NDC should stop the noise about election reforms – Ayisi Boateng

Ghanaian diplomat and a leading member of the New Patriotic Party, George Ayisi Boateng has thrown shots at the opposition party, the National Democratic Party about their calls on electoral reforms.

The biggest opposition party has put together a proposal for electoral reforms which they reckon will avert the many electoral challenges the country is faced with and ensuring there’s fairness in the electoral process.

Key among the many things proposed in their seeking to be accepted proposal is to have prior parliamentary approval of members of the Electoral Commission.

George Ayisi Boateng speaking on Kessben FM’s ”Maakye” with Omanhene said that the NDC is making so much noise about these electoral reforms.

The high ranking member of the National Patriotic Party stressed that he cannot phantom why the Opposition is making so much noise about their proposed electoral reforms because most of the members of the 1992 constitution drafters were NDC, the then PNDC members who ensured we have the current laws on elections.

HERE IS THE FULL PROPOSAL: 1. Provide for prior parliamentary approval for the appointment of EC members.

2. Repeal the requirement for the consent of the AG to be given before the prosecution of electoral offences.

3. Specially-designated courts should be appointed exclusively for electoral disputes and offences before, during and after registration of voters and elections.

4. EC should be allowed by law to apply to the courts to remove names of deceased and other unqualified persons from the provisional register when informed by the relevant authorities.

5. GBC should be made to comply with the Supreme Court decision for it to provide equal access to all political parties.

6. IPAC should be backed by legislation through an amendment to the Electoral Commission Act, 1993, Act 451, which should spell out its composition and functions.

7. Spell out by law the security responsibilities of the EC (if any), the police and the military during registration of voters and during and after voting.

8. Legislation should bind the Chairperson of the EC as the Returning Officer of the Presidential Election to afford the agents of the participating political parties and candidates full participation in the collation of the Presidential Election results at the EC’s National Collation Centre.

9. The EC must by law be made: (a) a mandatory party to all parliamentary election petitions, just as is the case in Presidential Election petitions (b)a compellable witness to produce all public election and related material and documents relevant to presidential and parliamentary election disputes;

10. Split the EC into two separate bodies namely an Office for the Regulation of Political Parties (ORPP) and an Electoral Commission (EC) by amending the Political Parties Act, 2000, Act 574

11. The mandatory requirement for the publication of applicants for recruitment as temporary EC staff for registration of voters and for elections and for allowing the public to object to applicants who have questionable backgrounds or have overt partisan biases must be strictly complied with. The requirement for the list to be posted at the District EC offices to which the applications relate must also be complied with.

12. The EC should comply with the requirement for each political party participating in an election to be provided with a copy of the final voters’ register.

13. The EC should make sure that recruitment for the various categories of election officials is made as non-partisan as possible. The available positions should be advertised and nonpartisan and competent persons selected after interviews. The selected persons should then be given appropriate training.

14. The EC should give wider publicity to the annual calendar of its activities and events at the beginning of an election year that it publishes and ensure that all participating political parties are aware of it.

15. The EC must ensure that printing houses entrusted with the printing of election materials have equipment that can print pink sheets with duplicates that can contain all the names of the candidates on one sheet when written upon.

16. The list of all polling stations to be used for an election with their names, code numbers and locations should be published in the Gazette and as supplements in the state newspapers not later than 30 days to the election. This will require an amendment to the Public Elections Regulations, 2020, C.I. 127.

17. Currently, the statement of the Poll and the Declaration of Results Form are serially numbered and each Form is traceable to a particular polling station in a constituency. It is recommended that the EC should print the replacement Statement of the Poll Form and Declaration of Results Form in a colour different from the original ones in order to distinguish them. Where a replacement Declaration of Results Form is used, the original Statement of Declaration.

Source: by Nazir Hamzah

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