Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The second season of “The Challenge,” a British Council Education initiative promoting the UK as a destination for personal development was launched in Accra today with the choice of 12 contestants who would vie for prizes in scholarship and other personal development programmes worth more than £100,000.
“The Challenge” is a reality educational television programme where contestants who are young university graduates are taken through a combination of aptitude and mental tests, demonstrations of academic excellence, leadership competencies as well as character and creativity exercises.
A selection is then made to select the best three who will win prizes that include postgraduate studies at prestigious universities in the UK, and opportunities for employment in organisations in the UK and Ghana.
For the second season of the reality show, three thousand applications were received and out of the number one thousand young university graduates underwent aptitude tests, interviews and group debates for the selection of 24 semi-finalists.
The 12 finalists selected from the 24 comprised of seven females and five males and they will be adjudged by a 3-member scholarship committee, called “The Board” made up of renowned business leaders.
The 12 finalists are Akosua Gyan, Anastacia Arko, Araba Abakah-Turkson, Sandra Barimah, Samia Dane-Selby, Maliha Abubakari, Dorinda Quarshie, Joseph Opuku, Micheal Quaye, Emmanual Sackey, Enock Quaye and William Offei.
The Board, based on set criteria will nominate three contestants to be evicted over a twelve week period and five top contestants will contest in a grand finale to determine the winner of the grand prize of a full board postgraduate scholarship from the University of Westminster with a total value of £40,000, fully paid accommodation at an international students’ hostel, a monthly allowance and a return air ticket to the UK valid for a year as well as a new laptop computer.
On completion of the post-graduate course, the ultimate winner will return to Ghana to pick up a pre-arranged lucrative job placement and a car.
The two runner ups will receive a one-year post graduate scholarships and accommodation from London Metropolitan and Thames Valley Universities while a third runner up will revive scholarships from PMC to study for post-graduate ICT related programme administered jointly by IPC and the Greenwich University.
The Challenge will begin airing on GTV from March 1, 2009 and will be a weekly reality programme where the progress of the contestants will be tracked on life TV as they contest in several tasks.
At the launch, several eminent personalities commended the British Council, its partners and sponsors of the show, including the Westminster, London Metropolitan and Thames Valley universities of London, TiGO, Stratcom Africa, United Bank of Africa Ghana Limited (UBA), IPMC and several others.
The new minister for Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, highly commended the link that The Challenge sought to make between education and employment and asked other corporate organisations to follow the example and by that help government’s efforts at youth employment, while the British High Commissioner, Mr Nicholas Wescot, encouraged the finalists to endeavour to become the best even as a team of contestants.
“The best of the best are often those who work best with others,” he told them.
The Director of British Council, Mr Moses Anibaba, said The Challenge had won the British Council’s most innovative and creative programme award, while it had been aired on DSTV.



Some pressure groups have expressed their displeasure over the vetting process of some ministerial nominees.
They said they were particularly displeased with the way the nominee for the Ministry of Interior, Mr Muhammed Mumuni, was vetted and, therefore, asked the Appointments Committee of Parliament to further investigate him and other nominees, before coming out with its report.
The Coalition for Democratic Forces prior to the vetting, released a press statement that raised concerns about the eligibility of Mr Mumuni for the position of Minister of Interior because of some alleged arbitrary decisions he took while temporarily in charge of the Ministry of Interior allegations. They cited the extension of the Bawku curfew for instance.
Another organisation, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) also held a press conference to raise concerns about the Mr Mumuni, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Ms Hannah Tetteh and Ms Sherri Ayitey, nominees for the Interior, Communication, Trade and Industry as well as Science and Environment ministries respectively.
Mr Kwabena Bonfe of the AFAG as well as Ms Frances Assiam and Mr Micheal Wadea of the Coalition for Democratic Forces, in separate interviews were also displeased with the arbitrary conduct of the Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mr Doe Ajaho for disallowing the admission of an Auditor Generals report on Mr Mumuni during his tenure at the ______.
For Mr Bonfe, if the AG’s report, which was a statutory body, was inadmissible, then the same argument had to be made for all other reports submitted by groups like his to the committee.
He said the Auditor General‘s report was also a of more clout than a report emanating from any Commission of enquiry. In addition the AG was in fulfilment of its mandate always instituting enquiries into government business; its report could therefore not be disregarded by the Chairman of the Committee.
Ms Assima and Mr Wadie also expressed similar sentiments.
They however gave thumps up to nominees like Mr Mike Hammah, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, Ms Sena Dansua and several others who they said had performed creditably before the Appointments committee.
Meanwhile, another pressure group, the Coalition fot he Protection of Individual Liberties and Constitutional Rights (COPCOR), is contemplating a defamation suit against the AFAG and the Coalition for what they call impugning the character of some nomines.
The Secretary, Mr Abraham Ferguson, said although they were not against any concerns of the two organisations, they had an issue with the way and manner in which the two had resorted to the media rather than raising those concerns only before the Appointments Committee.
He said COPCOR had also had some concerns about some nominees and had submitted to the Committe those concerns but had not raised them in the public through the media.
In response, however, Mr Bonfe has asked them to proceed as a legal right as AFAG was only engaged in letting the public know the real issues on the eligibility of the nominees.
He said if they would be taken to the courts then the appointments committer should also be taken to teh courts as they were holding the vetting in public and raising those allegations in public.


