema through his misplacement of priorities on projects and programmers".

"A typical example of this waste is a set of “Azonto” dancers he has personally erected with hundreds of thousands of cedis around the TDC traffic light while our mothers suffer from unbearable stench in our markets," the statement claimed.

The statement therefore appealed to the president to nominate a level headed replacement within the shortest time frame, to bring some sanity and confidence to the now vacant office and government in general"

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ghana Supreme Court To Be Fair

Ghanaians  has called on Supreme Court judges adjudicating the election petition to be fair and thorough in their examination of the facts, being presented before them by parties in the case.
Even though 24 million populations in Ghana are confident in the independence and credibility of the court, they believes a fair and thorough examination of all facts will lead to an impartial adjudication of the competing claims before the court.

A commodities boom, abundant foreign currency reserves, a democratically elected government and a new generation of educated young people endowed with huge potential. Sounds familiar? I am actually describing the Ghana of 1957.

It is perhaps hard for young people today to imagine how optimistic my generation was at the time of independence. Ours was one of the richest countries in Africa.

Like today, our raw materials were in high demand. Our national income was comparable to South Korea’s and our prospects were among the best in what was then called the “under-developed world.”

Yet, 30 years later, South Korea's annual income per head had risen to 10 times that of Ghana’s. It eventually joined the club of rich nations while we hope to become a “middle-income” country only by 2015. Our early hopes were dashed by exclusionary politics, poor economic management and corruption, which created and perpetuated political instability.

Since then, we have steadily regained lost economic ground and become a stable democracy, organizing a series of credible elections, leading to peaceful transfers of power. We can be proud of these achievements. Once again, Ghana’s youth is full of hope in the future. 

With oil coming on stream, and strong exports of other commodities, our economy is growing at a vigorous eight per cent and we have a second chance to raise Ghana into the world’s premier league within a generation.

But for this upbeat scenario to come true this time, we must not score own-goals”. We have to invest the revenues from our natural resources and agriculture into health, education and infrastructure for the benefit of all Ghanaians. We must make the most of our second chance, for we do not know whether there will be a third.

It is against this backdrop that Ghana awaits the momentous ruling of the Supreme Court on last December’s presidential election. The court has already won plaudits for its rigorous and professional work over the past months. The very uncertainty of the outcome speaks to the independence and credibility of the court.

What matters most is that its ruling be based on a thorough and fair examination of all the facts, leading to an impartial adjudication of the competing claims before the court.

The ball will soon be back in the politicians’ court. The successful party must overcome the temptation to gloat, and the other side must avoid the urge to cast doubt on the court and its decision. Succumbing to either impulse would be reckless and unworthy of responsible democratic leaders, and indeed of the people of Ghana, whose prospects depend on continued political stability. 

I am confident that the election dispute can be resolved peacefully through our institutions - provided the main parties respect the findings of the Court. Such an outcome will not only burnish our democratic credentials, but also bolster the hopes of a nation for a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow. 

As the chairman of the African Union panel that mediated a settlement to the post-election violence in 2007/2008, I was impressed by how responsibly Kenyans handled the uncertainties that came out of their last elections in March. The political parties were at pains to discourage violence by their supporters. 

Elections are a means of regulating political rivalries in the broader interest of the nation. As the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security highlighted in its 2012 report, the importance of elections with integrity lies in the legitimacy they confer on the winners and the security they ensure for the losers. Democracy is not about winner-takes-all politics; it is about the winner serving all his or her people and shoring up the rule of law.

The winner has to be given a chance to lead, and the losers have to find their rightful place in opposition, keeping the government in check and preparing rival policies to present to the electorate the next time round. 

In 1957, Kwame Nkrumah said, “We are prepared to pick it (Ghana) up and make it a nation that will be respected by every nation in the world.” Let us live up to Kwame Nkrumah’s aspirations today and show the world what we are capable of.