CODEO, CFI back calls for electoral reforms

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) have back calls for reforms in Ghana’s electoral system.

At a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, the civil society groups indicated that steps towards reform must begin now since there was not enough time between now and 2016 – when the next general elections would be held.

Speaking to Joy News’ Joseph Gapko, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Secretary of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and member of the Civic Forum Initiative, said there was the need to strengthen the country’s electoral institutions in particular.

“[The Electoral Commission] has done a terrific job, but also there are weaknesses that ought to be addressed, administratively, and I think they [Electoral Commission] themselves will take lead of that,” he stated.

He noted that discussions must start about issues such as party financing and whether national and local governance elections should be held together.

“There are issues but we want to open the space for conversation then we can choose that which can be done within the shortest possible time to move us forward; others can be done incrementally”, said Dr Akwetey.

Although some individuals have said it was too early to propose reforms as details of the judgement by the nine Supreme Court Justices who heard the just ended 2012 Presidential election petition is yet to be scrutinised, Dr Akwetey debunked such assertions.

“Remember that after every election…before the next one there are reforms. So we didn’t have to go to court for reforms to take place. The reform agenda has already been set,” he noted.

He however admitted that the judgements could prescribe certain changes because it has the force of law, hence the court “can shape attention, and define the direction we should be going”.