Let’s hold on with November 7 as election date – expert

Dr Seidu Alidu
Dr Alidu Seidu

A senior political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Alidu Mahama Seidu, has underscored the need for Ghana suspend holding this year’s parliamentary and presidential elections on November 7.

He argued that in the face of the numerous challenges currently being faced by the Electoral Commission regarding the election, the plan to hold the general elections on November 7 should be deferred, and the election conducted on December 7.

“I would have preferred that this new date be deferred to the 2020 elections so that this particular election we just have it on the normal December 7 so that the 2020 election we can now  experiment  with that particular date,” Dr Seidu told 3FM.

Ghana is currently taking steps to amend portions of the constitution to change the general election date from December 7 to November to enable enough room for transitional period after the elections.

A bill to that effect is in Parliament for consideration and approval. On Monday, the Parliamentary Committee on the Legal and Constitutional affairs held a stakeholder forum to solicit input for onward presentation to the House.

Although many electoral experts and the political parties have welcomed the move to change the date, they have expressed concern about the Electoral Commission’s readiness to conduct this year’s election on November 7.

Their fear is grounded by the ongoing issues with the voter’s register which the Supreme Court has ordered the EC to remove some over 56,000 voters who registered to vote in the 2012 elections with National Health Insurance card as proof of identity.

The Commission is expected to give all those to be affected by this deletion the opportunity to re-register with a valid identity card proving their Ghanaian nationality to be able to cast their vote in this year’s election scheduled for November 7.

But Dr Seidu believes these issues ought to be properly addressed by the EC before the elections are held, hence urged Ghana to consider conducting this year’s general elections on December 7.

He explained his call does not in any way suggest that the EC is not competent enough, saying “this is not because I doubt the capacity of the EC to deliver, I still have confidence in them that they will be able  to deliver; but this year they have been a lot of emerging  complaints and challenge regarding a lot of things that the EC has been doing.

By Collins Essuman|3news.com|Ghana

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