Political parties have welcomed calls by a former Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) for reforms at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).

Mr David Kanga told Joy News’ Evans Mensah on Wednesday that IPAC meetings, where all the political parties meet to discuss matters relating to elections in the country had lost its verve and had become “normal formal meetings”.

IPAC is made up of representatives of all registered political parties and the EC. It includes Regional Inter-Party Advisory Committees and District Inter-Party Advisory Committees.

IPAC’s main function is to deliberate, share ideas and proffer advice on electoral matters.

Mr Kanga’s call for reforms to IPAC has been backed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People’s National Convention (PNC).

NDC’s Deputy General Secretary, George Lawson, says IPAC must be given a legal backing.

He said “If [IPAC becomes] a statutory requirement, then people will respect it. If it is not backed by law, nobody will respect you [party members]. You will go and talk…[but the] final decision will rest in their [EC’s] bosom…until [it gets a legal backing], nothing can be done.”

He notes also that the IPAC is a very relevant aspect of the country’s electoral process since “parties are able to express their views or opinions” about teething issues affecting them prior to elections.

“If we want to make IPAC very, very relevant…then there should be a law that makes it [so]”, Mr Lawson emphasised.

The NPP’s Osei Bonsu Amoah also stressed the need for a law that would make decisions taken at IPAC meetings binding on the Electoral Commission.

He revealed that the EC only met the parties when it was expedient for them. He said “most of the time when we meet, they just inform us of the actions they want to take.”

“The only time we [party members] have been quite useful to the EC was when two committees were formed, the technical and legal committees, to look at the regulation and biometric machines”, said Mr Amoah.

Going forward, O.B Amoah suggests that IPAC should play a bigger role in the affairs of the EC, a feat which according to him, can be achieved when there is a law backing it.

General Secretary of the PNC, Bernard Mornah, agrees with the two suggestions but adds that IPAC needs to be more than just an advisory body to the EC.