EC is “biggest dictators in our democratic era” – PNC

Politics of Monday, 26 January 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Bernard Mornah Hat

The General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mr. Bernard Mornah has described the Electoral Commission as the “biggest dictators in our democratic era.”

Expressing disappointment over the EC’s decision to exclude some political parties from the 10-member committee set up to oversee the proposals for electoral reforms in the country, Mr Mornah said the commission just did what they did despite their [PNC] protestation.

“…they have gone ahead to do what they want to do,” Mr. Mornah stated in an interview on Starr FM on Monday.

The EC last Friday inaugurated a 10-member committee to examine all proposals it has received for changes in the country’s electoral process and according to Mr Mornah, the PNC was peeved that it was not part of the committee.

From the political party side, members of the committee include Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Peter Mac Manu, a former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr James Kwabena Bomfeh, a Director of Elections of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Mr Anin-Kofi Addo, the founder and Chairman of the Yes People’s Party.

All other political parties have been grouped for them to select two people to fill two slots on the committee, and Mr. Mornah thinks that there are political parties that have never participated in elections before in the country. “The question is what are they going to bring?”

This arrangement by the EC has angered some of the political parties with the PPP for instance threatening to go to court.

“Why would you want to give two parties two slots, and you’ll want to give other 22 parties two slots. I think it’s not fair so we’ll try our chances there [court]…frankly, I think that we should test the law on this exercise of independent rights that the Electoral Commission always brings forth,” General Secretary of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) Mr Asamoah-Siaw told Accra-based Citi FM.

In a statement, the PPP noted that it would not be practical for all minority parties to meet to select the two representatives since there was no such forum to allow such a meeting.

“I have insisted that, there is no law in this country that categorise political parties into other political parties, we are formed by our names, we are formed by the rules of the elections and so for somebody to come and sit in your office and decide that NPP, NDC are superior, the PNC, PPP, you consider them as other political parties, it doesn’t even sit with our laws,” Mr Mornah said on Starr FM.

“As I insist they possibly are the biggest dictators in our democratic era but the constitution also say that we have to allow their independence and so we are constrained,” he said

Sharing his thoughts on electronic voting the PNC General Secretary said subscribing to electronic voting could be disastrous for Ghana, reports Starrfmonline.

Mr. Mornah said although some political parties are proposing e-voting, evidence from Florida, The Philippines, Australia and Venezuela show that such a system could easily be hacked.

He therefore urged caution in considering such a “monumental” proposal as the country makes moves to implement some electoral reforms proposed by various Civil Society Organisations, political parties, and the Supreme Court.

Policy Think Tank Danquah Institute (DI) for instance has been a staunch advocate of e-voting.

In his view, Mr. Mornah said e-voting could expose the electoral process to cyber-attacks, which could mar the entire process.

“And so under the circumstances, the PNC is opposed to any attempt to go e-voting in this country.”

On eliminating multiple voting, for instance, Mr. Mornah suggested the procurement of a software where after a vote is cast, that vote would be temporarily suspended from the electoral register for at least 10 days.

It happens in many other countries. And so we should be able to procure that software. That name is restored only after 10days taking cognizance of the fact that, if there was a re-run or run-off, that would come 21-days after the initial ballot, so that all the names are temporarily suspended that way you would be able to minimize the extent of multiple voting in this country and would lead to a more acceptable electoral register or elections outcome.