The Executive Director of the Centre for Development Integrity, CEDI-Africa, Mr Bernard Ohene Baah, has said elections in Ghana should be held earlier in order to give parties ample time to resolve any inconsistencies they perceive during and after general elections.
Bernard Ohene Baah proposed that Ghana’s election period should be shifted from December to October because to him, the month of October would be an appropriate period for the elections to be held so as to avoid any possibilities of election fraud.
Speaking in an interview with Radio Gold on Tuesday, he said when the elections were held earlier in October, the parties would get enough time to check the irregularities that occurred during the polls, and so the country’s productivity would not be affected.
He was of the view that “elections should be run a bit earlier than the December 7 that we have presently. Now, moving forward, we are sure that challenges will not have to do with which vote is a legal vote and which vote should be annulled. No, it will be down to the numbers…Not a case of anybody trying to say that this vote, we don’t think it’s legal; this one is a legal one.”
“That gives us two clear months before a president is sworn in. Now, with the two months, you are able to resolve all lingering issues. So, by the time somebody is sworn in, he has his peace of mind. He has the focus to deliver on his mandate.”
According to Mr Ohene Baah, the long hours devoted to televising the election dispute and the protracted nature of the petition will affect productivity and the progress of the economy.
He griped about the repercussions of the live telecast of the elections on the economy and stated that “we should balance it with the need for the country to work and produce.”
He explained that due to the live broadcast, a large number of the workers in both the public and private sectors were frequently glued to their television sets and invariably devote several hours to watch the proceedings at the expense of work.
That, he stated, slowed down progress and adversely affected Ghana’s yield.
He wondered how the nation could balance the live broadcast of the elections “with the situation where all day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., majority of the citizens are watching TV; watching election petition. It’s a challenge that must be dealt with. We’ve had our researchers going round doing observational studies in government, ministries, agencies and departments, and private sector organisations. And I tell you, everywhere they go, people are watching TV at the time they are supposed to be working.”
He, therefore, called for a delayed broadcast of the election conflict between the three leaders of the opposition New Patriotic Party, the Electoral Commission, the NDC and President Mahama.