Ghanaian News

Electoral system needs reforms – Samia Nkrumah

A former Chairperson of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Samia Yaba Nkrumah, says it is time to reform the nation’s electoral system to allow marginalised groups such as women and the smaller parties to have more political voice.

That, she said, could be done through the adoption of the quota system or the proportional representation system.

“The time has come for us to consider these two different election systems which were not possible in 1992 when we returned to constitutional rule,” she said.

Ms Nkrumah, a former CPP Member of Parliament for Jomoro in the Western Region, was responding to a question in an interview on Graphic TV show, a channel on Youtube dubbed “Your Ghana My Ghana” co-hosted by Dede Amanor-Wilks and Ruby Ofori on women and politics.

The maiden edition of the show held in the refurbished studios of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd coincided with the country’s 67th Independence anniversary and the International Women’s Day Celebrations.

It was to highlight the pivotal role women played in the country’s Independence and the First Republic under Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Electoral systems
Ms Nkrumah, who is also the daughter of Ghana’s first President, explained that the current electoral system, the first-past- the-post voting structure or the simple majority system, did not give room for the views and ideas of those who might have lost in the elections to participate in the governance of the country.

“In the current electoral system, when you lose by even one vote, you have still not won and your views and ideas are pushed aside,” she said.

“So, I think it’s about time in our country to consider reforming our electoral system that might allow for the inclusion of those constituencies which are underrepresented like introducing the quota system or proportional representation,” she said, adding that the time had come for that to be discussed.

The quota system is a way of introducing affirmative action to ensure that certain segments of the population are represented in Parliament, while the proportional representation and parties are allotted seats based on their performance in the parliamentary race.

It means that if Ghana were to adopt the quota system, more women may be elected into Parliament than it is now.

Also, the proposal can allow the smaller parties to have some representation in Parliament based on their performance in the parliamentary contest, a situation usually used to strengthen democracy in a significant way, Ms Nkrumah said.

Parliamentary ambition
Sharing her thoughts on how she won the Jomoro seat in 2008, Ms Nkrumah said having stayed outside Ghana for a long time, she was new to politics, and “I guess we were so caught up in the campaign in spreading the message that we did not even think of losing or winning.

“The thing that made me happiest of all is that I feel that would be the beginning of reviving the political party, reviving Kwame Nkrumah’s ideas, just beginning a conversation on Kwame Nkrumah and his policies.

That really was topmost in my mind,” she said.

Ms Nkrumah served one term in Parliament from 2008 to 2012 but stood down as the Chairperson of the CPP to contest the flagbearership of the party.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button