General News of Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae wants the Electoral Commission lobby for the election day of the District Assembly elections to be declared a holiday.
He argued that there is usually low voter turn-out for the election and it is likely to worsen due to the postponement.
“We must ensure that the 1st September which has been earmarked for the election is declared a public holiday because the district level elections normally does not attract higher voter turnout and looking at what has happened, people became disillusioned so now, we need to declare it a public holiday,” he remarked.
The Electoral Commission has announced September 1, 2015 as the new date for the District Assembly and Unit Committee elections after the Supreme Court canceled the earlier date of March 3, 2015.
Prior to the March 3 election, suggested that to make the District Assembly elections more attractive to voters, it must be politicized.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Akuapim South, O. B. Amoah who made the suggestion said it was high time the nation stopped the pretense that District Assembly elections are non-partisan.
He thus recommended that the state should consider making amendments to the nation’s electoral laws and the constitution to allow for District Assembly elections to be made partisan.
But the Chief of Staff who is the immediate past Minister of Local Government, Julius Debrah, kicked against this decision saying, the politicization of the election will undermined the efficacy of the local governance system.
In an interview with Citi News, Dr. Oduro Osae said the government must find suitable ways of attracting voters to participate in the election.
He also insisted that the assembly elections are likely to overshadow the Unit Committee polls if the dates for the two are not separated.
“We also need to ensure that the days for the conduct of the District Assembly election are separated from the Unit Committee elections.”