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Actually, the original caption of this column was “Cutting Ghana’s Political Coat According to America’s Size”; for the subject at stake here is both literal and metaphorical, and it has to do with the shameless copycatting of things American by the cognitively conflicted leaders of our self-proclaimed faux socialist-oriented government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Indeed, the very decision, in the lead-up to the 1992 Fourth-Republican general election, to constitutionally schedule the latter event exactly a month after a similar occurrence here in the United States, was in of itself an inexcusably embarrassing act of creative inertia.
And for the leaders of a party that had studiously, albeit quixotically, ranged itself ideologically antithetical to the United States, it was at once both amusing and quaint, to speak much less about the inescapably absurd. It was absurd because it also demonstrated a palpable sense of diffidence.
And now for reasons that are clearly not what their lead architects would have the rest of Ghanaians believe they are, the National Democratic Congress’ operatives would have the December 7 constitutionally approved quadrennial election date moved down a month to almost perfectly synch with that of the U.S.
political calendar, which has quadrennially fallen on November 8, or thereabouts, or the second Tuesday in November of every leap year since anyone can remember. The risibly sophistical argument here is that the month-long period between Ghana’s general election and the proverbial changing of the guard, or government, does not offer ample time for the incoming government or administration to be adequately prepared to assume the reins of governance.
That may very well be the case, but the stark fact of the matter is that the country has been following the present regime for some 24 years or 6 election cycles and, even as President John Dramani Mahama smugly and publicly noted nearly 4 years ago, the present electoral regime has worked quite efficiently without any let or hindrance.
But even more importantly ought to be underscored the fact that Ghana is administratively a unitary polity of negligible size compared to the United States. Besides, here in the United States, the transfer of power from one administration to another takes place on January 20 (this was not always the case in the past, by the way), and not January 8 or exactly two months after a general election. And the logical question to ask here is precisely as follows: What sort of thinking is behind the decision to move down our electoral milestone?
The answer may not be anything more than a mischievously strategic attempt to rig the ballot by orchestrating the same well below the otherwise eagle-eyed vigilance of an ever-prying or snooping Uncle Sam. Fortunately or unfortunately, even as Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng, the very articulate New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for one of the two, or so, Obuasi constituencies, intimates, the grossly and crassly repugnant manner in which the Charlotte Osei-chaired Electoral Commission (EC) has been handling matters, so far, does not make any practical room for the proposed new date for the 2016 general election.
Besides, the passage of any new bill into law or a Constitutional Instrument (CI) takes at least 21 days to mature, which is not practicable because Parliament goes into recess in less than two weeks from now.
Indeed, about the only reason why one would be inclined towards acceding to the proposed new date for Election 2016, would be to afford the so-called Independent Electoral Commission more time to put its house in order. Alas, as far as any deep-thinking and levelheaded Ghanaian citizen can see, even if the EC were afforded an extra 6 months to put its house in order, it would still not be in an auspicious position to run the upcoming election with any remarkable modicum of credibility.
To be certain, for most of the time that she has headed the EC, Mrs. Osei has been more concerned with such vapid frivolities as having the logo or coat-of-arms of this statutory institution redesigned at a considerable cost to the Ghanaian taxpayer without a single debate on the august floor of Parliament, with the flagrant, conniving and clearly unconstitutional complicity of President Mahama, which may well be partly responsible for Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong’s admittedly scandalous allegation that the EC Chair may very well have secured her present appointment through the ungodly offer of coital favors to the notorious philandering former Atta-Mills arch-lieutenant.
Needless to say, the passionately and unabashedly partisan posture of Mrs. Osei ought to be among the least bit of the worries of Mr. Dominic Nitiwul, the Parliamentary Minority Leader. Rather, what Mr. Nitiwul and his associates among the top-echelon membership of the New Patriotic Party ought to be worried about is the nose-thumbing insolence with which the EC Chair has responded to the Wood Supreme Court’s order to clean up the voters’ register.
by : Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame