Join NDC’s advocacy for better electoral reforms – Mahama to media

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has asked the media to support the electoral reform proposals sent to the electoral commission by his party the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr Mahama said it will be a loss to Ghana if their proposals are not implemented.

The party has put forward another set of electoral reform proposals for the action of the Executive, Legislature and bodies other than the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

This comes after the party made initial six proposals for electoral reforms on May 20, 2021, during a press conference they dubbed: Assessing the so-called achievements and electoral reform proposal by the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

Those proposals came by way of an immediate reaction to the adoption by the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and the Electoral Commission some electoral reforms which included closing polls at 3:00 pm, a continuous voter registration exercise, an all-year-round voter exhibition exercise through the use of technology (SMS shortcode), among others.

The NDC, which had not participated in the IPAC meeting at the time raised concerns about the proposals, rejecting some, especially the proposal to close polls at 3:00 pm.

In furtherance to that, the party in a stakeholder engagement made the following proposals and justified same;

Provide for prior parliamentary approval for the appointment of EC members: The NDC is of the view that the current mode of appointment of the Electoral Commission appears to be partisan and does not involve the representatives of the people of Ghana (Parliament). They contend this does not allow the commission to be as independent, neutral and credible as it ought to be.

Thus, they want the appointment of the EC members to be like that of Justices of the Supreme Court which involves prior parliamentary approval. According to the NDC, the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), of which the current EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, was a member, recommended prior parliamentary approval for the appointment of EC members and that the Government White Paper on the CRC Report accepted the recommendation.

Repeal the requirement for the consent of the AG to be given before the prosecution of electoral offences: Section 42 of the Representation of the People Act, 1992, PNDCL 284, requires that the Attorney General gives consent in writing for the prosecution of electoral offences.

Asked what steps will the NDC take if the EC doesn’t heed to their proposals, Mr Mahama said on Radio Tamale on Thursday August 19 as part of his thank you tour that “Well, it will be Ghana’s loss, it will be a loss for all of us.  It is not only the NDC that should be the advocate for that.

“You the media should take a look at it. I don’t know how many of you have seen the proposed electoral reforms, it has been published, look at it and join the advocacy for it. , if you look at it you will se that a lot of them are not based on our partisan interest but they are national interest.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana