New Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has proposed a five-year jail sentence for people who commit various electoral offences in the country.
The Lawyer cum political scientist wants, especially, people who cheat of their age and nationality not to be spared by the law when caught.
He also, for example, wants people who steal ballot boxes and papers to be prosecuted when arrested.
“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? 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?”
He added “Those who steal ballot boxes, those found with ballot papers and who commit other electoral offences should be jailed for 5 years.”
Speaker Oquaye made this proposal in his acceptance speech moments after taking the oaths of office and allegiance to the State in the chamber of Parliament early Saturday morning.
The former 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament worried about this phenomenon said the situation could only be prevented if the electoral laws of the country are amended or reviewed.
He has therefore, challenged the lawmakers of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic to help improve on the laws on elections in Ghana.
He for example, cited Kenya as a country Ghana could learn from to improve on its electoral laws to prevent any civil war.
“To sanitize the system, Kenya enacted “The Electoral Offences Act”. We should copy and improve on it. This House can introduce such law to help save this Republic and that will not be a charge on the Consolidated Fund,” he noted.