2020 general elections is proving to be the most suspicious election in the 4th Republic. The largest opposition Party firmly believes that the Electoral Commission (EC) is just an appendage of the presidency and they follow the dictates of the president. By virtue of how the current heads of EC were brought into the office, they have failed to win the heart of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). The darling girl of John Mahama and NDC, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, was removed from office shortly after Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo assumed office.
The NDC is convinced that Jean Mensah and Dr. Bossman Asare, in Particular, were brought into the Electoral Commission to do the bidding their paymaster, Nana Akufo Addo. It is worth knowing that the current EC Executives have never achieved a consensus on any issue before. They always have to push it through after a series of resistance from the NDC. The national Executives including their flagbearer, former president John Dramani Mahama, have all raised red flags about some decisions of the Electoral Commission and have fears and concerns over the elections. They believe the EC is hatching a plot to rig the elections in favour of the ruling party.
This suspicion was further heightened by the Electoral Commission’s decision to discard the current voters’ register and compile a new one. NDC saw that as a confirmation of their allegation that the EC had a plan to rig the elections. They vowed to resist the register with their last drop of blood. To put in proper context, these agitations were long before coronavirus even started in China.
Coronavirus was never a point or a case for the NDC against the compilation of the new register. Their positions were basically two. The first one was that the amount the Electoral Commission had budgeted was too expensive. They listed so many things the government could use such monies for instead of compiling a register we already had. Their second reason was that, the current register we had was credible and that EC’s argument that the machines had become obsolete and the BVD system had been overstretched was a nonstarter. They did all they could but the EC with the support of the ruling party seemed to be having their way.
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Was now then accused the EC of being bed with the NPP, because the EC is now supporting the New Patriotic Party’s point in opposition that the register contained some foreigners names. The outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana only added to the reasons of the NDC to prevent the EC from registering. They played the sensationalism and the emotional street resistance, but it still did not work for them. So they finally ended up in the Supreme Court to seek redress.
Before the judgement would even be delivered, their supporters were on social media accusing Akufo Addo of packing his family and friends at the court. And true to their fears, the Supreme Court cleared the EC to go ahead and compile the register. The NDC swallowed their pride and called on their supporters to participate in the registration.
The registration has gone on for almost two weeks now. Everything was going on smoothly until the EC called for an IPAC meeting. In the meeting, the Electoral Commission proposed that they go to the secondary schools to register the Akufo Addo graduates who had gone to school to write their final exams. There is a notion that it is more likely for students to vote for the NPP than the NDC. This was affirmed by the NDC’s parliamentary candidate for the Ayawaso West Wougon, John Dumelo when he said they don’t believe in intellectuals.
The NDC did not agree with EC’s decision to register the final year students. They say it is because of the registration why the Ministry of Education were keeping the students in school even in the face of the rising cases of coronavirus in Ghana. This argument is flawed because the students would have registered even if they were in the house.
Where the NDC has a case is the legality of the EC converting the campuses of the schools into polling stations without gazetting them first as required by law. They have finally sued the Electoral Commission and are seeking to place an interlocutory injunction on the exercise on Monday, two days after the EX had finished their exercise. So let us wait for the verdict of the court.
But what the NDC fears are that the first badge of the free SHS students may not vote for them. That is why they are trying to use legal means to disenfranchise them. The government also support the action because they know the children will remember their godfather Nana Addo kindly on 7th December for giving them a free senior high school education, and even went ahead to pay for all their WAEC examination fees.
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