President Akufo-Addo says it is not beyond Ghana to make the December 7 election a success despite the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic poses.
He said in order to forestall any needless constitutional controversy, “which could throw the country into jeopardy, we must vote on 7th December 2020.”
Addressing the nation prior to the voter registration exercise which begins on Tuesday, he said, “We should not fear or be alarmed. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, elections are being properly conducted in many nations across the globe.”
President Akufo-Addo cited examples of countries such as South Korea, Poland, Mali and Malawi, who have all held elections in the midst of the pandemic.
He was confident that “surely, it is not beyond Ghana to join these nations in organising a successful general election, even in the midst of the pandemic.”
Some people have argued that in the midst of a pandemic and the country’s Covid-19 cases shooting up, the compilation of a new register should not be a priority.
Indeed some have said the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary elections should be put on hold, and scheduled for a later date, perhaps, when the pandemic ends, the President stated that “that is not possible”.
He explained that the Constitution of the country makes no provision for the extension of the mandate of the president, who wields executive power, beyond four years.
“To exercise executive power in the Ghanaian state, you must be duly elected by the Ghanaian people. You must have their freely-expressed consent.
“On January 7, 2021, when my mandate as the current President expires, a duly elected person must be ready to be sworn in as President of the Republic,” he said.
He said to guarantee the safety of all eligible registrants at the 33,327 polling stations across the country, the Electoral Commission has put in place the necessary, elaborate protocols, as outlined earlier in the day by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa.
“All these protocols should be adhered to strictly. Additionally, I want to remind all Ghanaians that all the other protocols and restrictions, especially those dealing with large gatherings, must be adhered to and enforced at the polling stations at all times.
“So, let us all abide by them, and conduct ourselves in a manner befitting the image and status of Ghana,” he said.