Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have raised concerns about the Electoral Commission (EC)’s preparedness to hold general elections in November this year.
The CSOs say although a change from December to November is laudable, modalities for its implementation has not been properly established by the EC.
Deputy Director of Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Franklin Oduro, says the EC must step up to the challenge and show it’s preparedness to conduct Presidential and Parliamentary elections in four months time.
“While we support the amendment process, we also are a bit concerned if it [proposed date] goes through this year, the Electoral Commission will be able to undertake the exercise in November. Recent court cases that have involved the Electoral Commission and some of the activities planned that they [EC] are going to do may also affect the planning, said Mr Oduro
He added that, "It is important that we don’t put undue pressure on the Electoral Commission.”
The Electoral Commission is pushing for a change in Ghana's general election timetable from December 7 to November 7 every four years. The EC hopes this will allow more time for a run-off if the leading candidate fails to garner a 50-plus-one vote for an outright victory.
The EC is basing its proposal for a change of the elections timetable on lessons from 2000 and 2008 general elections when the President was declared three days to the end of the year. The EC also hopes this will help with adequate preparation for a smooth transition from one government to the other, a view shared by the CSOs.
A forum to get inputs of the various political parties and civil society organizations in the country is being held in Parliament, Monday.
The Coalition of Domestic of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) says when Parliament meets the EC’s on Wednesday, the elections coordinator must provide modalities for the conduct of elections in November.
“This august committee must invite the EC for a thorough discussion because they have a lot on their plate,” said Albert Arhin, National Coordinator of CODEO.
“We really support this change of date, and we hope that it will be successfully implemented,” he adds.