Election Rigging and the… Ghanaian Elections

The world is still recovering from the American elections. Whatever side of the political fence you find yourself on – and wherever you are in the world; few things have served to divide people to this extent in the past couple of years.

Sure, sure, division happens all the time – and there have been crushing civil wars to prove it. But, the entire world is gripped by the tensions created by American elections.

We can’t expect the Ghanaian elections to have the same impact on the world. They won’t.

But, that doesn’t mean the presidential race in Ghana is less fraught with concerns. Oddly, they almost mirror many of the same issues seen in the United States.

For a start, there’s the email saga. Apparently, some emails were sent from Nana Addo Akufo’s NPP camp discussing moving the capital from Accra to the eastern regions of the country. Of course, the NPP have denied any such a move is on the cards. And, it’s true that an email of this sort doesn’t come close to the level that Clinton’s emails made. But, the parallel is there all the same.

And then there is talk about voting rigging. You’ll get this kind of discussion in any election, especially African ones, but now it seems so very real. How many times did we hear Trump ranting about the possibility of rigged polls? He’s still discussing it; claiming he won the U.S. popular election.

After what happened on that side of the world, it’s little wonder that the Pan-African Parliament is urging Ghanaian rivals to accept the outcome of the election, whatever they may be. That will be tough if the results are as close as people expect them to be.

But, there are a huge number of observers headed to the polls on December 7th – and Ghana is a much smaller country (in size and population) than the United States.  The number of observers is over 10,000 and there are a mere 284 polling stations in the country. Ghana clearly has it covered in a way that Americans probably couldn’t understand.

And, let’s face it, things are nasty in the lead up to Ghana’s presidential election. And, people are noticing. Even the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has called Ghana’s President and the opposition leader to ask them to diffuse tensions in the country. As we well know, they can boil over at any point – even after the votes have been counted.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens. That’s really all we can do, besides endlessly discussing the possibility of election rigging.

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