The Catholic bishops of Ghana have asked the country’s election commission to register all eligible voters and to work to ensure confidence in the accuracy of the voter registry. They also urged Ghana’s government to provide the necessary resources and logistics to the electoral commission to update the voter registry.
They hoped and prayed that all stakeholders, especially political parties, will be honest and truthful in helping the Electoral Commission “conduct a fair, transparent and honest exercise to win the confidence of the Ghanaian public in the register and the electoral process as a whole.”
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference discussed election issues in a statement on the voter’s registry. Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong, the conference president, signed the statement, the Catholic News Agency for Africa reports.
The voter registry compiled in 2012 recorded about 14 million voters out of 25 million citizens. Some critics have said the count of registered voters is too high relative to the current population of Ghana. Concerns also include the registration of voters younger than the voting age of 18, and the presence of non-citizens on the voter registration.
They noted allegations that more than 76,000 names of people from neighboring countries have been found on Ghana’s voter rolls. If allegations about voter registration flaws are true, the bishops said, “it will be necessary to have a new Voters’ Register to enable people to have confidence in the electoral process.”
Ghana’s bishops acknowledged the difficulties of maintaining a voter’s registry. They advised better education on voter registration and better training for voter registration personnel. They also called for more transparency in identifying and verifying registered voters.
Politics of Ghana takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Ghana is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. The seat of government is at Golden Jubilee House. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and Parliament.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana announced that former Vice President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama won the Ghana presidential election, 2012 on 7 December 2012 and he was sworn in as the reigning President of Ghana on 7 January 2013 to serve a four-year term that expires on Saturday, 7 January 2017.
Ghana was ranked 7th in Africa out of 53 countries in the 2012 Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African government, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens.
The constitution that established the Fourth Republic provided a basic charter for republican democratic government. It declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. Intended to prevent future coups, dictatorial government, and one-party states, it is designed to establish the concept of power-sharing. The document reflects lessons learned from the abrogated constitutions of 1957, 1960, 1969, and 1979, and incorporates provisions and institutions drawn from British and American constitutional models. The Constitution calls for a system of checks and balances, with power shared between a president, a unicameral parliament, a council of state, and an independent judiciary.
Ghana will hold its next general elections in 2016.
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