Officials of Aqua Vitens Rand Limited say that calls for the abrogation of a management contract between itself and the government are not defensible since the company has shown success in three years of its operations in the country.
The General Manager Communications, Mr Sakyi-Addo, said such calls were sometimes due to a misconception of the management contract under which AVRL operated and a deliberate refusal by some to acknowledge the gains made by the company so far.
In an interview, Mr Sakyi-Addo, as well as the Communications Manager, Mr Stanley Martey, said AVRL, in three years of its operations in the country had posted increasing profits each year.
In 2005, when the company signed a management contract to operate water systems and ensure the efficient and effective production and distribution of water, billing and revenue collection on behalf of the state owned Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), AVRL recorded a profit of GHC1.9 million.
This increased to GHC13.4 million in 2007 and GHC20 million in 2008, making it a 121 percentage increase in operating surplus over the past two years.
“We’ve got figures that speak for themselves,” Mr Sakyi Addo stated.
The two however emphasised the fact that the profits made were given back to GWCL to invest in capital investments in the water sector, such as, the expansion of treatment plants and the laying of new pipes.
They said in three years of operations in the country, the company had successful delivered on all its key mandates.
For instance, apart from the surpluses posted, the company had been able to efficiently improve on its production and distribution of water.
Operational figures on non-revenue water, that is, water produced and distributed but not paid for had improved by about 49.6 per cent over the years.
They explained that in most instances non-revenue as not water that had gone waste but was used up by people.
However, illegal connections, the siphoning of water by some, among others, accounted for most non-revenue water, something AVRL was working at to redress.
Other successes, they mentioned, were the efficient use of power and chemicals that had ensured quality water and net operational surpluses for investment by GWCL.
On claims that the AVRL had imported used water meters from Holland, Messrs Sakyi-Addo and Martey, said the meters were free donations by subsidiaries of the company to Ghana.
They also refuted claims that calibrating the meters for Ghana’s specific needs might rather make customers pay more for water consumed.
“All new meters are calibrated to ensure that customers pay the right amount for the right volumes of water,” they said.



Some National Service Personnel have appealed to the government and the National Service Secretariat to pay allowances due them for the month of January.
They said their allowances were to be paid by January 26, this year, however, they did not receive anything in their accounts and that had put them in difficult circumstances as they have no money for their food and to pay their rent at their various service posts.
They said they had also had no communication from the Secretariat as to the reasons for the delays in the payment of their allowances.
While the service personnel suggested that the directive by the President for all payments to be suspended might be due to the delays in their allowances, some also contended that payment of service allowances were statutory and was not affected by the President’s directive.
Others close to the National Service Secretariat said a legal judgement against the government to pay Rockshell International Limited an amount of more than GHC700, 000 had resulted in the use of the allowances of service personnel to offset part of the judgement debt.
However, officials of the Bank of Ghana, who did not want to be mentioned, said the suggestion was not plausible as the debt was paid out of a contingency operational account.
Officials at the National Service Secretariat, on the other had while confirming that due to some challenges allowances could not be paid at the end of last month, would not say what these challenges were.
They added however that the challenges had been overcome and cheques had been signed to be lodged at the various banks for payments.


