Let’s Find Hope in the Debacle


Let’s Find Hope in the Debacle

Ghana’s democracy has come under scrutiny with the opposition NPP’s contest of the election result itbelieves was tilted to favor the ruling NDC’s John Dramani Mahama who was sworn in as president on January 7

The opposition’s decision to go to court for justice has been met variously by Ghanaians as gratuitous and an exercise in futility. Naturally, the NPP believes in the justness of its cause and has produced copious evidence it claims would clinch its case for it. Leaders of the NPP have in the meantime admonished their young exuberant members to eschew violence as the case is adjudicated. The party boycotted the inauguration of the president in protest.

We at Amandla feel that the NPP’s recourse to a peaceful resolution is commendable. In some African countries disputed election results have been cause for civil war and death. In Ivory Coast, a civil war ensued after the electoral authorities chose to reverse the results in favor of the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo. In a country already fractured by a civil war, the decision was cause for another war. In Kenya a similar incident in 2005 resulted in the death of about a thousand people. The distrust that was engendered in both countries has not subsided.

Elections are a major feature of democracy. Unfortunately, no country, not even the advanced democracies, can claim immunity from election malpractices. In some countries, ballot boxes are snatched away and stuffed or ballot boxes are stuffed before they arrive at the polling station. Sometimes too electoral officials accept bribes to rig on behalf of one competing party. In advanced democracies, gerrymandering can sway election results in favor of a particular party. In 2012, the Republican Party in the United States resorted to the courts to disenfranchise some Americans, particularly minorities. In Britain some minority neighborhoods in the country’s cities were ignored by the electoral authorities during the elections of 2010. The sophistry of the methods does not make any difference in the attempts to defraud voters. The only difference between Africa and the advanced countries is the methods and the repercussions. They would not go to war in the US or England but in Africa it can be a war or a coup d’état.

The NPP has already made it clear that it would abide by the Supreme Court’s decision. We believe it would. We believe too that the NDC join the NPP to heed the decision reached by the judges.

Amandla expects that notwithstanding the outcome of the litigation, it should go a long way to restore sanity into further elections in Ghana. It has the potential to embolden and revitalize Ghana’s democracy.  Like all Ghanaians, we expect a swift, transparent and a just adjudication of the matter to bring relief to all parties.

Posted by on Jan 15 2013. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply