EC's call for reforms not genuine — NPP

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, NPP National ChairmanThe New Patriotic Party (NPP) says it is not convinced that the call from the Electoral Commission (EC) to political parties for recommendations to reform Ghana’s electoral process is genuine.

Citing its reasons in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, and issued in Accra yesterday, the NPP said: “We are suspicious that the call by the EC will result in we and others submitting recommendations that would then be buried in the bosom of the EC, either to never emerge or to emerge in some emasculated form, the product of the wisdom and constitutional absolute powers allowed to the E C.”

To assure the party that the EC had good intentions, the NPP urged the commission to consult and announce a receiving body that would work with it to produce a final draft of the suggestions that would be used for electoral reforms.

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The EC, in a letter dated September 5, 2012, observed that political parties were its “principal stakeholders” and urged them to submit the proposals before the end of November this year.

“The commission will, therefore, appreciate that each registered political party indicates what it considers to be the needed reforms in our electoral system. Any recommendations made must be within the context of our existing electoral laws and system,” the letter said.

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The NPP statement, however, said the party had not been officially written to by the EC on the issue.

Commenting on the call by the EC in an earlier interview with the Daily Graphic on Sunday, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, said the party’s petition to the Supreme Court had been about the irregularities, malpractices and violations that had characterised the 2012 elections and so any move to review the system with the view to correcting them was welcome.

He indicated that after the election petition, electoral reforms were the least the EC would look at and said, among others, that apart from some electoral issues which needed to be addressed, the date for elections must also be given a second look.

But stating that the party first heard of the call from the Daily Graphic specifically, the NPP, in its statement, suggested that the body it was proposing could be based on the legal and technical sub-committee that would be set up at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings.

It further suggested that the call should be widened because political parties “cannot presume to be sole sources of ideas on how to create a system that will allow every qualified voter the opportunity to vote, vote once only and have that vote correctly declared and properly used in amalgamating the total votes necessary to elect a public officer”.

“The nation is tired of the current practice of dealing with our dissatisfactions and concerns by public relations exercises rather than by substance: the practice of referring the matter to some faceless committee or body, then being buried until forgotten,” the statement added.