EC must engage more with IPAC

BY: Philip Boateng Kessie
Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Mr Edward Kwaku Asomani
Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Mr Edward Kwaku Asomani

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Mr Edward Kwaku Asomani, has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to strengthen its engagement with the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) on issues relating to electoral processes .

According to him, it was important that the EC in the discharge of its duties continued to maintain a close relationship with IPAC as part of efforts aimed at improving on the electoral system in the country.

That way, he said, the common agenda of ensuring the advancement of the electoral system through consensus building with political parties would be achieved.

Mr Asomani said that in an interview with the Daily Graphic regarding a recent court injunction placed on the planned limited registration exercise of the EC.

"Going forward, I think that IPAC should be involved more in the decision making process of electoral issues even though it is not binding on the EC to allow for that to happen," he said.

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"In the past, some key decisions were made as a result of that process and I think the current EC and political parties should go back to the drawing board and use IPAC effectively because it did some good in the past," he added.


He, however, cautioned that in so doing, the EC should also adopt the necessary steps to ensure that detractors did not hide under the guise of being members of IPAC only to disrupt whatever good motives had been planned to enhance elections in the country.

He also urged political parties not to take undue advantage of IPAC as an avenue to slow down the electoral processes by means of a constant disagreement on whatever planned move that would be suggested or revealed.

Court injunction

When asked what his reservations were with regards to the court injunction, Mr Asomani said that it was not the first time the EC had been dragged to court over a disagreement on electoral matters.

Recounting past events which led to the establishment of some civil society groups that pushed for election reforms prior to the 2016 elections, Mr Asomani described the current court injunction on the planned limited voter registration as a move which would eventually strengthen the electoral processes adding that it was all in the interest of ensuring a credible and successful election come 2020.

"I think the EC's reason for wanting to embark on the limited registration exercise was valid, however, let us allow the court to do their work and see how things would go," he said.

EC in election 2020

Mr Asomani also indicated that in a bid to enhance the electoral system in the country, it was also necessary for the EC to remain resolute in its role as a neutral body as it prepared to stage the 2020 general elections.

He, therefore, urged the public to dismiss the assertion that the EC Chair, Mrs Jean Mensa, and her commissioners were on an agenda to do the bidding of a particular group as had been widely purported.

Way forward

Going forward, he advised the EC to strengthen its communication and engagement with the public on it’s decisions and actions as far as the electoral processes were concerned.

That, when done, he said, would clear public doubt and ensure that no political party would apportion blame to the EC when it lost the 2020 elections.