Since returning to democratic governance over two decades ago, competitive elections have been salient features of Ghana’s multi-party politics. Regular elections between competing political parties and candidates have been the dominant method of choosing representatives to the legislature and composing the government.
It is in the light of the above that President Akufo-Addo has congratulated the winners of the New Patriotic Party’s just-ended parliamentary primaries in areas where the party has sitting Members of parliament. In a notice yesterday, January 28, 2024 the President said “We have elected a good blend of experienced and youthful parliamentary candidates whom I warmly congratulate.”
He expressed confidence that elected candidates would “help secure a majority for the NPP in the 9th Parliament of the 4th Republic and help return an NPP presidential candidate into office on 7th January 2025.”
The president extended his warm congratulations to the rank and file of the party, and applauded all stakeholders – the national, regional, constituency, electoral area and polling station executives of the party, the Electoral Commission, the security services and the media for a job well done.
The Chronicle also congratulated the NPP for a peaceful primary. The NPP’s decision to hold primaries for Members of Parliament demonstrates the party’s commitment to internal democracy. By allowing party members to participate in the selection of their candidates, the NPP has set a positive precedent for political engagement and inclusivity.
Over the years, the NPP has adopted internal party reforms to ensure democratic practices and operations. The reforms include widening the electoral base of the party in the selection of candidates, simultaneous conduction of polls across constituencies, and restriction of candidates eligible for elections.
This has helped to reduce the rancour associated with parliamentary primaries and has gone a long way in consolidating democracy with a peaceful conduct of the primaries
As the December 7, 2024 national elections approach, it is crucial to emphasise the need for an open and transparent electoral process that upholds the spirit of democracy. Ghana has a long-standing tradition of peaceful transitions of power and it is crucial to maintain this reputation. To achieve this, several key factors must be considered.
The Electoral Commission must ensure that all steps, from voter registration to the announcement of results are conducted openly and with integrity. Political parties should also play their part by promoting transparency within their ranks and holding their members accountable for any misconduct.
Also, access to accurate and unbiased information is vital for voters to make informed decisions. Media organizations, civil society, and political parties should work together to provide citizens with comprehensive and balanced coverage of political campaigns, manifestos, and debates.
We believe that ensuring a secure and peaceful environment during elections is crucial for citizens to exercise their democratic rights without fear or intimidation. The government, security agencies and all stakeholders must collaborate to prevent any form of violence, electoral fraud, or voter suppression. It is essential to create an atmosphere that encourages participation and respects the will of the people.
Upholding the principles of democracy, transparency, accountability, equal access to information, and a peaceful environment are crucial for a successful and credible election. Let us embrace these values and work together to ensure a bright and prosperous future for Ghana.