It is generally accepted that the long drawn-out presidential election petition has imposed some opportunity costs on the country - both in monetary and environmental terms.
The feeling was there, but, more or less speculative, until the US Embassy in Accra issued its security alert to Americans in the country, advising them to avoid certain suspected flashpoints across the country.
The message was simple: Ghana could implode after the judgment in its historic election petition, so act wise. That was the environmental impact; our development partners had concluded that we were tottering on the brink, and had initiated contingency plans.
But, the economic impact still remained uncertain. However, Trade Minister Haruna Iddrisu has assayed the economic cost of the election petition, and suggested a figure on Tuesday.
Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show, Mr. Iddrisu noted: "It was not just a political issue that was being resolved, it was an economic issue (as well). Between January and yesterday (Sept. 9), Ghana lost between US$1 billion and US$2 billion in respect of foreign investments, as a result of the hesitation of investors to want to do business in Ghana.
"The loss is attributable to ... the action in the Supreme Court, which was to decide on the legitimacy of an election outcome, which ought to have been concluded at the end of December 2012."
There we have the economic cost of the 2012 Presidential Election Petition, though a bit deficient. The Chronicle thinks the host of the programme should have probed further to put the issue in greater perspective, as to what and what was expected to come in at what date, but eventually, did not come, because of the uncertainty of the petition's outcome.
It could even be more! In fact recent reports that containers have flooded the Tema Harbour, where a few days earlier, before the judgment, there had been but a few, go to confirm the fact that several economic players adopted a wait-and-see attitude.
All the same, US$2 billion is substantial, even by developed countries' standards, not to talk of impoverished third world benchmarks. The loss is gargantuan, to say the least. Therefore, as far as it is humanly possible, it must not be allowed to recur in future.
It is in this vein that The Chronicle calls on all and sundry to accept the Electoral Commission's call for the submission of suggestions for reforms.
An independent body may collate the suggestions, but whether Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan resigns or not, his own biological clock would ensure that he does not supervise Election 2016. He will be 70 years in June 2015. That could console many, but the possibility of his replacement being more arrogant than he allegedly is, cannot be ruled out.
The truth of the matter is that the framers of the 1992 Constitution made the Ghana Electoral Commission a law unto itself, however bitter it is to acknowledge it. They granted the EC almost the same level of independence as they gave the almighty Judiciary - "... in the performance of its functions, the Electoral Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority."
The above quote is from the latter part of Article 46. And it is almost exactly as that of Article 127 (1) - ... the Judiciary, in both ... is subject only to this Constitution and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority.
But the framers of the Constitution, in their wisdom, gave the Judiciary the power of review only over the actions - concluded actions of the Electoral Commission. Such power could go to the head of any man.