EC’s disqualification: A wakeup call or an act of sentiment

ec_filing_proSome are calling it a controversial conspiracy, incredible, annoying, unacceptable or needless. Yet others say thumbs up, waaaw, finally, someone did! I’m talking about the Electoral Commission’s disqualification of 12 out of the 17 presidential aspirants for the crucial 2016 elections with one’s fate pending.

But no matter how you look at it, that’s historic and brave. EC chairperson Charlotte Osei will definitely have her name engraved in the annals of the political history of this country.

Well, some are of the view that her rigid adherence to the said Constitutional Instrument (CI 94) is a wakeup call for Ghanaians. Such proponents believe it would ensure serious compliance to systems, structures and processes just like Ghanaians are in the pursuit of international issues like visa, American lottery or mere appointments with international organizations, institutions or personalities.

Those who are furious think it is a reckless and dangerous experiment that will not only disenfranchise political parties and their supporters but also take back all the progress made in Ghana’s electoral transformation. They further argue it is an attempt to limit the contestants because no law in Ghana limits the number of parties or individuals who would want to contest general elections at any point in time.

Interestingly the disqualification is only one of the many electoral provisions that have been relaxed since 1992 because it was believed that Ghana’s fledging democracy needed to be allowed to develop. Unfortunately, the leniency or exceptions seem to be turned into the norms.

But there is an even more interesting twist, it is the gender argument. The brave decision is taken by a female who has been vilified, described as a novice and one without focus.

However you look at it, posterity will be the best judge. But some things are certain; the issue will cause a shake-up to make Ghanians sit up, pay attention to details generally and take public offices like the presidency very seriously as they do for international issues.

On the other hand, the decision can only open the Electoral Commission up to a barrage of lawsuits that will not auger well for the electoral body because it may derail the electoral process and in an extreme sense cause many to dispute the electoral results.

Well as it is we can only rely on the Courts to provide legal interpretations to the EC’s powers and limitations.

By Mercy C. Adjabeng | 3FM



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