Elvis Afriyie Ankrah

Director of Elections for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah is not enthused about the Electoral Commission’s (EC) proposal to close polls at 3 pm in subsequent general elections.

His comment is as a result of a proposal by the EC to change the prevailing closing time from 5 pm to 3 pm, following an IPAC review workshop.

Speaking at a press briefing Thursday, Mr Afriyie-Ankrah explained that the change in time will deprive many Ghanaians of their civic right and responsibility.

Describing the proposal as baffling and mind-blogging, he further opined that the closing of polls at 5 pm has been effective since its inception, hence should be maintained.

“The NDC finds the proposal by the Jean Mensah-led EC to change the closing time of polls from 5 pm to 3 pm in 2024 baffling and mind-boggling. Since the 1992 elections, polls have always closed at 5 pm. This has worked perfectly without any challenges whatsoever.

“It, therefore, beggars belief that the EC would want to change this time-tested arrangement and go for a poorly thought-through alternative which is bound to disenfranchise eligible voters and create needless problems for our electoral system,” he said.

To buttress his point on why the 3 pm proposal is not a good initiative, Mr Afriyie Ankrah stated that the country has been reporting undue delay in the delivery of electoral materials to polling stations. A challenge he says has not yet been resolved.

For him, the proposal presented by the EC should be rejected by all, particularly when the Commission led by Jean Mensa failed to honour its promise to announce the 2020 election results within 24 hours.

According to Mr Afriyie Ankrah, by embarking on a journey to fix things that are not broken, the Electoral Commission is proving that it has not learnt from its mistakes.

“Ghanaians will recall how a similar hasty decision by the EC to declare results within 24 hours after the closure of polls in the 2020 elections failed miserably and led to the rushed declaration of a patently flawed results that yielded a percentage aggregate of more than 100%,  by the Returning Officer, Mr. Jean Adukwei Mensah. One would have thought that Jean Mensah would have learnt the right lessons by now but that appears not to be the case.

“Friends from the media, our position on this proposal is simple. The current arrangement of closing polls at 5 pm has worked perfectly in seven (7) general elections in this country and does not require any fixing. Like the Chairperson said in her speech, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” he stated.