‘EC Has Manipulated The Ruling Party’ Hence IMANI Calls On Peace Council, Others To Call EC To Order
The IMANI Center for Policy and Education has called on the Peace Council, the National House of Chiefs, the Synods and Conferences of Bishops as well as the Electoral Commission’s Eminent Advisory Committee to join the various civil society movements and call the EC to order.
The Center suggests that all lawful means of getting the Electoral Commission (EC) to reason and stop the new voter’s registration exercise have been futile especially now that “the EC has successfully manipulated the ruling party to assist in this scheme by offering them something they had always wanted: re-registration.”
According to them, the EC is doing its best to ruin the hard-earned reputation of Ghana being one of Africa’s most respected democracies.
It says, “if someone had assembled the world’s smartest people and given them the task to design the surest way to discredit the outcome of an impending election and stain the reputation of one of Africa’s most respected democracies, they wouldn’t have come up with anything more effective than what Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) is now doing.”
Thus, the policy think tank’s call on religious bodies and bodies of arbitration suggesting that a probable appeal to the emotions and rationality of the Electoral Commissioner, Jean Mensa, and her deputies may cause a change in their stance.
IMANI still posits that, “the EC is motivated purely by the procurement of millions of dollars of needless, useless, expensive equipment for reasons best known to its commissioners” and has carefully “manipulated” the incumbent government although “the EC’s main goal has always been the procurement opportunity, they initially offered to transfer the biographical details on the existing equipment to new equipment provided new biometric data could be captured to replace the existing.”
According to the Center, the EC upon realizing that it would lose both the ruling party and the opposition since they want different things and the EC cannot satisfy both, it chose one with the ‘power’, hence the rather bizarre U-turns.
The think tank has asserted that,
“none of the two main parties are too concerned about the millions of dollars that will be wasted on needless equipment, though the NDC has referred to the matter occasionally. The EC did the calculation and realised that though their primary interest is the brand-new equipment, they needed ‘political cover’ too.”
In a statement privy to the Vaultz News, published by IMANI on a question and answer they conducted on How To Discredit An Election, the center’s response to the question ‘Are you on a course to undermine the EC’s independence’, it said, “The EC has no ‘independence’ where citizens are concerned.”
“The EC is fully accountable to the office of the citizen, the auditor general, Parliament, the courts, CHRAJ, the law enforcement agencies etc. It has functional independence…If they were, the constitution would not have made them subject to public audits and parliamentary oversight. Nor the law require that the adjudication of EC-citizen disputes over registration eligibility should be handled by a Judge.”
When asked about the protective measures put in place by the EC and social distancing, it said, “if the EC attempts this, it will lead to a significant contraction of the voter population. Queues shall stretch for two hundred meters in some locations and many people should go prepared to stay in the queues for 6 hours. All of this will lead to severe frustration and, added on top of anxiety of infection, will lead to many people choosing not to register. Many people anticipating this hassle will simply choose to stay away. The end result would be a significantly less legitimate election exercise come December.”
Explaining its point, it emphasized that the Center has examined the EC’s proposed disease control measures and they are as woolly as its other actions.
“Firstly, there is no way queue-spacing can be expanded from 30cm to 1.5 meters or even 1 meter (3 to 5 times) whilst adding about 4 more steps to the process (temperature check, sanitising of biometric scanners, sanitising of booths, and sanitising of hands by electoral officers) and still maintain the same duration of the registration exercise (¬40 days).”
IMANI further urged that “collective role as Civil Society is, all of us, to wake up all the key bodies, including the office of the citizen, to be alive to their duty to scrutinize the EC.”