Prof. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi
The former Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana) has challenged the new Electoral Commission (EC) leadership to reduce the cost per voter for the country.
Prof. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi noted that the unjustifiably high per voter cost of Ghana’s general elections pegged at $12.03 per voter in 2016 was expensive.
Delivering this year’s Kronti ne Akwamu Lectures in Accra Thursday, he observed that Ghana’s election cost more than Nigeria [$9.33], Tanzania [$5.15], Uganda [$4] per voter during their last general elections.
“I daresay that at this price, one day it may literally be impossible for Ghana to hold elections,” he said.
He believes the cost per voter is one of the obstacles to inclusive democratic representation within the election management body itself.
Prof Gyimah-Boadi threw a challenge to the new leadership at the EC to reduce the cost of Ghana’s election by about half in 2020. He said this should not be difficult to do since some countries have done it.
Jean Mensah is the new EC Chair
One of the co-founders of Afro-barometer, also noted that electoral outcomes and confidence of Ghanaians are tarnished by perceived integrity gaps in the EC.
“It is telling that some 20 months after the 2016 elections, the EC has yet to offer any validation of its claim of over-voting in Ashanti Region nor has it produced confirmation that its computer servers were compromised – claims used to justify the delay in announcing the official results of the presidential polls.
“Not to mention the jaw-dropping procurement and financial management breaches at the EC captured in the Chief Justice’s panel, and Auditor General report citing double claims by the Commission,” he noted.
Prof Gyimah-Boadi also wants answers on reports of officials of the Commission being paid ¢5 million in cash by a political party for the conduct of its internal elections.
“All of this smack of a culture of self-service rather than public service. In sum, in the area of government of the people, what we appear to be getting in Ghana’s 4th Republic is, for the most part, a govt of professional politicians, political entrepreneurs and political propagandists and agitators, a class of people that is predominantly male and white collar,” he said.
Listen to the lecture: