Mr. Abraham Koomson, Secretary General of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), has stated that Ghana's democracy is under threat, emphasizing that the use of money and other logistics to influence party members during both presidential and parliamentary primaries sends a dangerous message.
He stated that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are systematically eroding and dismantling the 31-year-old democratic underpinnings, and that "we must all be concerned and take action to protect the sanctity of our democracy."
"Ghana now has a semblance of a democratic state controlled by those with financial powers; we are heading towards a democratic crash as practices such as corruption and tribalism continue to erode the gains of a real democratic state."
Mr. Koomson emphasized that there is some appearance of the rule of law in the country, as well as some respect for human rights. Parliament is partially functional, and the court is working while the class society reaps the advantages of election triumph while the average individual goes hungry.
He stated that state institutions appear to be functioning, civil society is haping and occasionally struggling to be heard, and smaller political parties are barely existing because the majority of their leaders have been bought by the NPP and NDC; the media, both print and electronic, is shouting but no one appears to be listening. This is hazardous to our democracy.
Mr. Koomson, who was participating in a panel discussion on the radio over the weekend, expressed concern that while the parties, particularly the ruling NPP, demonstrate opulence during their presidential and parliamentary primaries, they appear hesitant and apathetic to the needs of workers in particular and Ghanaians in general.
According to the GFL Secretary General, "the current NPP government has shown that they don't care about workers because some of the policies implemented by the government are creating problems for workers." .
"Ghana is best defined as a virtual democratic country. "We are not yet democratic," he explained.
Regarding Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia's first speech as the NPP Presidential candidate for Election 2024, Mr. Koomson stated that some of the comments appeared to be self-exoneration and playing the holier than thou card in the face of a corrupt government.
He stated that Vice President Bawumia cannot be standing in the middle of a filthy river and that he is still dressed in white from head to toe, "this self-gratification and crucifixion of all members of the government he has been a part of for the past seven years."
"What is stopping the Vice President, now reduced to a driver's mate and Ghana's assistant headmaster, from carrying out his lauded and admirable vows to relieve the people from additional suffering? Mr. Koomson asks.
Mr. Koomson believes that Ghanaians will reject Dr. Bawumia as president because he is untrustworthy. When the majority of Ghanaians protested the E-Levy, the Vice President failed to represent them. Now he intends to use it as a negotiating chip for electoral votes.
"The untruthfulness is simply too much, and there is evidence to show that there is nothing that Ghana's Assistant Headmaster will say that we should accept; he is simply using words to entice voters to vote for him."
“The Vice President is part of the current government; we still have nine months for the government to deliver the so-called good promises to reduce the misery Ghanaians are experiencing now”.
He further said that the Vice President has refuted the widely held belief that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a listener. "Vice President Bawumia's statement that, as head of the Economic Management Team, he only gives advice presupposes that the President failed to listen to sound economic advice, which has led to the current economic crisis."
Mr. Koomson emphasized that democracy was more than just elections; it was also about assisting people in making educated decisions. He urged civil society, the media, religious and traditional leaders, youth, and women's groups to put away their political lenses and think about Ghana.
"We can have a free and vibrant democracy when stakeholders help to inculcate democratic ideas in the minds of people," he stated.
The GFL Secretary General urged stakeholders to help deepen democracy in the country and spread democratic values, stressing “We must save Ghana on December 7 by voting for change”.