The 10-member committee set up by the Electoral Commission (EC) to review the proposals on Ghana’s electoral system has recommended that the date for general elections must be changed from December 7 to November 7.
This, the committee said will allow enough time for government transition in the event that there is going to be a change in government.
[contextly_sidebar id=”HC4v2a6xyPU0bnmZA9FbsWGkOd4eivtr”]This was revealed on Friday when the committee presented its report to the outgoing chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan.
Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections are held on December 7 every four years as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution.
The committee therefore acknowledged that although they have proposed a new date, it requires legal backing before it can become law and subsequently implemented.
Citi News’ Sammi Wiafe who was present at the meeting reported that the proposals from the committee are in two forms; one section is to be undertaken by the EC and the other section requires Parliamentary attention.
Regarding the issues of ‘over voting’ and ‘no verification no vote,’ the committee chair pointed out that these two were the major issues which dominated the first ever Election Petition in 2012.
She thus advised that the two must be explicitly defined.
The committee further recommended that to prevent voters from being disenfranchised on election day, the EC must accompany the exhibition of the voters register with biometric verification.
“The committee said it believes that on election day, this same person may come to vote but the machine but the machine will not be able to verify his or her bio data but if the person has already gone through the verification process on the day of exhibition, it will be easier for the person to vote since he or she has been verified already,” Wiafe reported.
She clarified “there were other flagging issues that the committee also looked at even though it wasn’t part of the term of reference but we felt that it was something that was quite nagging and one of such issues was the issue of over voting – if we say over voting, what do we mean by that?”
“There is also the mantra – ‘no verification no vote’. That one too, we were encouraged to look at it and see whether there can be any change to the existing arrangement,” she said.
According to her, if the reforms are implemented to the latter, elections in Ghana will record fewer problems.
The committee was inaugurated in January 2015 to review electoral reforms proposals ahead of the 2016 general elections.
This was in response to the Supreme Court’s directive that the EC must undertake electoral reforms to prevent repetition of the circumstances which led to the 2012 Election Petition.
The Electoral Reforms Committee had Kwabena Agyapong of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Asiedu Nketia, James Kwabena Bomfeh of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Anim Kofi Addo of the Yes People’s Party (YPP) as members.
It also had Christian Owusu Parry of the EC, Rebecca Kabuki, Kwesi Jonah, of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Ransford Gyampoh of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and Dr Franklin Oduro, of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD).
By: Efua Idan Osam/Sammi Wiafe/citifmonline.com/Ghana