NDC, NPP disagree with Justice Crabbe’s proposal on elections

The General Secretary of the NPP, Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka ‘Sir John’ and National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Yaw Boateng Gyan have disagreed with Justice Crabbe’s suggestion that holding presidential and parliamentary elections on the same day was the cause of electoral disputes in Ghana.

They were speaking on Wednesday on Adom FM’s current affairs programme ‘Dea Mehunu’ which was also broadcast live on Asempa FM.

Justice Crabbe had early on accused politicians of conveniently choosing December 7 to have both Presidential and Parliamentary elections conducted concurrently even though that is not what the constitution says it should happen. He said the decision to have both elections the same day is what has accounted for the number of electoral disputes.

He said the 1992 Constitution states that “Elections of a President should be held, within four months before a President leaves office, and in respect of the general [Parliamentary] elections, thirty days before Parliament is dissolved by the constitution,”.

But the National Organizer of the NDC Yaw Boateng Gyan said having the presidential elections and the parliamentary elections on different days will rather raise tension in the various polling stations.

Yaw Gyan noted that after the Supreme Court ruling, the leadership of various parties must meet to analyze what went wrong in the biometric systems before taking any necessary action.

He urged Justice Crabbe to present his view in writing to the various parties.

The NPP General Secretary also said electoral disputes can only stop if Electoral Commission officers exhibit good leadership style.

He said that the EC should have learnt lessons about the implications of biometric systems from countries like, Nigeria, Kenya and Coat d’Ivoire who have used biometric systems.

The NPP General Secretary noted that it is important to hold both elections on the same day, to avoid disagreement as the nation experienced in the year 1992 when the NPP boycotted parliamentary elections because of claims that the presidential elections was stolen.

A political scientist, Dr. Bossman Eric Asare of the University of Ghana agreed with the views by the party reps, saying the current electoral systems in Ghana must be maintained.

He said having presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously is far better but needs monitoring to ensure peace and stability in the country.