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You won’t have your way to jeopardize Ghana’s democracy with your“dangerous, ridiculous and outrageous” electoral decisions – Minority Leader to EC Boss

You won’t have your way to jeopardize Ghana’s democracy with your“dangerous, ridiculous and outrageous” electoral decisions – Minority Leader to EC Boss

The Minority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson has sent a strong word of caution to the handlers of country’s electoral system to shelf any plans and decisions that could lead chaotic situation.

According to him, his side of the House will not sit aloof and watch the commissioners of the Electoral Commission (EC) make what he described as dangerous and outrageous decisions that will jeopardise Ghana’s democracy.

The Minority Leader explained that the electoral management body lacks the independence and authority to make such decisions including the barring and subsequent reversal of political party agents from the ongoing voter transfer process.

In his welcome address at the resumption of Parliament on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 Mr Forson emphasized that the Minority will not allow the EC to make decisions that could jeopardize the country’s democracy.

“While we acknowledge that the Electoral Commission is an independent body, it must be pointed out in no uncertain terms to the Electoral Commission that it does not have the independence to make dangerous, ridiculous and outrageous decisions that can affect the peace and stability of our country and this democracy.

It is therefore imperative that Parliament calls the Electoral Commissioners to order to save this democracy and protect the peace and stability of our dear country.

Mr Speaker, the NDC Minority Caucus want to use this forum to demand an urgent committee of the whole to iron out these grave concerns with the Electoral Commission before it is too late,” he said.

Dr. Forson recounted concerns raised by the Minority Caucus during the last District Assembly elections and argued that the EC’s decisions had set it on a collision course with political parties, civil society organizations, and potential first-time voters.

“In February 2023, the Minority had cause to say that “this Electoral Commission enjoys taking unwholesome decisions, being disruptive, fancies courting public disaffection and enjoys being roundly condemned by right-thinking people. We said this at the time because the Electoral Commission had taken a decision to restrict first-time voters to register only at the offices of the Electoral Commission. That reckless decision had the potential to disenfranchise or deprive the vast majority of first-time voters the opportunity to have their names captured on the voter register.

That decision of the Electoral Commission made the registration of new voters during the limited registration period difficult, cumbersome, painful and laborious for those who were qualified to register.

The decision of the Electoral Commission also imposed a huge unplanned financial burden on Members of Parliament, Parliamentary candidates and political parties.

Persons who were registering for the first time were needlessly subjected to frustrations and great inconveniences while Members of Parliament were subjected to significant and unplanned out-of-pocket expenditure. People had to travel long distances to the district offices of the Electoral Commission, endure long delays from queues and suffer the agony of broken-down registration equipment and network failures,” he stated

Despite the chaos and confusion caused by these decisions, Dr Forson noted that the EC failed to learn from its mistakes.

“One would have thought that the Electoral Commission would learn lessons from the reckless decisions that I have just recounted, which created chaos and confusion all over the place. But no, this Electoral Commission learnt nothing from them. These same terrible decisions have been repeated by the Electoral Commission in the just-ended voter registration as well as the ongoing vote transfer exercise.

The Electoral Commission is making a simple electoral process very cumbersome, frustrating, expensive and burdensome. These developments do not inspire hope in our electoral process. Rather, they give many people and some political parties cause to question the integrity of the processes ahead of the 2024 general elections.

We are concerned that if these frustrating actions and decisions of the Electoral Commission are not checked, it can negatively impact the peace and stability of our democracy.

These developments are unhealthy for our electoral process and democracy and go a long way to ground public perception of bias on the part of this particular Electoral Commission.

Why must this Electoral Commission always make questionable decisions which create chaos and confusion across the country? Why must the actions of this Electoral Commission always threaten the peace and stability of Ghana’s democracy? Why must it always take a massive pushback and public backlash to get the Electoral Commission to do the right things? This is worrying!” Portions of his speech read.

By: Kwadwo BUABENG

inghananewstoday is a 24-hour new media company with a wide array of products including general news, politics, business, technology, and a specialized segment on water and sanitation (WASH) issues.

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