New Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has challenged the Members of the Seventh Parliament to work assiduously to improve on the electoral laws of Ghana.
He believes that current laws that governs or regulates the conduct of elections in the country need to be amended to further strengthen the country’s democratic gains.
Such move, he noted, will go a long way to prevent civil war in the country.
He drew Members’ attention to war torn countries around the globe and noted that most of the wars came about as a result of electoral disputes.
Speaker Oquaye made this observation in his acceptance speech, Saturday, after been voted into office as the Speaker for the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
“Hon. Members, I challenge you to help improve our laws on elections. We have a lot to learn from others, including Kenya who learnt the hard way after brutal post-election civil war. To sanitize the system, they enacted “The Electoral Offences Act”. We should copy and improve upon it. Let me give you few examples. Why should our law allow any two adults who are registered to vote, to stand in for a person whose age or nationality is in doubt? Why should just any two people be allowed to do this? If you do not stand in loco parentis, how do you tell the age of a person you hardly know?
He added: “We shall define only a small category of persons who can give guarantee. They should swear to an affidavit verifying the truth and should be jailed for 5 years if caught in falsehood. Will this not be a deterrent? Those who steal ballot boxes, those found with ballot papers and who commit other electoral offences should be jailed for 5 years. This House can introduce such law to help save this Republic and that will not be a charge on the consolidated fund.”