There are reports of an exchange of blows between representatives of some political parties at the meeting between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Thursday.

The meeting, which was at the instance of the Commission’s Eminent Advisory Committee, is also reported to have ended while matters were still left open, according to leaders of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to Deputy NDC General Secretary, Peter Boamah Otokunor, it took the intervention of one of the Eminent Advisory members, Archbishop Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, to stop leader of Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Kofi Apaloo and the General Secretary of All People’s Congress (APC), Mordechai Thiombiano Lompo, from further throwing punches at each other.

“There were exchange of blows; the leader of the LPG had to carry a chair [and] by the timely intervention of Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, there would have been bloodshed,” Otokunor told JoyNews Correspondent, Kwesi Parker-Wilson, Thursday.

How it happened

It was the disagreement about the time given to political parties following the Committee’s decision not to allow representatives from civil society organisations to comment on the presentations made by the technical officers from the EC, the NDC Deputy General Secretary added.

Otokunor said police had to call for reinforcement to bring the situation under control.

Earlier, General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, told journalists that after listening to various presentations from both the EC and the political parties, particularly those opposed to the decision to compile a new voter’s register, the Eminent Advisory Committee announced that they were going to formulate their advice and present it back to the EC.

The NDC National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, also claimed none of the issues during the presentations, “spoke against the data that the electoral commission has” which supports their position that, the current register as well as the current Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system, are not as bad as the EC has suggested.

“So we’ll say that this meeting indeed was inconclusive in terms of accepting the technical capability of the proposal that the electoral commission is bringing towards any attempt to get a new register,” Ofosu Ampofo said.

Why the meeting

The Eminent Advisory Committee called the meeting following rising tension between opposition NDC-led Inter-party Resistance Against the New Voter’s Register on one hand and the EC on the other hand, following the latter’s decision to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 elections. 

This followed the series of protests held in Tamale and Kumasi in the Northern and Ashanti Regions, by the opposition parties and some CSOs against a fresh electoral roll.

The group after the protest march in Kumasi, announced a suspension of their actions over what it said was in respect of the Eminent Advisory Committee and a show of immense regard to His Eminence Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Ashantihene, who has requested for calm as they mediate the impasse.”

The coalition have, however, accused the EC of bad faith after Director of Elections at the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe announced a date for the commencement of registration for the new register.