Electoral Commission Faces Backlash as Opposition Demands Transparency.

Accusations of Misplaced Priorities and Delayed Electoral Calendar Heighten Tensions.

In a recent development, the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana is under fire from opposition parties, particularly the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who accuse the commission of neglecting critical institutional and operational challenges. The focus on amending Article 112(4) of the constitution has drawn criticism, with opponents questioning the timing and necessity of such a move.

Key Opposition Concerns:

1. Constitutional Amendment Dispute: Opposition parties argue that the EC’s push for the amendment of Article 112(4) is diverting attention from pressing electoral issues. The requirement for a two-thirds majority in Parliament, combined with a split between the NDC and NPP, raises questions about the feasibility of the proposed changes.

2. Consensus on 2028: Opposition leaders claim that there was a consensus among political parties to hold elections in 2028. However, the EC’s alleged attempt to sway IPAC’s divided opinion on a 2024 election date has intensified tensions.

3. Uncertainty Over EC Statements: Dr. Bossman Asare’s mention of “almost about” 60% of political parties has left room for confusion. Opposition parties demand clarification on the fractions assigned to each party and express skepticism about the transparency of the process.

Opposition Demands Immediate Action:

1. Delayed Electoral Calendar:  Opposition parties express dissatisfaction with the EC’s failure to release the electoral calendar for the 2024 elections. The delay raises concerns about transparency and effective planning for the upcoming elections.

2. Unresolved Electoral Issues: Opposition leaders highlight unresolved challenges from previous elections, including equipment breakdowns, ballot shortages, and the controversial decision to eliminate the guarantor system. They demand investigations and accountability for those responsible.

3. Call for Transparency: Opposition parties call on the EC to refocus on urgent and essential electoral activities to ensure the integrity of the December 07, 2024 elections. They emphasize the need for transparency and timely resolution of institutional challenges.

Hence, the opposition’s critique underscores the urgency for the EC to address immediate electoral concerns and prioritize transparency. The ongoing controversy amplifies tensions in the lead-up to the December elections, with opposition parties urging swift action.

Read the full statement here

The Electoral Commission evidently has misplaced priorities!

Instead of fixing major institutional and operational challenges, the Electoral Commission is determined to pursue an amendment of the constitution, Article 112(4), which they know very well they will not be successful with.

Food for thought: To successfully amend article 112(4), you need 2/3rds of MPs. This is 183.3 MPs (rounded down to 183 or up to 184).

NDC has 137 MPs, and NPP has 137 MPs.

Does the EC seek to achieve a split where presidential elections through a new CI are held differently from Parliamentary?

The EC admits all parties agreed on 2028. This means there was CONSENSUS on 2028. But, the EC seeks to rig IPAC’s divided opinion on 2024 (A 5:5 split for the ten political parties that gathered) to suit the EC’s narrow agenda of holding elections in November, 2024.

What does Dr. Bossman Asare, the Deputy Chairman of the EC mean when he says “almost about” 60% of political parties? Is it 5 .1, 5.2, 5 3 or 5.7 political parties? And how did Dr. Bossman Asare assign the fractions and to which political party?

But, November 2024 is only eight (8) clear months away because tomorrow is 1st February.

For the avoidance of doubt, the NDC has made it clear that we’re all ready to discuss voting on worship days for a workable solution to satisfy people of faith.

We have also advocated a return to the enviable time gonoured tradition of going by consensus at IPAC meetings.

Meanwhile:

1. The EC waited for seven (7) solid years to pass after 2016 without revisiting this issue only to resurrect the subject of voting in November, when Ghana has just months to the December 07 presidential and parliamentary elections.

2. The Electoral Commission’s calendar of programmes and activities for the upcoming elections is not yet ready; hence, it could not be released to political parties at IPAC as promised earlier. Moreover, the EC can not even produce a calendar of activities at the beginning of the year yet wants to amend the constitution in an election year?

3. Why wait for January to end without stakeholders having the electoral calendar for the 2024 elections?

4. Why did the EC not introduce these discussions, adjustments, and amendments in 2017, 2018, 2019, or better still, why not after the 2020 elections? As in, introducing the subject matter in 2021, 2022, and 2023?

5. In this election year, the EC has so much to do after an abysmal District Level (Assembly) Elections characterised by postponements after postponements, shortage of ballot papers, some Election officers complicity among others.

6. Recall the chaotic Limited Registration of voters in 2023…

7. Did you know that another voters’ registration exercise must take place this year? Yet, because the EC’s calendar of activities is not ready, we are left guessing

8. And did you know that notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence that over 62% of registrants used the guarantor system during the 2023 Limited Registration exercise, the EC is still determined to scrap the guarantor system of identification?

9. Also, recall the frequent breakdown of EC’s equipment and network (system) during the limited registration exercise in 2023, which necessitated shifting to offline registration in some cases. These developments cast doubts about the procurement of services and equipment and must be investigated and fixed.

10. For emphasis, to hold parliamentary elections in November, the EC needs amendment of the 1992 constitution, Article 112(4).

11. This amendment of a non-entrentched clause requires two-thirds of MPs to pass, meanwhile the MPs themselves must be in their constituencies for some parts of this year campaigning, and facilitating the registration of voters when the EC finally decides. Not to think of the duration of the process and other germane issues the EC must bring to the front burner.

Conclusion:

12. The EC must immediately release the calendar of activities for the 2024 elections.

13. The EC must be focusing on germane and urgent activities that will enhance the integrity of the December 07, 2024 elections.

14. The EC must be seen to be punishing erring EC officers who rig elections for contestants and the EC must also be punishing the EC officer in Nandom who openly declared his NPP affiliation during last weekend’s NPP primaries. The NDC has a petition before the EC to that effect.

15. As was made abundantly clear at the IPAC meeting, we do not expect the EC to wait for another election year to reintroduce this major reform of voting in November. The process must end the latest by 2027 to allow political actors enough time in 2028 to concentrate on core concerns

in an election year.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *