Former President John Dramani Mahama has reiterated the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC’s) commitment to peace before, during and after the 2020 elections.
He said the NDC would do its part to ensure that the country remained peaceful and the electoral process proceeded smoothly.
However, he cautioned that the party would not accept the results of a flawed election.
“As the leader of the NDC, I wish to serve notice that we shall do our part to ensure that our country remains peaceful and the electoral process proceeds smoothly. But, and a big but, let nobody assume that we will accept the results of a flawed election,” he stressed.
The former president, who is also the flagbearer of the party, was addressing a flag-raising ceremony at the NDC headquarters at Adabraka in Accra to mark the 28th anniversary of the formation of the NDC, which contested and won its first national elections in 1992.
Ghana goes to polls
Ghana will go to the polls on December 7, this year to elect a President and members of parliament to steer affairs of the nation for the next four years.
But the former President said in spite of the party’s commitment to a peaceful electoral process, it found it strange that for the first time in the Fourth Republic, the Electoral Commission (EC) was compiling a new voters register barely six months to the general election.
“Never have we, in the history of the Fourth Republic, experienced such a strange situation where six months to an election, we are all not sure what register we will be using for voting,” he said.
Timing of register
Mr Mahama said the timing of the compilation of a new voters register barely six months to the general election would not allow the participation of all eligible voters.
“Never have we, in the history of the Fourth Republic, experienced a situation where large numbers of our population are threatened to be disenfranchised because of bungling inefficiency and perceived partiality of our once revered EC,” he said.
Operation defend ballot box
The NDC flagbearer charged members of the party to be vigilant and "police" the electoral process from the beginning to the end.
"We will support you to police the polls until the final results are declared. There will be no missing ballot box because we will be policing the ballot boot for boot," he said.
He said the party had begun the process to launch campaigns dubbed: “Operation defend your ballot box” and “Operation police the poll” to monitor the elections.
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We championed progress
The Chairman of the party, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said the NDC led the country on the path of development as the first party to be elected into office under the Fourth Republic.
He said after producing three different Presidents (President Jerry John Rawlings, late President Prof. J. E. A. Mills and Mr Mahama) the party had shown progressive leadership.
He paid tribute to former leaders and members of the party, including those who had passed on.
"We want to take advantage of the occasion to salute some of our fallen heroes, including former President John Evans Atta Mills; a former chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei; Mr Harry Sawyer and all the departed comrades,” he said.
Opposition to new register
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic after the event, Mr Ofosu Ampofo explained that although he was not calling for a boycott of the registration exercise, the NDC was still determined to ensure that its opposition to the new register was accepted.
“We are not boycotting it, but in the current environment in which we find ourselves, with cases of COVID-19 having crossed 10,000, we are not in a secure environment to undertake a mass registration exercise. Again, we have said the timing is also not good,” he said.
He said the party’s opposition to the compilation of the new voters register had not ended, adding: “We will continue to press that home, including all the matters that are in court.”
No to new voters register
Earlier, Mr Ofosu Ampofo had urged members of the party to reject the call to participate in the EC’s mass voters registration exercise scheduled to begin on June 30.
"We say no to the new register and even if Parliament passes the legislation, we will not accept it. We are not just against it because they will not accept the old voter card but because the whole atmosphere in the country is not conducive," he said.
The NDC was founded as a social-democratic political party when the country returned to constitutional rule in 1992, the beginning of the Fourth Republic.
Present at the event were the Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu; Ms Shirley Aryitey, Mr Kofi Attoh; the Communications Officer of the party, Mr Sammy Gyamfi; the Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Mr Ade Coker; a former Health Minister, Mr Alex Segbefia, among other executives of the party. #GhanaVotes2020