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Prof Ninsin proposes proportional representative government

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Professor Kwame Ninsin, Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) has proposed a Proportional Representation (PR) to replace Ghana’s current electoral system to foster political stability.

He said the PR system has the potential to enhance popular democratic participation as well as give all and sundry a stake in the governance of the country.

Prof Ninsin made the proposal when delivering a paper at an IDEG Internal Seminar on the topic: “Reforming the Electoral System: Toward a Balanced Distribution of Power and Equitable Representation,” in Accra on Wednesday.

The seminar, which was attended by scholars and stakeholders in politics was aimed at contributing to the on-going national discourse on the 1992 Constitution by interrogating areas identified for possible reform.

Prof Ninsin said the current system, which he described as “winner takes all” is exclusionary, undemocratic and denies the majority, who did not vote for the winning party, equitable representation in Parliament and inter-election participation.

He took issues with the constitutional requirement of 50 per cent plus one vote for a candidate to be declared President, saying the appropriate situation should rather be that the winning candidate secured more votes in more than five of the 10 Regions in the country.

“This would give political legitimacy to the President, “he added.

Prof Ninsin also proposed that all political parties should field two parliamentary candidates, a man and a woman at each constituency to ensure balance of gender and choice for the electorate.

He said under the arrangement, “each political party would assign 40 per cent of constituency seats it wins in an election to women on its constituency list”.

Prof Ninsin made a third proposal, the National Compensatory Seats System where all political parties that won a stipulated minimum percentage of national votes cast, would share the system in proportion to the votes they won.

He suggested the decoupling of Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

He said parliamentary elections should take place in mid-June and Presidential elections in mid-September.

Prof Ninsin said this would make the election of Members of Parliament independent of the election of p presidential candidates to encourage peaceful and orderly transfer of power and more time for in-coming President to assume office.

He proposed an amendment of Articles 78(1) and 79(1) of the 1992 Constitution to separate personnel of the Executive arm of government from those of the Legislature to encourage the growth of Parliament into an autonomous body to be able to restrain the President, and ensure improvement in governance.

Source: GNA

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