An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. In many countries with weak rule of law, the most common reason why elections do not meet international standards of being “free and fair” is interference from dictators. According to the Constitution, each person has a right to give his vote for the person he trusts and expects positive changes from. But an election is said to be credible when it is free from electoral malpractices which are about the procedures made during elections with the only purpose of influencing the final results of elections in favor of a particular candidate and it is not new to us. Our school, just like many other schools in the country cannot stand aside from the dirty political games.
With Koforidua Technical University student’s representative council general elections for 2019 being just around the corner, it is necessary to talk about the forms of electoral malpractice since they can easily interfere with the final results we’ll get and caution the culprits to desist from such acts. Some of the common electoral malpractice that normally occurs in school’s elections were:
- Falsification of the final results of the elections by the dictators
- Corruption: Paying money to officers to influence the results of the elections.
- Campaign during Election Day. Etc.
I believe that no election has ever been 100 percent free and fair but Election will be Credible when it is characterized by just to mention few:
- Electoral Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. Being honest and truthful in your actions and decisions.
- Inclusiveness, providing equal opportunities for all eligible citizens/aspirants to participate as voters/ candidates in selecting their representatives for election to power.
- Transparency, when each step taken by the commission is open to scrutiny so that stakeholders or candidates can independently verify whether the process is conducted honestly and accurately, then the election is can be classified as free and fair.
However, as the practice of international election observation is becoming ubiquitous, it has become evident that it doesn’t work everywhere even in our school elections. Research has found that even when these monitors are present, dictators still cheat in obvious ways nearly 17 percent just to favor their favorites. Another 24 percent of elections fall in a gray zone, meaning that serious problems exist, even if monitors don’t directly declare the election fraudulent, yet because of the monitoring organizations/ electoral commission lack resources and independence. Moreover, the electoral commission is an independent body in which their activities should not be influenced by anyone.
But it is never the case in Koforidua Technical University, they cannot even monitor themselves as to talk about fixing all the electoral malpractice that exists in SRC elections. it is therefore high time that dictators of Koforidua Technical University and other forces behind SRC elections desist themselves from interfering. It is about time that the Electoral Commissioner should be firm and bold in his decisions and not be intimidated by any forces in the school.
Because of this electoral dishonesty, many Students in Koforidua technical University has lost interest in SRC elections with the view that the leadership of SRC has failed them. Their expectations are not being met and because of it, some believe they don’t have the power to elect their leaders rather a mighty hidden hand decides. They don’t see the need to queue from morning till evening to vote for their favorite aspirants/candidates whom they believe can work efficiently and effectively without wasting many resources to meet their expectations but at the end of the day, a mighty hand decides who occupies such positions which makes their intentions unrealizable. Because of that some students who don’t have the requisite depth knowledge and skills and most importantly don’t have the interest of students at heart maneuver themselves to get such positions because they are connected. At the end of it all, they exhibit their incompetence and fraudulent activities which cost SRC heavily and also bring a bad reputation to the school at large.
We should not forget that electoral malpractice hurts the confidence of students in the elective procedure. Thus, it leads to political apathy and low voter turnout
Also when a candidate comes on a leading position through election malpractice, people may arrange riots as a sign of disagreement. Sometimes, the level of such a desire to see another leader they didn’t vote for may cause violent standoff or demonstration.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation but seconds to ruin it so let’s think about this carefully and do things correctly.
AKA (WOODA A WOODA)