John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana’s two-term former president, believes that democratic competition can be used to advance the measure of checks and balances within the political government system.
GhanaWeb monitored remarks made by the senior statesman on Citi TV’s ‘The Point of View’ show, in which he emphasized that rivalries – whether at the party or national level – could be exploited for the common good rather than for personal gain.
“Parties must be inclusive, according to our constitution. It mentions the people as having jurisdiction. The theory of checks and balances is upheld by the competition between political parties, which ensures that sovereignty is not trapped in government. Otherwise, smart alecs will seize [power] and flee with it, and we will all lose.”
He emphasized the need for all competition to be balanced, saying, “Rivalry can be there, but rivalry above inappropriate or unconscionable standards is what we talk of.”
He also pointed to the new makeup of Ghana’s legislature as a primary indicator of the need for healthy competition to be harnessed in the service of the greater good.
He emphasized that for such a parliament, it was up to the executive to strike a compromise on issues of national importance for the common benefit of the people.
“Now that we have a hung Parliament, the executive would have to try to appease [the Minority] so that the winner does not steal everything,” he said.
“So, if the Ghanaian citizens will understand this, and we want to live in a harmonious community, we can figure out how to rule ourselves using checks and balances. So competition between parties should be perfect.
“Even between groups, the same idea for the common good should apply.” He said, “I think we have regulations in effect, and it is up to us to make sure they function.”