News

Ghana's President Suggests Extending Term for Future Leaders

Multimedia

Audio

Ghana's outgoing president, John Kufuor,who steps down on Wednesday, says future heads of state should have their terms extended to five years in office instead of the current four.  

In his final state of the nation address, President Kufuor said parliament should consider extending the term of Ghana's president to five years to give that person what he calls "reasonable room" for a newly elected leader to settle into the job.

"For the president of a struggling, developing nation with weak institutions, perhaps in the case of Ghana a five-year term, renewable once, will create the needed space for making a better impact," said Mr. Kufuor.

President Kufuor said that is especially so for a popular incumbent who may lack experience at the time of taking office.

President Kufuor finishes his two, four-year terms Wednesday when he hands over power to President-elect John Atta-Mills.  In his third run at the presidency, Mr. Atta-Mills withstood two rounds of voting and a special election in a single constituency Friday to defeat ruling-party rival Nana Akufo-Addo by fewer than 41,000 votes out of more than nine million ballots cast.

President Kufuor commended the work of Ghana's Electoral Commission during the hard-fought, much-delayed vote, but also suggested that parliament consider setting terms for its members.  He said it is risky to have a referee who enjoys permanent security.

"The commission is without term limits.  I therefore recommend for the consideration of this house and the nation a system which will retain the absolute independence of the commission, but also provides all its members with specific, timed tenures," he added.

President Kufuor said that would sustain public trust in the Electoral Commission while making it accountable to the people.  Chairman Kwado Afair-Gyan has held the post since the commission was established 15 years ago.

Kufuor's National Patriotic Party has complained about opposition intimidation during the just-concluded vote.  Chairman Gyan says the electoral commission investigated alleged fraud by both the opposition and the ruling party, but did not find sufficient evidence to invalidate the overall result.

While ruling-party candidate Akufo-Addo has conceded to Mr. Atta-Mills, he says party lawyers will go to court to pursue complaints about irregularities in the Volta district.   

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs