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Ghana’s democracy in crisis — Bagbin

Alban Bagbin
Alban Bagbin

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, has stated that Ghana’s democracy is in crisis due to the absence of cherished values such as truthfulness, honesty and equality.

He said due to the absence of those values, many people grow up with the notion of amassing wealth, adding that one phenomenon that is against the tenets of social democracy is greed, which leads to corruption.

“There are serious challenges because in Ghana, we treasure falsehood and that is what we do every day,” he said.

Speaking at a public lecture in Accra last Wednesday night attended by a largely youthful audience, Mr Bagbin called on political and religious leaders to help address a recent political culture that encouraged the spewing of what he described as “toxic emotions” on a daily basis.

He said if something was not done about the situation, “it may take us to Egypt” and when that happened, it would be very difficult to repair the damage.

“The threat to our democracy now is not the military but civil society,” he said.

Social democratic values

Mr Bagbin said the government, as a social democratic entity, should not be at loggerheads with workers whose supreme interest and welfare it sought to achieve.

In his view, social democratic governments should be in bed with workers, but he observed that was not the situation in Ghana.

Mr Bagbin, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli/Kaleo,  wondered how workers could be at loggerheads with a social democratic government when the government should be for the workers.

The lecture was organised by the Centre for Social Democracy, Ghana (CSD-Ghana) on the topic: “The rule of law, good governance and democratic consolidation in Ghana”.

CSD-Ghana was established two years ago with the aim of contributing to the development of Ghana through various activities, including public lectures.

Mr Bagbin made reference to a UNDP publication which suggested that quality of life was high in social democratic countries.

He was of the view that many people no longer had confidence in leadership and, therefore, suggested that something ought to be done about the situation.

Maiden lecture

The maiden lecture was delivered by Prof. Herta Daubler-Gmelin, a lawyer and member of the German Social Democratic Party (SDP), who served as an MP for 37 years from 1972 to 2009.

She said good governance was very important, not only for Ghana but also the international community.

According to her, Ghana is not doing so well in respect of controlling corruption and stressed the need for an effective Judiciary to deal with the situation.

Prof. Daubler-Gmelin said although Germany was not the birthplace of human rights or rule of law, “we had to fight for it”.

“It’s absolutely necessary to always look at where corruption can develop. You don’t only need fine laws; you have to monitor such areas and adopt stringent controls on administration of money,” she said.

Accountability

Prof. Daubler-Gmelin underscored the need for political leaders to be accountable and transparent to the people and said transparency could be ensured by making people compete for positions rather than giving jobs to relations.

Prof. Daubler-Gmelin said it was important to have politicians with a sense of decency and integrity, and who were not into politics for the sake of money.

She cited a former German President who was prosecuted for unjustly collecting 600 euros, and on the basis of that, lost his office.

Source: Graphic Online