Why have we glued ourselves to a 4-year election cycle? – Prof Agyemang-Duah

November 26, 2023
Prof Agyemang-Duah questions

Professor Baffour Agyemang-Duah, Co-Founder of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), has sparked a debate on Ghana’s electoral system, questioning the rigid adherence to a four-year election cycle. Speaking at an event, he raised concerns about the inflexibility of the current system, suggesting that it might be time for Ghana to reconsider the four-year duration in its political landscape.

Currently, Ghana’s constitution, established in 1992, mandates elections every four years, allowing the electorate to decide on whether to retain or change the government. Prof. Agyemang-Duah questioned the rationale behind this fixed tenure, pointing out that countries like Britain operate without a predetermined tenure for their leaders.

“Why are we glued to a 4-year tenure? Some countries have elections every five or seven years. Britain doesn’t even have a tenure. Once you are a prime minister, you remain there until you are voted out by your party or the general population. So, why do we impose on ourselves that it should be four years?” he questioned.

He suggested that the decision to adopt a four-year cycle might have been influenced by mimicking American practices and encouraged a closer examination of alternative models, such as the French seven-year cycle.

Highlighting an innovative approach from The Gambia, Prof. Agyemang-Duah commended the country for its cost-effective election strategy. In the recent Gambian elections, the government opted for a creative solution due to financial constraints, using pebbles and barrels for voting instead of expensive electronic systems.

“The Gambia showed one possibility of limiting the needless expenditure we have on elections. After all, in the end, every election is controversial, yet we waste millions of dollars every four years,” he remarked.

While acknowledging the controversy surrounding elections, Prof. Agyemang-Duah’s call for a reconsideration of the election cycle aims to prompt a broader conversation about the financial implications and flexibility of electoral systems, offering innovative alternatives to reduce unnecessary expenditure.

Co-founder Of Cdd Questions Why Ghana Runs A 4-year Tenure Election
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