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Africa politics

Ex-presidents are being prosecuted for corruption all over the world- where stands democracy.

Former leaders are being investigated, tried, and possibly imprisoned in countries all over the world. 

Many Ghanaians are dissatisfied with the President's full immunity, which is enshrined in the Constitution and lasts for three years after he or she leaves office. Regardless of whether the president's commissions or omissions are criminally executed for personal, family, or political party benefit or not, he is immune from judicial indictment.

It's obvious that it was planned at the request of then-military junta chief Chairman Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, who was able to turn civilian and return the country to civilian rule before running for president. The goal was to ensure his safety and immunity from prosecution for all of the egregious crimes he had committed against Ghanaians. Other than that, why should a Ghana president be granted absolute immunity for all their actions, be they criminal and selfishly intended or otherwise?

Ghana Presidents must be held accountable for their personal corruptions, including embezzlement of public funds and accepting bribes, whether while in office or shortly after. 

Presidents must set a precedent for the rest of the world to follow. Their behaviour must be admirable, but not excessively so!

Ex-President Jeanine ez was detained in Bolivia on March 13 on charges of extremism, treason, and sedition. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had been sentenced to jail for corruption and influence peddling just a week ago.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's new Prime Minister, is currently on trial. Former South African President Jacob Zuma will stand trial in May. In the United States, investigators in New York are looking into former President Donald Trump's business practices.

Prosecuting current or former top officials suspected of unethical activity seems to be an obvious democratic decision: everybody should be kept accountable and subject to the rule of law.

Presidents and prime ministers, on the other hand, are not ordinary people. People or political parties select them to lead a country. They're usually well-liked, and sometimes respected. As a consequence, legal actions taken against them are invariably regarded as political, creating discord.

If a political opponent brings a case against a former leader, it may set off a cycle of prosecutorial revenge.

This is one of the reasons why, in 1974, US President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, his predecessor. Despite strong proof of criminal misconduct in the Watergate case, Ford was concerned that the nation would be “unnecessarily distracted from meeting (our) challenges” if the country remained “sharply divided over” punishing the former president.

At the time, public opinion was split along political lines. However, many people now claim that absolving Nixon is important for the United States to recover. Strong democracies are normally capable – and the justice system independent – of prosecuting misbehaving lawmakers, including top leaders. After Jacques Chirac in 2011, Sarkozy is France's second modern president to be found guilty of corruption. After Chirac's conviction, the nation did not fall apart.

Prosecutions will keep politicians accountable and reinforce the rule of law in mature democracies. Starting in the 1990s, South Korea prosecuted and convicted five former presidents, ushering in a surge of political trials that resulted in President Park Geun-impeachment hye's in 2018.

Although it might seem that protecting authoritarians goes against democratic principles, many transitional governments have agreed that democracy must take root.

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