The Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) says the election-management body cannot be held responsible for the wanton abandonment of Covid-19 preventive protocols at registration centres.
Dr Serebour Quaicoe says the Commission has done its part by putting in place all the measures but it behoves on other stakeholders, particular individuals to be responsible.
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) had called for the prosecution of all EC officials as well as political party agents for any breaches of Covid-19 protocols that will lead to mass infections.
In a statement issued prior to the start of the registration, the GMA said the EC has “an obligation to ensure that all appropriate Covid-19 preventive etiquettes such as social distancing, wearing of masks, use of alcohol based sanitisers (with at least 70% alcohol) as well as the washing of hands with soap and running water etc. are observed at all times during the exercise”.
It added: “The EC Chairperson and other members of the Commission should be ultimately held responsible and accountable by the state for any wanton disregard for or non-enforcement of Covid-19 preventive measures at any voter registration centre (that has the potential to spread the disease).”
But speaking on The Key Points on TV3/3FM, Dr Quaicoe expressed strong disagreement with GMA’s recommendations.
“I don’t’ agree with them. As I said, we are dealing with adults and they should be responsible for their actions.
“It is when the people are ignorant, they are minors, juveniles that we say that the parents are held responsible for the actions of their children. We are dealing with people who are 18 years and of sound mind so all of us should help educate them to know that they have to be very careful about their health and their surrounding. It should be the responsibility of all of us.”
He said the GMA has not been fair to the EC because the latter has gone lengths to put in place all necessary preventive measures and when the voters flout it, they are blamed.
“We will do our part but it is left with others to also complement what we are doing.
“If you lock your door and somebody comes and breaks your door, I don’t think you should be held responsible for somebody breaking your door to come and steal.”
But this didn’t go down well with GMA’s Deputy General Secretary, Dr Titus Beyuo, who later came on the programme, but to talk about Ghana’s Covid-19 situation.
But he didn’t make his submission without having a word for the EC.
“We maintain that the convener of any gathering must be held ultimately liable for what happens at that gathering and as far as the GMA is concerned the Electoral Commission is carrying out a legitimate exercise, we don’t contest that but the Electoral Commission must ensure that wherever they assemble people for this exercise, the rules of the land apply and that there is safety of the general public who come there.”
Dr Beyuo added: “You cannot hide under personal protection and say that we should ask people to be responsible and not the Commission”.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana