Speaker courts legislators for review of Ghana’s electoral law

7th-parliament_-38Ghana’s newly sworn in Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye, is rallying support of his members for a review of the country’s electoral law with the view to sanitise the system.
Though the West African nation has one of the best democratic regimes and electoral system in the African region, the Speaker believes it still has a lot to learn from other nations with respect to their electoral laws.
“Honourable members, I challenge [you] respectfully, to help improve our laws on elections. We have a lot to learn from others, including Kenya who learnt the hard way after brutal post elections civil war,” he urged the members in his acceptance speech.
Prof Ocquaye who took over the Speakership under the seventh Parliament of the fourth republic, which was inaugurated Saturday dawn, specifically questioned aspect of the law that allows any two registered voters to vouch for a person whose age or nationality is in dispute.7th-parliament_-46“Why should our law allow any two adults who are registered to vote, to stand in for a person whose age or nationality you cannot really vouch for?” he asked.
He added: “If you do not stand loco parentis [in the place of a parent], how do you tell the age of the person?”
The 72-year-old veteran politician-cum-lawyer has thus underscored the need to define a small category of people who can guarantee for persons whose age or nationality is challenged.
He said Ghana has to follow the ways of Kenya, noting, “They enacted the electoral offences Act. We only have to read it and be inspired. We should copy it and improve upon it”.
That, he argued, would bring sanity into Ghana’s electoral system to satisfy everyone irrespective of the party one belongs to.
Meanwhile, the House has suspended proceedings of its first sitting to 8:00am Saturday at the Independence Square at which event the country’s next president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will be sworn into office for his first four-year term.
Nana Akufo-Addo beat competition from six other contestants to win the December 7, 2016 presidential election having lost on two consecutive times in 2008 and 2012.
He secured 5,716,026 votes [53.85%] to win power from former President John Mahama who was seeking a second four-year term. Former President Mahama garnered 4,713,277 votes [44.40%]
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

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