Wed, Nov

President Donald Trump

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et, long before the American Senate began a process to formalise the President’s acquittal, the Republican majority seemed to have made up their minds and “nobody can confuse us with the truth”.

Who has, since September 2019, been in any doubt about the final outcome of what William Shakespeare would have described in 1599 as Much Ado About?

I am talking about what is proving to be the world’s currently most farcical democratic circus, namely the process to impeach and remove the American President.

President Donald Trump knows the history of the United States, that no American President has ever been removed from office as a result of being impeached; at any rate, only two out of 45 Presidents had been impeached in history.

More than history, Trump knows that the only way the Senate will vote to remove him is if he ceases to be a Republican or crosses carpet to join the Democrats.

So he is sitting pretty

By the same token, everybody knew as of 9 a.m. America time on December 3, 2019, that the President would be impeached, that the only way to avoid impeachment was if he changed his allegiance and became a Democrat.

When it came to voting to adopt the House Intelligence Committee's final report, everybody knew, one hour before, what the outcome of the voting would be: 13 Democrats (for) and 9 Republicans (against).

The impeachment hearings began on December 4. On December 13, the House Judiciary Committee voted 23 –17, along party lines, to recommend two Articles of Impeachment, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Two days later, the full House approved both articles in a near-party-line vote, with all Republicans opposing, along with three Democrats.

President Trump was sure, as everybody else in the world knew, that come December 18, 2019, the House of Representatives would approve the Articles of Impeachment. They did.

Everything every witness has said since the hearings began leaves nobody in any doubt that Donald Trump did withhold military aid and an invitation to the White House to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to influence Ukraine to announce an investigation of Trump's political opponent, Joe Biden.

It is a fact that the US President obstructed the enquiry by telling his administration officials to ignore subpoenas for documents and testimony.

Yet, long before the American Senate began a process to formalise the President’s acquittal, the Republican majority seemed to have made up their minds and “nobody can confuse us with the truth”.

To help the process of determining the truth, the Office of Management and Budget released 192 pages of Ukraine-related records, including e-mails that had not been previously released on military aid to Ukraine, but using their majority, the Republicans have decreed that in this trial, they will not subpoena documents. Not only that, they will also not hear witnesses.

What a trial! Sounds and looks a perfect quid pro quo — tit for tat.

So, barring death, Trump seems likely to remain in office because his party has the majority in the Senate.

So what does America have to teach the rest of the world? Is this what is spelled democracy, that system of government which Ghana is sparing no pesewa to ensure its entrenchment?

In the last how-many-weeks, a lot of heat has been generated by the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) request for GH¢444,846,663 to compile a new voters register for the 2020 election.

Has it struck anyone that no matter how tattered we claim the economy is, even when there is no money to pay salaries, build roads to link farms to the market, provide potable water etc., we are never broke when it comes to finding money to fix all our electoral processes?

Let me state clearly here. I don’t agree with the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC’s) position against the EC’s request.

For instance, I still need convincing as to how the mere compilation of a new register will steal the votes for an incumbent?

When an NDC man was asked this question on radio, he stuttered and blabbered.

Be that as it may, I have heard all the arguments advanced by the EC and I am convinced that they make sense.

What I am not convinced about — is why we need another electoral roll when we only recently used it for the limited registration exercise and would have used it for the referendum had it not been called off by the President.

Also, at the time in 2016 that the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the EC to compile a fresh register, had all these problems not surfaced?

I recall vividly the words used by all of us to support the SC’s ruling.

We said the 2012 register was “incurably flawed”.

If the flaw was cured in 2016, what then is new? Can’t we wait to use the new National ID data, which contains every biometric information about every Ghanaian?

Four hundred million Ghana cedis is no small change, to my mind.

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