Ex-Parliamentarians say they are considering all options, including legal against President J. E. A. Mills for varying their end of service benefits.
Mr Abraham Osei Aidoo, an ex-parliamentarian in an interview with the Daily Graphic said President J. E. A. Mills by revising the end of service benefits of Parliamentarians had engaged in an unconstitutional act.
He said the determination of the end of service benefits of particular parliamentarians and a particular president was constitutionally set within a period of time where the tenure of the two run together or was coterminous.
Thus, the salaries of parliamentarians who served from 2001 to 2004 and 2004 to 2008, by the constitution had to be determined by the President who served within the same period, that is, President Kufuor and the salaries of President Kufour also had to be determined by the parliamentarians of the same period.
He said constitutionally, President J.E. A. Mills had no right determining or revising any allowances or payments due ex-parliamentarians whose tenure was not coterminous with his.



Mr Emile Short, the Human Rights Commissioner, has asked the government of President John Atta Mills to examine and implement recommendations of the Working Group of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
He has also asked the government to, as a matter of urgency, address issues relating to the rights of prisoners and corruption.
Mr Short who is the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said acting on the recommendations would be one of the first steps by the government to integrate human rights in all its activities during its tenure.
In an interview, Mr Short who in the country temporarily from his duty post at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said the recommendations given by the Council’s Working Group in May 2008, after a review of Ghana’s human rights record made 30 recommendations, of which 22 were accepted by Ghana.
These included reinforcing the campaign against discriminatory practices and violence against women and children, taking measures to eliminate harmful traditional practices, such as, trokosi and female genital mutilation (FGM) and the strengthening of judicial structures.
He said other recommendations were for the adoption of measures against corruption in the judiciary, more training and education for the police, courts and social services, while increased funding and better resourcing was recommended for CHRAJ, among others.
Mr Short spoke about the deplorable conditions of the country’s police cells and prisons that CHRAJ had for some time now called attention to.
He described the overcrowding, the incarceration of minors in prisons instead of juvenile institutions, the remand of prisoners who have been in custody for very long periods such as 14 years and the lack of proper medical facilities for inmates, as “troubling.”
He said these issues that had been frequently highlighted by CHRAJ again came up for discussion recently when the former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr Tsatsu Tsikata gave a personal account after he was pardoned and released from prison.
Although he said there had been some improvement over the years, much more needed to be done.
Mr Short reminded the government and Ghanaians that that the call for prisoners’ rights was based on the principle that while persons in detention were deprived of their personal liberty, their right to all other basic rights remained intact.
Particularly, they are entitled to basic human rights, such as, the right to human dignity, right to food, adequate shelter and access to medical facilities.
He said the view held by some segments of society that it was not worth spending scarce resources on improving the conditions of persons in detention was one that was misplaced and unacceptable in any civilized society.
Mr Short said what was required to address the problem of prisoners’ rights was a concerted strategy involving the government, the Attorney General’s Office, the Police and the Prisons service.
“Considerable improvement can be achieved in a relative short time if the will to do so exists,” he added.
On corruption, Mr Short said the government’s promise to strengthen the anti-corruption bodies was welcome.
He added, however, that the promise as important as it was only a step in the fight against the complex phenomenon of corruption.
What was needed in his view was a multi-pronged strategy involving all the stakeholders, namely the government, Parliament, the anti-corruption bodies, civil society and the business sector.
He said if the government wishes to confront the canker of corruption, it had to consider, as a first step, an examination of an Action Plan developed by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition in 2000 with a view to finalizing it into a national anti-corruption policy.
The action plan identified and prioritized six strategic objectives with immediately executory actions under some objectives.
The strategic objectives were to ensure full expression of the political will of government and stakeholders (private and civil society), to streamline key public institutions, improve public financial management systems, strengthen institutional and operational capacities of key oversight bodies, restore public confidence in institutions of law and order and involve civil society in anti-corruption strategies, institutional and economic governance.


