The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) has recommended that a separate entity be created to regulate political parties while the current Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) concentrates on running of elections in the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of an IDEG forum in Accra on Thursday, a research fellow at IDEG and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Joseph Atsu Aryee, explained that the EC is overwhelmed with a lot of functions, making it inefficient.
He attributed the EC’s failure to effectively execute its mandate to the lack of implementation of regulations, which have resulted from the fact that the EC is weighed down with a lot of functions.
“The EC is supposed to regulate the behaviour of the political parties in terms of even demanding that they present audited accounts,” Professor Atsu Aryee noted.
“The EC is unable to do that because it is saddled with a lot of responsibilities.”
Professor Atsu Aryee further proposed that the function of regulating political parties must be given to another institution which will be more effective, so that the EC can concentrate on the elections and the demarcation of electoral boundaries.
On election of Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), another senior research fellow with IDEG, Dr. Kwesi Jonah, said the process will help deepen the country’s democracy.
He added that it will promote greater transparency, accountability and improve the quality of MMDCEs.
“Accountability will improve. At the moment for most MMDCEs, all you have to do is to please the president because he appointed you, and he can also fire you. But if the people in the district elect you, you better listen to what they are saying because if you are not accountable to the people living in your district, that is your end, you are not going again.”
For both research fellows, the approach to appointing 30 per cent of the assembly members should be reviewed to bring in more experts and vulnerable groups.
“The argument about the 30 per cent is that those who are appointed must bring their expertise because what we are now seeing is that the 30 per cent is only backed by the party,” Professor Atsu Aryee said.
“Rather, we are using the 30 per cent to reward party members who contributed to victory in the campaign so it is not working. What we are suggesting is that abolish the 30 per cent system, set it aside for women and other disadvantaged groups,” Dr. Jonah said.