General News of Thursday, 23 June 2016
A former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has called for a more proportional representation of the various political parties in governance as an antidote to the ‘winner takes all’ and ‘first past the post’ system.
Speaking at the Center for Democratic Development’s (CDD) 12th ‘Kronti ne Akwamu’ Lecture on Thursday, he described the ‘winner takes all’ mindset as a problem that hinders democratic governance.
According to him, “the question of ‘first past the post,’ it is a problem. This is why a few countries around the world have moved away from ‘first past the post’ to proportional representation which is, in my mind, more democratic.”
Mr. Annan also noted that, going the proportional representation route meant political parties would have to compromise and work together in the name of development.
“Of course, when you go the proportional representation route, you have to be prepared to live with a coalition. The two parties rotating power goes away. You will end up with several political groups in parliament, and you have to work across party lines and learn to compromise and work together to protect the interest of the nation,” he explained.
The compromises notwithstanding, the former UN Secretary General asserted that it was possible for the various political parties to work together and influence governance positively.
“The winning party need not take it all. They need not lock out the other side and because of that attitude, it becomes a fight to the death that once you lose, you are out in the cold. We should be able to share power; we should be able to have a system where members of the other parties will sit on important committees with the influence,” Mr. Annan added.