A Senior Research Fellow and lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Dr. Paul Herzuah, has recommended that the government should take steps to amend Ghana’s local government Act 1993, Act 462 (7) to prevent partisanship in Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly (MMDA) elections.

The Local Government Act 1993, Act 462 (7) (1) states that: “A candidate seeking election to a District Assembly or to any lower local government unit shall present himself to the electorate as an individual and shall not use any symbol associated with a political party.

However, Dr. Herzuah, presenting a study on the topic, “Enacting identity in local elections in Accra: A multimodal critical discourse analysis”, found that a greater number of people who put themselves up for the 2015 District Assembly elections in some selected areas of Accra enacted their identity based on partisan cues of the two leading political parties in the country, NPP and NDC. These aspirants use colors associated with the NPP and NDC in the design of their posters to appeal to the conscience of the electorate a situation which clearly contradicts the letter and spirit of Section (7) (1) of the Act.

“The Local Government Act should be amended to eliminate grey areas in future MMDA elections because, though the law prohibits the use political party symbols, contestants circumvent the system by designing symbols with party colors and in a way that you cannot fault them. So, it is important the law is amended to prevent these occurrences.” he said.

The event, which was organised by the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Development (DRD), the research department of GIJ, is the second of its kind. In attendance were colleague lecturers from the Journalism and Media Studies Faculty, journalists, as well as the GJA President, Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, who reiterated his unflinching support for the school during his tenure.

By Emmanuel Kwarteng