May 24, 2024

Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, the Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle constituency in the Greater Accra region, has published a stern critique of Ghana’s democracy in its current form.

In a post dated October 13, 2023 on social media platform LinkedIn, the two-time MP and daughter of late president Jerry John Rawlings stated among others, her deep multi-layered concerns for Ghana’s democracy.

She questioned the state of institutions that are supposed to become the bulwark of democracy and how most of them are being cowed into submission by members of the political elite.

She questions particularly whether the 2024 polls will be credible enough or yet another charade to allow the undermining of “our democracy” and for others to “usurp the rule of law and the wishes of the people of Ghana?”

The MP is also concerned about what political lessons the youth are being exposed to, allied with the worrying fact that most of them are leaving the shores of the counrty, a situation that will hit the next president hard, she contends.

“What kind of example are we setting for the younger generation and what kind of hope are we offering the youth of today??? At a time when we need our human capacity more than ever, we are seeing an exodus of our people on an unprecedented level – with one outcome: whoever wins the next elections will have a Herculean task in mobilising the human resource required to clean up this mess and restore this nation’s self respect,” she stated.

Zanetor will be running for a third consecutive term as MP in the 2024 polls. Her party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will also be seeking to win the presidency on the third consecutive try of former president John Dramani Mahama.

Read her full post below:

I’m struggling to make peace with what is happening in Ghana and how as part of the governance structure I’m being bullied into “waiting till 2024” to hopefully see a change of government.

A process which I’m wondering about – the fairness, the transparency, the integrity- will these be the principles that will guide the process on the day of elections or will yet another institution be used to undermine our democracy and usurp the rule of law and the wishes of the people of Ghana?

For a long time we have lamented about the zero-sum/winner-takes-all approach to our interpretation of democracy and yet we have failed to change the status quo. Our collective myopic focus on elections and inability to pull the brakes on the bad governance and corruption in between, has allowed a few selfish individuals to take us into the abyss.

So, I ask myself, of what use are the institutions that are meant to act as checks and balances over the executive if all we can do is wait for a change in government in the hope that they will do better or be different?

What kind of example are we setting for the younger generation and what kind of hope are we offering the youth of today??? At a time when we need our human capacity more than ever, we are seeing an exodus of our people on an unprecedented level – with one outcome: whoever wins the next elections will have a Herculean task in mobilising the human resource required to clean up this mess and restore this nation’s self respect.

So, is it the case that people who claimed to be learned in the Rule of Law and democracy had only the intention of using their knowledge to destroy what others built?

We cannot keep rolling backwards as a country and yet pat ourselves on the back for having sustained a parliamentary democracy for three decades. So, what have we used that to achieve?? What can we proudly say about our country?

We have managed to dismantle all our institutions by infusing that poisonous serum of political interference and partisanship. And to what ends? Pleasing a few people and weakening the very pillars that are holding this fragile state together!

To dare to speak up against what is wrong now is to incur the displeasure of those paid to silence the voices of truth! Heinous crimes committed against our people and our environment by unconscionable characters who have turned out to be vindictive and intolerant and even more dictatorial than some unelected leaders. What sad irony!

And those Associations whose voices rang loudest under all previous governments seem to have disappeared!

As I look at countries in the midst of conflict whose people are suffering but fighting for a better future, I look at my own beloved country Ghana and I wonder at which point will we all collectively declare that we will not allow people to hijack us under the guise of democracy and take our compliance for granted. When will enough be enough?

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