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The EC is not a secret society but a public institution – “CARE” GHANA

A CIVIL SOCIETY Organisation dubbed Care for Free and Fair Election – Ghana, “CARE” – GHANA has cautioned the Electoral Commission, EC Boss, Jean Adukwei Mensah and her deputy, Dr. Bossman Asare that the commission is not a secret society but a public institution.

“CARE”-GHANA suspects the electoral commission travelled to Togo in the quest to register some Togolese
unto the current register to present as evidence to make the case that the electoral register is
over bloated.

The CSO also suspects the EC is currently engaged in secret recruitment of IT personnel around Tema to assist in their intent to out wit the opposition political parties and Ghanaians at large.

In a statement to this portal, “CARE” GHANA charged the EC bosses to stop their secret activities and critically consider building consensus before any move to compile a new voters’register or abort it for the purposes of averting any electoral dispute leading to electoral violence.

The statement further indicates that lack of transparency on part of the President Akufo-Addo chosen EC Bosses is hurting the credibility of the institution and is a recipe for electoral dispute.

The CSO added that the current happenings in the country ahead of the December 7, 2020 elections suggest that the coming elections would be fiercely contested, therefore, it behooves on the Commission to be transparent and embrace consensus building to curb any electoral anarchy.

“CARE”-GHANA stressed the incidents that occurred at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election and the current nationwide “Yenpini /Wokplee” demonstrations by the “Inter Party Resistance Against the New Voter’s Register” indicates that this year’s general elections and activities leading to it cannot be taken lightly.

It will be suicidal for the EC to think of introducing two major reforms in less than nine months to a major election will not pose any threat to the country’s fledging democracy.

Below is the full statement by “CARE”-GHANA

THE ACTIONS OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION IS BECOMING A
SECURITY THREAT TO OUR FLEDGING DEMOCRACY.

Current happenings in the run up to the 7th December, 2020 elections suggest that the coming elections will be fiercely contested, therefore, the Electoral Commission, EC should be transparent and embrace consensus building to curb any electoral dispute.

The incidents that occurred at
the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election for example and the current nationwide “Yenpini”
demonstrations by the Inter Party Resistance Against the New Voter’s Register indicates that this year’s general elections and activities leading to it cannot be taken lightly.

It will be very suicidal for the EC to believe that, introducing two major reforms in less than nine months to a major election will not pose any threat to our fledging democracy.

The compilation of a new voters register and the procurement of a new IT infrastructure among
other activities associated with it demands not less than one and half uninterrupted years to fully
implement.

Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana “CARE” GHANA is of the view that, the EC remove the thick web clouding its activities and critically consider building consensus before commencement of the compilation of new voters’ register or completely abort it for the purposes of averting any electoral dispute leading
to electoral violence.

It is apparent that, the lack of transparency is hurting the credibility of the EC and in our view that is a recipe for electoral anarchy.

“CARE” GHANA wants to reiterate that, the EC is not a secret society organisation, it is a public institution therefore must be transparent to the tax payer.

Obviously, Ghanaians demand to have answers to the following critical questions

  1. Through which medium will the election results be transmitted from the polling and collation centers to the EC since we were informed by the EC in the 2016 general elections that the EC system was hacked hence, the delay in calling the results.

Is the EC considering implementing ROPAL in only countries with Ghanaian Embassies as we have heard or any country a Ghanaian lives. How does the EC intend to execute
ROPAL.

  1. Is the Electoral commission considering the postponement of the 7th December, 2020 elections as an option if there is any delay.
  2. Is the electoral commission’s presence in Togo an attempt to register some Togolese
    unto the register to present as evidence to make the case that the electoral register is
    over bloated.
  3. Is the EC currently engaged in secret recruitment of IT personnel around Tema Resent meetings called by the EC to discuss electoral matters have either ended in a stalemate or walkout by some key stakeholders and political parties. As a result, these political parties and CSOs have resorted to engaging the public through demonstrations, media engagements including fora to express their dissatisfaction.

Many well meaning Ghanaians, Civil Society Organizations, Christian bodies and other groups have questioned the mode of operations by the EC and have called on the electoral body as the referee to soften its entrench positions and embrace consensus building.

“CARE” GHANA is also of the opinion that the EC should reconvene the last Thursday’s meeting which suffered a walkout and properly invite all parties and stakeholders with one
invitation letter with a clear agenda.

This is to have all parties attend this meeting ready and able to dispassionately discuss the agenda to the letter and come to a conclusive decision.

Our call for the Electoral Commission to be transparent and suspend compiling a new voters
register is not out of mischief but to open up and bring all parties back to the table for further engagements and a peaceful resolution. If not, it may lead to serious challenges which cannot be resolved within the limited period.

For instance, we believe that, the risk and challenges associated with the new system, test running the system to ascertain its reliability, dealing with infractions that may occur at the registration center, electoral disputes among other things require enough time for proper resolution and the EC may be unable to resolve all these within the time left.

In such registration activities, some party functionaries and supporters for instance, with or
without motivation may attempt using dubious means to shore up votes at the registration
centers.

Others also through their individual effort or the party’s arrangement move registration
devices from their designated registration centers to a secret location to register individuals not
illegible to participate in the elections at that polling center or in the elections at all.

At the last limited registration exercise for example there were reports of EC officials with
registration devices at unauthorized locations allegedly registering members on the blind side of
other political parties. Up till today nothing has become of these allegations.

Usually, if such allegations are left unattended to, the confidence posed in the electoral management body to deliver a free, fair and transparent elections dwindles and people begin to take the law into their hands and act in ways suitable to them.

The EC should recognize that without the existence of political contest by political parties its functions will not be useful to us therefore, should consider working closely with the political parties and build a working relationship with the key stakeholders.

-Signed-
David Kumi Addo
Executive Secretary “CARE” GHANA

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