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Peace Council advocates national forum to chart electoral reforms process
From: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com          Published On: September 13, 2013, 14:52 GMT
 
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Peace Council advocates national forum to chart electoral reforms process

Some members of the National Peace Council


Following criticisms by the opposition New Patriotic Party that the Electoral Commission lacks the credibility to lead the process for electoral reforms, the National Peace Council is advocating a national forum to chart the process.

There have been calls by civil society groups and recommendations by the Supreme Court judges for anomalies in the country’s electoral system to be corrected before the 2016 polls.

The Electoral Commission itself has invited proposals from political parties and organizations, but former Finance Minister under the John Agyekum Kufuor administration, Yaw Osafo Maafo says no meaningful results will be achieved if the EC is made to lead the reforms.

He said this when the members of the National Peace Council, Coalition for Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and the Civic Forum Initiative, called on Nana Akufo-Addo to congratulate him for his acceptance of the supreme court ruling.

Mr Osafo Maafo who is a leading member of the NPP is blaming the Electoral Commission for the malpractices that took place in some polling stations during last year’s elections.

Joy News' Elton John Brobbey who was with them reported that Mr Osafo Maafo said the issue at stake is too big and serious to be left in the hands of the Electoral Commission.

He further pointed out that the testimony given by the EC Boss, Dr. Afari Gyan, during his cross examination in the election petition, raises a lot of issues and there is even the need for the appointment of the EC boss to be looked at to give more credibility and trust to the office.

Nana Akufo-Addo said, the question about who or which body should lead the electoral reforms which was one of the recommendations by the Supreme Court judges, should be discussed to inform a national decision.

He is of firm conviction that tensions which usually characterize elections in Ghana could minimize if democratic governance is further deepened in the country.

The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante announced, plans are in motion to organize a national dialogue that would come up with a national agenda.

He said when this is adopted, it will be mandatory on all governments regardless of the party in power to follow and implement.

The idea is to allow for continuity in key areas like education, health; the economy among others, he stated.

Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey says Civic Forum Initiative will hold similar discussions with President John Mahama towards the realization of this goal.


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