I believe that the sanctity of the ballot is the primary key for a faster pace of economic growth and development in a democratic and rising Africa. Indeed, the starting point for inclusive growth is the sanctity of the ballot. If everybody is enfranchised, then every one can be included in the economic development process. But enfranchisement is only a necessary condition for success. Universal suffrage, that is, right to vote alone does not guarantee confidence in the systems and institutions of governance. What guarantees this is the sanctity of the ballot. When the result of the vote reflects how the people voted. This achieved, all the people will realize that they can indeed choose the political leaders and socio-economic outcomes they want. When this process is well institutionalized, the people can truly choose or change their leaders and policy outcomes. When the ballot is unholy, an unrighteous political economy will emerge and development will suffer, as polarization, conflict and repression will prevail. So why has sufficient penalty not been provided for interfering with the sacredness and the purity of the ballot? Fortunately, progress is being made across Africa today, as we are witnessing an increasing awareness among the electorate of the issues of the day in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and many others. However, bear in mind that this same awareness can trigger public indignation and serious conflict when the value of the ballot is degraded. Clearly then, any systematic violation of the sanctity of the ballot must be stopped in order to widen the avenue for achieving the quality of life we need for the people. Now, I have been stressing the adoption among states, provinces and communities across Africa of a RED in Africa strategy (that is a refined economic development in Africa strategy), such as we are promoting at the EBS. Folks, without ballot sanctity in political elections our community economic growth and development will be gravely undermined as every conflict is destructive of communities and therefore of nations. As we go through these electoral processes from nation to nation, let us agree that an efficient and effective distribution and collection of ballot papers matter, but what matters most is that the results of our elections reflect the way the electorate voted. The sanctity of the ballot is what is critical for peace, growth and economic development. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that is my view.
Posted: Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 02:59:20 AM