Ghana

Obama’s Shadow on Ghana’s Elections

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=261139

Interesting piece from George Ayittey. I have often found some of his speeches and writings too idealistic with no concrete ways to proceed but this is a piece well-written that elicits a lot of thought, no matter your stance.

Highlight of article: “Ghana is bigger than John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo.” Ghana does not belong to the NDC nor the NPP. John Mahama garnered only 50.7 percent, meaning nearly half the people did not vote for him. And not all those who did not vote for him are NPP. This is not a NDC versus NPP issue. It is the future of Ghana as a nation, which is at stake. Therefore, whatever we do today must be done right for the sake of our country, its reputation, our children and future generations.”

My take: It is high time we formulated a National Agenda like other countries. In that vein, all political parties prioritize Ghana above the politics, even if their approaches to the national agenda vary slightly (sort of like American’s partisan politics. In as much as their approaches to policies differ,  there is a National Agenda – An American Dream, that is prioritized above all the bi-partisanship).

What I disagree with: I am not too sure I agree with him when he says the EC should not have declared the results until all issues of fraud were cleared up. This is because, it is obvious the NPP was going to place an injunction on the EC and I don’t think it necessary that the EC, as an independent body, kow-tows to an injunction by any political party despite the circumstances, and especially given the verification and presence of other observatory bodies like CODEO and ECOWAS. Let’s just let the courts decide in peace …

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2 thoughts on “Obama’s Shadow on Ghana’s Elections

  1. I read this article when he wrote it and you’ve put up my exact sentiments. From his TED talk to a lot of his very long articles, I’ve always thought he was just angry, grumpy and like you said, overly idealistic. In this piece, I agreed with the call to prioritize Ghana over any party. But I can’t imagine the state of the country had the inauguration been moved to June or so. It would have just kept the country in an unnecessary tensed state. With that done, people can stop the unproductive arguments, move their minds elsewhere and get to productive work. But above all, the independence of the EC should always be upheld. Until proven so by the courts, I think as country-people it’ll be very wrong for us to go about bashing the EC and its commissioner. I hear comments and it’s as if they’ve forgotten it’s the same EC that run elections since 1992, and the same EC running elections in 2016 and beyond. Ghana over partisanship should translate to confidence in national institutions, police, courts, etc. I’m not saying such institutions haven’t given reasons to doubt their credibility, but Ghana first. No?

    • Exactly. Postponing the inauguration would have kept Ghana in limbo, with Mahama still feeling like a “substitute president”. It would have crippled the government from direct action, especially given the very limited space of 4 years they have to effect positive change. In fact,critics make the political assumption that by the 3rd year of rule, no new projects are implemented because the second-term of the ruling party is uncertain. We have witnessed too many unfinished projects in this nation as a result of a different government taking over and the incumbent government giving the excuse of time. So let’s give Mahama the time he has won, for we are leaving no room for excuses! 🙂

      Your statements about the EC are spot on. I am just interested in seeing how all this drama plays out and the effect it has on consequent elections.

      However, looking on the bright side, it is great that this experience has tested our institutions. This will be nothing new to them in the near future. And as you assert, I hope it truly does build confidence in our national institutions.

      Thanks for the thoughts! Profound.

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