Future elections in Ghana are at risk due to the stressed nature of the national elections governing body, the Electoral Commission, according to Executive Director at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey.
He said the fact that almost “everything they [EC] do is questioned” by the political parties means the Commission lacks the space to plan and execute its functions.
Dr. Akwetey therefore called for the creation of an ‘elections administrative body’ to manage elections in the country.
Chairman of the EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan on Wednesday called on Parliament to amend the law regulating elections in the country to address what he says are challenges with the process.
The EC chairman wants CI 75 amended after Members of Parliament raised concerns with the biometric voting system at a closed-door meeting with the EC boss in Parliament.
The C.I. 75 guided the conduct of the 2012 elections, but challenges in that election have raised questions about the adequacy of the law.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Thursday, Dr. Akwetey blamed the Commission and the political parties for hastily preparing the law and “rushing” it through parliament without seeking the input of civil society groups.
He noted the EC currently is involved in too many activities- supervising internal elections for political parties, organising mid-term elections for local assemblies as well as organising and supervising Council of State as well as presidential elections- leaving it with little or no time to perform its administrative functions.
According to him, “our commission is extremely stressed” with the many activities it is involved with.
“When you do so many elections, what space do you have to plan…”?
Meanwhile, Head of Political Science Department at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Prof. Amoako Baah wants the current structure of the Commission changed because, “it does not enjoy credibility”.
He believes a reform of the law should see the Commission enabled to perform other functionaries apart from just organising and supervising elections.