Elections possible on November 7 – Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission (EC) has defended its proposal for the general elections to be moved from December 7 to November 7 despite skepticism it will not be able to conduct the elections.

The elections management body says once Parliament approves the constitutional amendment currently before it, it will ensure the Presidential and Parliamentary elections come off smoothly as planned.

Head of Communications at the EC, Eric Dzakpasu, told Joy News Desk on the Joy News channel on Multi-TV Tuesday that the Commission is committed to sticking to the November 7 timetable.

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) have doubted the EC’s preparedness for the November timetable.

They cite financial as well as the closeness of a process to amendment the existing law in Parliament to the proposed date as some of the reasons the EC might miss the November 7 date.
But Mr. Dzapkasu disagrees.

“I don’t really know why they think we are not ready for the elections on November, 7. As far as we are concerned we are very much prepared. We are working towards the November 7, elections,” he reiterated.

EC’s sceptics believe a Supreme Court ruling on July 5 that ordered it to “immediately” delete from the current voters’ register names of some 56,739 persons who registered with National Health Insurance (NHIS) cards may drag preparations for the general elections.

The court also ordered the Commission to delete names of persons who were not part of the 56,739 names it submitted but who also registered with NHIS cards.

The EC, according to the order is to give adequate notice to all those who registered with the cards before undertaking the exercise to delete their names.

The Supreme Court gave the orders after it upheld a 2014 suit that held that the use of NHIS cards for registration violates constitutional provision.
The EC will have to do all these and exhibit the final register 21 days before general elections.

But speaking to Joy News, Mr. Dzakpasu said the EC factored in all these activities before submitting the amendment to Parliament.

“It is not too much of a challenge. We are having our exhibition next week and the same time we will be doing the deletion,” he said.

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