All must help EC undertake credible electoral processes

BY: Daily Graphic
Jean Mensa, Electoral Commissioner
Jean Mensa, Electoral Commissioner

It has been a long while since the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) met to discuss issues concerning preparations towards elections and chart a common way forward.

It was, therefore, welcome news when the EC met representatives of some political parties yesterday in the first IPAC meeting since Mrs Jean Mensa was appointed the Chairperson of the election management body.

According to sources at the closed-door meeting, the mood was very cordial and friendly and the representatives discussed the referendum on the creation of new regions that the EC intends to organise on November 27, 2018.

The meeting is also said to have discussed a limited registration exercise that will take place in September, the 2020 general election, as well as plans for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs).

It is good the EC is initiating moves to let all stakeholders know exactly what it is doing to manage the electoral process, after it had been left without a chairperson, two deputies and another commissioner.

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As the EC and the IPAC continue to seek ways of building harmony, trust and goodwill, it is the hope of the Daily Graphic that all political parties will find it important to cooperate with the election management body to ensure that meetings between the two bodies are not undermined.

It is for this reason that we are saddened by the news that the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the biggest opposition party, was not represented at the meeting.
Some of the parties that sent representatives to the meeting were the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP).

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In its efforts to enhance transparency of its operations, the EC formed the IPAC in 1994 to help effect reforms and bring about qualitative improvement in the country’s electoral process.

However, although the IPAC had, over the years, played important roles and brought some success story to the election management process, one difficulty facing the EC is how to build sustained goodwill, trust and confidence in the electoral process.

This is why yesterday’s closed-door meeting should have had representatives of the NDC in attendance. We are aware of the misgivings expressed by the party when the appointment of a new EC chair and that of her deputies was announced.

But whatever the case, the new team at the EC will be the team to superintend over all processes leading to the 2020 general election and beyond.

As political activities peak, all efforts must be made to do away with any situation that will bring about mistrust, suspicion and division.

It is in this regard that the Daily Graphic expects all stakeholders, including the political parties and the EC, to put their shoulders to the wheel to ensure smooth election management processes and preparations.

The need to jaw jaw is imperative if the country is to build confidence and trust in the electoral process and nothing should be done to undermine the effort to organise peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections.