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Friday, February 12, 2010

Confidence in democracy dwindles in Ghana

Prof. Ken Attafuah
Prof. Ken Attafuah
Despite Ghana’s improvement in human rights, rule of law and democratic accountability, a recent Afro Barometer poll indicates that Ghanaians are gradually losing confidence in democracy.

A criminologist, Prof. Ken Attafuah, who made the revelation at a two-day seminar on e-voting spearheaded by the Danquah Institute in Accra on Monday, said this might be as a result of politically motivated violence that continues to mar the beauty of Ghana’s electoral processes.

“The recent Afro Barometer poll showed that whilst Ghanaians may favour democracy over all other forms of government, with 78% of Ghanaians stating that they prefer democracy to any other form of government, Ghanaians are less impressed with the tangible results it has delivered and their patience with democracy – that is those who think we should still give democracy a chance - has dropped from 80% in 2005 to 62% in 2009.”

In spite of that, Prof. Attefuah noted, Ghana’s ability to organize five successful elections and transfer power on two occasions has been celebrated all over Africa as a real beacon of hope, peace and democracy and political and economic stability.

Touching on the country’s road to democracy, he recalled that Ghana’s history has recorded “four major coup d’états, a horrible record of egregious human rights violations, large scale corruption and unwanted destruction of the economy that generated the debilitating levels of poverty and an exodus of biblical proportion”.

Prof. Attafuah who chaired day one of the two-day seminar, skewed his support towards the need to have e-voting system in Ghana since the current system has suffered a number of setbacks, including “contestations over the qualifications of registered voters, particularly the Ghanaianess and age of some voters arguments over the integrity of our electoral register and over the credibility of electoral outcomes continue to bedevil our elections”.

He believed the biometric system would ensure that only registered persons with matching thumbprint would be able to vote during elections, and reduce election-related problems.

The well attended programme had participants from various sectors of the society, including politicians from the various political parties in Ghana.

Story by Isaac Essel/myjoyonline.com

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