Democracy Reconsider 'winner takes all' in Ghana politics – US Ambassador

The system involves the capture of all levels of political power and the control of all public resources by the winner of a national election.

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US Ambassador to Ghana, Gene A. Cretz and President Mahama play

US Ambassador to Ghana, Gene A. Cretz and President Mahama

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The outgoing United States Ambassador to Ghana, Gene A. Cretz, is asking the country to revise the 'Winner-Takes-All’ political system which he believes mars the country’s democratic credentials.

The system involves the capture of all levels of political power and the control of all public resources by the winner of a national election.

Speaking to journalists at his last roundtable press engagement held at the United States Embassy in Accra on Tuesday June 23, 2015, Cretz called for the system to be changed in order not to marginalise opposition political forces from the governance process.

“I think that on the electoral side of political reforms, at some point, there would have to be some progress made in, not doing away with, but in modifying what is the winner takes all system. I think it really impacts on the compromise and the ability of give and take in a democracy… It’s made more difficult when the system is under the winner takes all because the only incentive the opposition has is to get back into power and then the power - that - is - in power, wants to stay in power and I’m not sure that is the healthiest combination for a stable and enduring democracy,” he said.

He also said he hopes Ghana is able to run safe elections in the future.

“Take a look at the electoral campaign mechanism itself; What was the problem last time, take a look at it and make sure that during this election, you don’t have this charge and counter charge which really kind of diminishes the incredible importance and prestige that Ghana shows to the world when it has an election”.

He has served in Ghana for three years and has now been reassigned to other duties in the USA.

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