Home News Electoral Commission initiates steps to conduct 2024 elections in November – Report

Electoral Commission initiates steps to conduct 2024 elections in November – Report

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eneral News of Tuesday, 30 January 2024

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has affirmed that a majority of political parties have given their approval for this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections to take place in November.

My joyonline.com reports that this decision was reached following an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Monday, January 29.

However, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some other political entities have rejected the proposal, advocating for polls to open in November instead of December.

The NDC opposed the change expressing concerns about the feasibility of organizing a seamless election within the suggested timeline.

Meanwhile, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is yet to make a definitive stance on the issue.

Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, the Director of Elections and ICT for the NDC, urged caution on the part of the EC, emphasizing that the workload leading up to the elections might overwhelm the commission.

He mentioned that the EC could potentially be burdening itself with more than it can manage given the tasks ahead.

He stated, “As an institution, if it wanted to add the needed parliamentary processes to change the date for the elections, it’s something that we all discussed, and we are all men and women of faith. So we take issues of religion seriously, and we felt that it’s something that should be subjected to a broader national discussion so that all shades of opinion can be factored into it for the appropriate decision to be taken.”

“And with all that said, for the election day being a holiday, we felt it is not really necessary but if others think it must be done, even though we have too many holidays in the year, if others feel it must be done, it can be considered,” Dr. Boamah added.

Dr. Omane Boamah stressed the importance of the EC adhering to the scheduled date for the general elections. He emphasized that the EC had enough opportunity to implement reforms in preceding years rather than waiting until an election year.

Dr. Bossman Asare, the Deputy Chairman of the EC overseeing Corporate Services, in an interview explained that the adjusted timeline would facilitate the election management body’s readiness for a potential runoff if the initial polls conclude this year without a winner.

Dr Asare noted that following discussions at the IPAC meeting on Monday, the majority of political parties showed support for shifting the election dates from December to November.

They also indicated that if the EC could feasibly enact this change this year, it would be preferable.

However, Dr. Asare mentioned that many parties proposed initiating the process in 2028 if implementation this year proves unattainable for the EC.

He said, “So in principle, all the parties that attended IPAC yesterday were for it for 2028. But for 2024, almost about 60% of the parties, more than half of the parties said if it will be possible for the EC to go through the legal processes to have it implemented this year, let’s go ahead.”

Addressing inquiries about the EC’s capability to fulfil all the necessary legal obligations and adjustments for conducting the elections in November, the Deputy Chairman of the EC said, “Yes, very much so. Looking at our calendar, we are pretty sure that we will be able to do everything, whatever it takes to ensure that we go through the legal process.”

He emphasized that while the EC plays a crucial role, the final decision lies beyond their jurisdiction, the implementation process must pass through the Attorney General’s office and the parliamentary system for approval.

Dr Asare stated, “But as I said, as far as we are concerned, whatever we need to do, whatever is necessary, whatever is proper that must be done to ensure that we are able to consummate it and have the elections, we are well able to do that.” RAD/OGB

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