Politics

New electoral reforms will improve our elections – Kofi Akpaloo

Founder and leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Kofi Akaploo, says the new electoral reforms proposed by the Electoral Commission of Ghana and accepted by the Interparty Advisory Committee, if implemented will positively impact the country’s electoral system.

“It will halt the needless brawl at polling stations which leads to the damage of election equipment,” he said about the change in time of poll close from 5 to 3 pm in an exclusive interview with Kwaku Owusu Adjei, famously called Pato on Original 91.9FM Monday.

Speaking on the Adwenekasa socio-political programme, the 2020 flagbearer of the LPG brushed off claims the reforms will encourage multiple voting and bloat the current voter register stating such perception cannot hold water.

He explained that the biometric system being used by the Electoral Commission will not permit persons whose name have been captured in the register to re-register hence it’s impossible to bloat the existing register

 Background

The Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), following a 2-day review workshop on the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, reached16 resolutions aimed at improving subsequent elections.

The workshop had representatives from the various political parties except for the representatives of the country’s largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Among the resolutions made in the workshop is a review of the time for closing of polls from 5:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Below is the list of all the resolutions made at the workshop.

THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE MEETING AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Registration

  1. Implement the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise to enable citizens who turned 18 years and those who had not previously registered to do so.
  2. Set up a committee to deliberate on the implementation modalities for the Continuous Voter Registration.
  3. Continuous Voter Registration should be implemented with proof of citizenship being limited to the use of Ghana Card and Ghana Passport since the guarantee system is often abused.

Exhibition

  1. Introduce an all-year-round Voter Exhibition Exercise through the use of technology (SMS shortcode). Additionally, maintain the periodic mass verification at Exhibition Centres.
  2. Put in place a cut-off time for the Continuous Voter Register Exhibition to allow for the compilation of the Register for voting on Election Day.

Filing of Nominations

  1. The Five (5) day period for filing of Nominations introduced in 2020 should be maintained.
  2. The period set aside to enable the Political Parties to obtain signatures from their supporters should be increased.
  3. The period for the Election Campaign should be defined. It should commence after the nominations are filed.
  4. Encourage nominations of female and persons with disabilities (PWDs) candidates by reducing their filing fees by 50%.

Special Voting

  1. The current arrangement whereby the Media, Security Services, and Election Officials are allowed to apply and vote under the Special Voting period should be maintained until such time that the process is fully entrenched.
    Elections 1. The polls should end at 3:00 pm instead of at 5:00 pm.
  2. Certified Regional Collated Results should be announced by the Chairperson to reduce tension and suspicion. However, the Commission should state clearly the percentage of results yet to be released, etc.
    Security 1. Security around elections is the responsibility of the Ghana Police Service. 2. Ghana Police Service should arrange a periodic platform to engage IPAC and other Stakeholders,
  3. 3. Ghana Police Service should provide updates on the 2020 Elections malpractices and violence.
  4. Political Parties and the Media must show commitment to the democratic process and be mindful of their comments, as some of their statements have the tendency to provoke violence and inflame tensions and suspicions.

By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Originalfmonline.com | Ghana

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