EC Makes Double U-Turns

The Electoral Commission (EC) has made a sudden U-turn on its earlier decision to eliminate the use of indelible ink in this year’s general elections.

Not only that, the election management body, has also backtracked on its earlier plan to have the current December 7 election date changed to any day in November, at least for this year’s election.

This, follows numerous objections to the proposals by Ghanaians and the various political parties featuring prominently the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)

In a recent programme, the Deputy Electoral Commissioner in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Eric Asare Bossman, said the decision to abandon the move was necessary in building trust and consensus ahead of the December polls.

“After listening to the discussions, we have heard the concerns of the general public, we have heard the parliamentarians, we have heard the concerns of the NPP and the NDC and civil society members so we have concluded that if by using the ink people will have more trust in the process, why not…” he said at the launch of Multimedia’s Election Headwaters programme yesterday.

Earlier, the Minority caucus in Parliament, had accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of breaching the constitution by abandoning the use of indelible ink in the upcoming elections.

Speaking on the floor of parliament, the First Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim and Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, said the action by the EC, contravenes the regulation passed by Parliament for the effective performance of its functions.

“The issue of the non-use of the indelible ink breaches the law…Mr Speaker, you cannot come to Parliament with an instrument where protocols have been outlined and you as an administrative fiat decide that you won’t go according to the protocol.

“The use of indelible ink is part of the regulations that we put in the instrument for the effective performance of the Electoral Commissioner so, you cannot decide that you would not apply it. She must do things that will help her perform effectively,” the two NDC MPs had argued.

During the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Monday, January 22, 2024, the EC suggested moving both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections to November 7 and designating election days as national holidays.

The purpose of these proposals, was to initiate discussions on potential improvements to the electoral process.

Advocating for an earlier election month, the EC emphasized that, declaring election days as national holidays, could enhance civic engagement and contribute to fostering a more robust democratic culture.

However, Eric Asare Bossman, the Deputy EC Chairman in charge of Corporate Services, highlighted the necessity for the proposal to undergo parliamentary scrutiny before implementation.

“So, within the last few months, this is something the commission is going to trigger. That was agreed with the political parties, that in the event we cannot marshal the forces of IPAC to have it in November 2024, the commission should take steps to ensure that in 2028, we are going to have it in November.

“This must be clear, we were not talking about November 7. At the IPAC meeting, the decision was a day in November. So it can be the first Monday, a second Monday, a third Monday, Tuesday, Friday or Thursday,” Dr Bossman said in an interview with Joy News.


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