The New Patriotic Party is refraining from taking part in electoral reforms being spearheaded by the Electoral Commission because they are hiding something from the rest of the nation, Deputy National General Secretary of the NDC, George Lawson has surmised.
He told Joy FM’s Top Story Friday that the EC, since Ghana returned to democracy, has been leading such reforms after every general elections, which he said makes the latest decision by the NPP suspicious.
He is therefore demanding that the NPP come clear and tell the nation the main rationale behind their rejection of EC’s request for political parties to submit proposals for the reforms.
Mr Lawson said it is “unfortunate” for the NPP to take such a stand against the EC, when the same Electoral Commission they are fighting today led reforms that brought the NPP to power in 2000 and 2004 respectively.
“We [the NDC) don’t have a problem with the EC leading the reform agenda,” he established. The NDC Deputy General Secretary insisted that the party will “definitely” respond to the EC’s request because “we are in favour of reforms”.
He remarked: “It is unfortunate to hear the NPP talk about the credibility of the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission has led reforms in this country since the inception of the  Republican Constitution. This same Electoral Commission has led reforms and brought NPP to power.
“We started with opaque ballot boxes, there was a reform and we went to transparent, we went ID cards without pictures, we reformed with ID cards with pictures, then it went to ID cards with colour pictures. Then under NPP they led a reform that we went from colour picture to black and white pictures. And then again in 2012, we saw it, they led a reform with regards to the biometric system.”
George Lawson therefore posited, “I think there is something they should tell us..if there is something they know we do not known. ”
Touching on the NPP’s election petition at the Supreme Court led by its 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, he maintained that “elections are not won on technicalities; elections are won at polling stations.
He explained that even before polling stations results get to the coalition centre, party agents inform their members at the centre about the results and not about pink sheets.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey noted that political parties have always had some form of mistrust with the EC.
He recalled that in 2005 the NDC had certain stand against the Commission after the 2004 general elections but the NPP defended the EC, “so we have a reversed order”, adding there has always been a certain disposition.
He however reminded political parties that the EC is an independent and national institution and “does not take orders from anybody”.
Nonetheless, Dr Akwetey said there has to be a way to bring consensus on mistrust and lack of confidence raised by the NPP.
His said his outfit and the National Peace Council is working to have discussions with the Electoral Commission and President John Mahama to fashion out how best the national interest would be served.