The Electoral Commission If Ghana Past and Present

Topics: Elections, Voting, Election Pages: 4 (1215 words) Published: December 6, 2010
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF GHANA PAST AND PRESENT
1. THE HISTORY OF ELECTORAL SYSTEM PRACTICE IN GHANA
ELECTORAL SYSTEM
The hallmark of a democratic system is the willingness of the principal actors/interest in society to accept the inherently uncertain outcomes of the electoral competition. An electoral system is a method by which votes are translated into legislative seats. The Electoral arena in democracy is the most important element of politics; because it is the primary forum of intergroup competition. It is in the house of parliament not in the streets that individuals and groups in multi-ethnic societies are expected to resolve their difference. Ghana’s electoral system has the following basic characteristic:

* Universal adult suffrage for citizens who are 18 years or older (it used to be 21 years up to the advent of the Second Republic); * Official registration of voters;
* Non-compulsory registration or voting;
* Secret ballot;
* Registration of political parties;
* Political parties are not allowed to sponsor candidates for elections to District Assemblies and lower local government units; * Presidential election where the winner requires more than 50% of the valid votes cast; * Parliamentary and local elections on the basis of the first-past-the post; * A run-off election in case no winner emerges on the first ballot; * No minimum voter turn-out required for presidential/parliamentary elections; and * A permanent electoral commission;

IMPORTANCE OF THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM
Political institutions shape the rules of the game in which democracy is practiced and is often said that the easiest political institution to manipulate for bad or good is the electoral system. In translating votes cast in an election into seats in the legislature, the choice of electoral system can effectively determine who is elected and which party gains power. Under the current study only two most commonly practiced electoral...
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