Page last updated at Thursday, December 5, 2013 8:08 AM //
Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council on Wednesday said the concept of winner takes all is alien to the spirit and tenor of the 1992 Constitution.
He said among the directive principles of state policy is the charge in Article 35:6d to: “make democracy a reality by decentralising the administrative and financial machinery of government to the regions and district and by affording all possible opportunities to the people to participate in the decision-making at every level in national life and in government”.
He said the state has the responsibility to ensure equal and balanced access to means of livelihood for all citizens irrespective of place of origin, circumstances of birth, ethnic origin, gender or religion, creed or other beliefs.
Rev Asante made the observation during a public lecture in Accra organized by IBIS Ghana, an NGO on the theme “Democratic consolidation: The way forward for Ghana’s two decades of democracy and good governance experimentation – The Winner Takes All system under review.”
Rev Asante, who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Method Church – Ghana said: “Exclusiveness in my view, can be extended to situations in which the ruling party borrows the ideas of other parties but refuses to give due acknowledgement to them. It also involves the exclusion of personnel from the governance process regardless of their abilities or skills, because of their different philosophies of governance and political persuasions.”
He said ruling parties should not feel ashamed to publicly acknowledge that another party might have suggested certain policies they are pursuing to them; declaring that this is rather a mark of political maturity, and the nations stands to gain from this attitude in the long run.
He said the politics of exclusiveness has being one of the major characteristics of Ghana’s multi-party democracy; adding that from the country’s experience, a number of factors responsible for this are the weak base of political parties, ethnicity, nepotism, mistrust of other political parties and the desire to remain in power indefinitely.
“Democracy as a rule of the people calls for the politics of inclusion, which promotes participation, cohesion and peace,” the National Peace Council Chairman stated.
He said the close margins of the Presidential Elections in recent times shows that the two leading parties; the National Democracy Congress and the New Patriotic Party appear to have equal strength.
He said in such a context characterised by equal political strength, the practice of the politics of exclusion among other things, would always create violent-laden tension in the country during election periods.
Rev Asante observed that in the 2008 and 2012 general election, the nation came close to conflicts; which were avoided; “but we may not be luck in 2016”.
“So we urge political parties to listen carefully and begin to talk with each other,” he noted.
Mr Chals Wontewe, Country Director of IBIS – Ghana said many Ghanaians who would be affected by the type of political system being operated are not informed about the alternative systems.