Essential (SOCIAL)

Story: Caroline Boateng and Cara Fanning
Essential Services Platform (Platform) today reminded President John Evans Atta Mills of his promise to abrogate the contract of Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL) and asked him to fulfil that promise.
They said during one of the presidential debates prior to the December 7, 2008 election, President Mills categorically stated that he did not believe in the private sector providing water.
His sentiments, it said, was later reiterated by Ms Hannah Tetteh during an open forum held with the political parties.
Essential Services Platform brings together coalitions of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in water, sanitation, health, and education.
At a press conference key leaders of the Platform said the demand to abrogate the contract was because AVRL had not achieved targets set by the management contract under which they operated.
From a technical audit report of AVRL, an October 2008 report by AVRL and a World Bank Sixth Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) report of May 2008, the platform listed several challenges of the water sector.
Key was the fact that AVRL lacked the capacity to test for pesticides, lead, mercury and arsenic in water supply.
The Platform said delays in replacing old pipelines were a major source of the contamination of the water supplies in La which affected mostly the poor or disconnected, who were forced to use the contaminated water, as AVRL’s own report indicated.
It also argued that what clean water was provided was not enough as “only three pumps are available” at the Kpong pumping station, and the three pumps subject to extra routine maintenance because of problems with their electric motors.
Conditions at Weija station were worse, it said quoting the AVRL report which admitted to faulty technology at both the Kpong and Weija pumping stations.
Importantly, it also highlighted the fact that AVRL was using second hand water meters from Holland, which had to be repaired and set to the Ghanaian specifications and that so far only 5,417 of the 40,000 water meters were currently being worked on.
The Platform also criticises the disbursement of only $38.22 million of the $103 million provided by the World Bank for the Urban Water Project.
It was particularly concerned as the indicators for investment in water facilities in the rural water supply have shown a decline recently, according to the World Bank, and the intention of this money was to replace old pipelines and machinery in order to improve water production.
The “rapid accumulation of solid waste” in drains, alleyways, and road sides was also labelled a “health hazard” and a possible contributor to the cholera outbreak which has infected 1,034 people between August 2008 and January 2009 and taken the lives of 8 people.
It also brought to light the severe lack of improved toilet facilities and the connecting of toilets to drains.
The platform highlighted transportation of patients during referrals from one health facility to another and said that ambulance services had to be made a key service under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
On education, it said raging debate on the number of years for senior high school students was misguided.
What was important was the provision of extra teachers and building their capacity to take care of pupils regardless of the number of years spent in schools.
That would involve motivating teachers posted to towns and villages outside major cities in the country.
Other demands made were for the government to increase its investments in the essential services, such as, education, health, water and sanitation and for the NHIS to bear the cost of anti-retroviral drugs in fulfilment of pledges in the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) manifesto.



A security analyst, Dr Kwesi Aning, has said the clashes that happened in Agblobloshe on Tuesday in which 30 houses were razed to the ground was the result of an overflow of the negative sentiments of residents there aroused during the elections by politicians.
The clashes had other underlying factors, such as, youth unemployment and ethnic identities.
In an interview, Dr Aning said the campaigns for the 2008 election released “mega forces that encouraged people to use violence.”
“Unfortunately, political party leadership after the election have not been able to tell their people to pull back from the brink of violence, and the result is what is currently being witnessed.
Dr Aning who heads the Conflict Prevention, Management & Resolution Department (CPMRD) of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), said all the major political parties had in their behaviour, rhetoric and in their mobilisation of people, appealed not to the higher instincts of Ghanaians, but the base.
Once the political parties opened up the Pandora’s Box and let out a culture of violence, it then became impossible to reign in their people.
Dr Aning said it was very easy in appealing to the base instincts of supporters of political parties when the parties were campaigning for power.
Moreover, in the campaigns, political violence had been excused and people had rationalised of violent acts in so far as it was for political ends.
Dr Aning said it was time for politics to be delinked from violence and people to be impressed upon not to use violence as a solution to grievances.
He called on the government and the political parties to start a process of “honest, transparent and respectful dialogue” to allow parties in the Agboblohie conflicts to let out their grievances for resolution.
“What both parties are not accepting is the responsibility that they brought out of Ghanaians these base instincts during the election,” he added.
With the election over, there was the need for a holistic approach in resolving the conflict, having in mind the fact that the conflict had its basis in conflicts translated by some from certain parts of the country like the North to the area.
Dr Aning was of the view that the intensive peace initiatives embarked on by civil society organisations, governmental agencies and individuals prior to and during the election because of the heightened concern and awareness of conflicts in such areas prevented the eruption of clashes as people became conscious and did not want to be seen indulging in acts that disturbed the peace.
A research conducted by the CPMRD prior to the December 2008 election, identified Agbobloshie as one of the flash points with the potential for clashes, tension, violence and disruptive acts prior to, during and after the elections.



The Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies of the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof R. A. Ayee, has suggested that moral and ethical uprightness must feature in the standards for the vetting of ministerial appointees of the government.
Expertise, qualification and experience, he added, were other key standards that were needed in judging the nominees for their designated positions.
In an interview, Prof Ayee, was of the view that the ministerial position, apart from its functions of running the business of government, was also a position that mirrored the government and the naion as a whole.
It was therefore important for the moral and ethical lives of the nominees to be questioned to ensure that only those who could pass the test was approved to take up their post.
Prof Ayee added that for a country with a huge youth population, there was the need for ministers to be appropriate role models and hence morally and ethically upright.
In his view, all the nominees of the President, were on the face value “quite strong,” however, the onus was on Parliament to undertake due diligence and scrutinize them to ensure that Ghanaians benefited from only the best.
He said on standards of expertise, qualification and experience, a minister could be lacking in one but that should not be enough to disapprove of his or her nomination.
He said if a minister was lacking in experience, he or she could make up for that as there were experience administrators in the ministry.
Prof Ayee said although he was not expecting any deviation from past vetting exercises, where nominees were approved en masse despite questions on the qualification or expertise of some nominees, the vetting this time would be more rigorous because of the slim majority of the ruling National Democratic Congress Party (NDC) .
He explained that vetting exercises since the fourth republic had been undertaken without the due diligence and scrutiny expected by the people because all the four parliaments had had a majority membership from the ruling government.
It had resulted in the appointement committees approving of nominees that had questionable credentials.
He said the vetiing of ministers was in line with the responsibility of parliament in having an oversight role over the executive and suggested a thorough exercise this time.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the IMANI Center for Policy & Education , Mr Franklin Cudjoe, has also suggested the extension of the time for the public to provide information on nominees for the vetting exercise
He however added that the proceedings of the Appointments committee life on TV were important as it provided the public some disclosure of information on the nominees.
He said politicians tended to back themselves when they were in the wrong, judging from past vetting proceedings where questions had been raised on a nominee’s candidature, but but that nominee had been approved despite the questions raised.
He said it was therefore right for proceedings to be held life for all to be in the know on how their ministers were approved.



A Remote Sensing Expert, Dr Emmanuel Amamoo-Otchere, says the current intense weather conditions being experienced in the country is an opportunity for the adoption of environmentally friendly practices that would be to the benefit of all Ghanaians.
He said although the current intense harmattan conditions could either be due to ordinary changes in climatic conditions, or a part of the processes of climate change, Ghanaians had to plan on the assumption of both scenarios and adopt practices to lessen the adverse impact of any of the two.
For instance, Dr Amamoo-Otchere, said areas of low rainfall like the Winneba Plains, Gomoa Ekumfi and some areas along the coast, all experienced acute water shortages during the harmattan season.
That resulted in residents resorting to muddy and unclean water and that also brought about the incidence of the guinea worm disease.
Initiatives, he said, were needed to ensure that such areas did not experience such acute shortages of water in such seasons.
He proposed tree planting as one of such initiatives in very dry areas in the country.
Dr Amamoo Otchere deplored an emerging trend in the country were houses were constructed with glass, limiting free ventilation and compelling those who lived in them to resort to artificial ventilation like air conditioning.
He said generally, Ghana was a warm country, thus that practice of building houses with glass, only increased the country’s bill on electricity.
He said the opportunity of creating a low carbon economy, that is, the efficient use of energy that eliminates carbon emission into the atmosphere, could be achieved if education was undertaken particularly during times of intense weather conditions, on behaviour change.
Education on the right use of land and the right agricultural practices, among others, were important to make Ghana a low carbon economy.
He said there was a World Bank grant to help countries change their patterns of land use and become low carbon economies and Ghana could take advantage of that.
Meanwhile, a meteorologist of the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA), Mr Amos Narh has said the current intense harmattan conditions could persist for a month or two, with the possibility of a relaxation in the intensity over the weeks.
Despite the fact that some Ghanaians find the weather conditions intense, he said the current weather conditions were normal.
Mr Narh said the harmattan was evident in December, but it got intense just in the third week of January.
Sometimes the onset of the harmattan was outright, he explained, at other times, it came in strong, then there is a relaxation of the conditions, and this pattern could be repeated three times during the harmattan period.
With the current conditions, he said there could be periods of relaxation where some areas could have clouds and rains, but all that depended on the atmospheric pressure over the country.
Mr Narh said precautionary measures, had to be exercised by all particularly care in lighting fires in the bush as bush fires could easily result because the grass and foliage was dry and its aftermath devastating.
Drivers driving at dawn had to be cautious as visibility was poor, while fog lights needed to be used, he added.
Mr Narh explained that South West winds across the Sahara dessert, collected the desert sands from high pressure areas like North Africa to low pressure areas like Ghana and other West African countries, such as, Senegal, Nigeria, Burkina Fasso, and Niger.
That accounted for the haze in the atmosphere and the dusty conditions all around.
He said those prone to health challenges from dust, had to also take precaution when outdoors. Some simple measures that could be taken was the covering of the nosed to avoid excessive inhalation of dust.
He also suggested warm baths instead of cold and for all to keep was as harmattan conditions were times when there was an increase in coughs and colds.



