Dr Paul Herzuah, a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), has recommended to the government to amend the Local Government Act 1993, Act 462 (7) to prevent partisanship in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly (MMDA) elections.
He explained that the Local Government Act 1993, Act 462 (7) 1 to 4, should be amended to eliminate grey areas in future MMDA elections because the law stated the citizenry should not use any symbols, but beat the system by design.
The Local Government Act 1993, Act 462 (7) (1) states that: “A candidate seeking election to a district assembly or to any lower local government unit shall present himself to the electorate as an individual, and shall not use any symbol associated with a political party.”
However, Dr Herzuah, presenting a study on the topic: ‘Enacting Identity in Local Elections in Accra – A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis’, found greater number of people who put themselves up for the 2015 district assembly elections in some selected areas of Accra enacted their identity based on partisan cues of the two leading political parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The collected data indicated that 30 of the posters were designed in NPP colours, 28 in NDC, 20 had the Ghana flag, which was categorised as “National”, as well as 32 posters which did not follow any colour pattern, hence categorised as “Undefined.”
The selected areas included Ga East (Agbogba, Abokobi, and Taifa) Ayawaso West, as well as the Accra Metropolitan Assembly was organised by the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Development (DRD), the research department of GIJ, is the second of its kind which included other stakeholders.
According to Dr Herzuah, the aspirants used colours associated with the NPP and NDC in the design of their posters to appeal to the conscience of the electorate, a situation, he insisted contradicted Section (7) (1) of the Local Government Act.
“They did not use any symbols, but used political party colours in a way they cannot be faulted because it is design work, it is important the law is amended in order to remove grey areas to prevent such issues from happening and remove any links to political parties,” he suggested.