The National Identification Authority (NIA) says it has not suspended the mass registration exercise as reported in the Saturday, January 16, 2008 issue of the Daily Graphic.
The Executive Secretary, Prof Kenneth Attafuah and the Head of Public Relations, Ms Bertha Dzeble responding to the article said the mass registration exercise was not on hold but merely delayed to enable the NIA undertake the necessary logistical mobilisation for the next exercise which will start in the Volta Region.
They said all officials recruited for the registration exercise and the mobile registration work station (MRWs) operators were currently on stand-by to get into the field.
The NIA is yet to set the date for the exercise in the Volta Region, pending the release of funds for the exercise from the government, Prof Attafuah added.
They expressed displeasure at the article, as it created the erroneous impression that the NIA had taken the decision to suspend the exercise when that was not so.
They also said the commencement of the exercise was in no way tied to the transition period, but merely delayed due to the fact that the compilation of the necessary information on the previous exercise undertaken in the Eastern Region to effect payment of allowances had delayed.
That had to be effected and money released for the next exercise in the Volta Region.
We will just be delayed by days, and we will make up for it on the field, Prof Attafuah said.


THE Acting Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Prof Kofi Quashigah, says retaining the independence of critical constitutional institutions with key functions in democracy, was the principal objective why the constitutional assembly decided on permanent tenure for such heads.
Putting term limits on the tenure of the heads of such institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Judicial Service, in his opinion, could affect the independence of the head as well as the institution.
In an Interview, Prof Quashigah said for instance, “a six year two term arrangement, overlapping Parliament’s” for the Chairman of the EC as suggested by ex-President J. A. Kufuor in his farewell Speech to Parliament on January 5, 2009, could pose challenges
A Chairman of the Commission knowing his tenure was going to expire could bow to inducement of a lucrative retirement from the executive in the exercise of his or her functions.
On the extension of the tenure of the President to a five year term renewable once, Prof Quashigah said it was time for the country in its quest to entrench democracy, to focus on building strong institutions and systems rather than focusing on the heads of such institutions.
He said President Kufuors suggestion assumed that the implementation of good policies depended solely on one person.
The suggestion did not make room for the continuity in good policies in the country which was provided for in the 1992 constitution by the establishment of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
“We must all begin to strengthen institutions based on democratic principles so that when we are not there things will move on,” he said.
He said article 86 of the Constitution which established the NDPC made it a duty on all political parties; to make their specific political agenda, on which they campaigned on, conform to the national aspirations of Ghanaians.
On indications of Ghana becoming a two party state from the last general elections, in which the two dominant parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had the most parliamentary seats and later had to contend in a presidential run-off, Prof Quashigah said although the Constitution clearly intended the country to have multi party system, in practice, Ghana could in the future become a two party state.
He said if in practice the country ended up with a strong party and other smaller ones that would not detract from the constitution.
The fundamental principle was the ability for people to choose, as a single party clearly indicated dictatorship, something the constitution clearly prohibited.
On political party financing, he proposed a system of financing that would support the intention of a multi party system of the constitution.
He suggested a funding plan that would incorporated the size of parties as well as their ability to mobilise resources and funds as some of the yardsticks for the distribution of resources.
Such a funding plan, he said, would also make the political parties accountable.
Prof Quashigah proposed changes to the balloting system in the country’s electoral process.
He asked for the country to critically speed up the National Identification System or devise a method of balloting like the E-zwich application that could deal decisively with the challenges of balloting fraud, as that issue had been the cause of tense moments in the country in the past election.