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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Columnist: Christopher Klove

An Electoral Commission in a democratic country must be free and fair

I will not pretend to be an expert in election-related matters, but I can say on authority that God did not create politicians with a certain super intellectual ability while the rest of us were created below the average human intelligence.

I am saying this because, all over the world, political parties tend to fight for their interests first before that of the country or citizens.

The story is not different in my country, Ghana. In fact, the political atmosphere in Ghana is much worse when it comes to parties fighting for their interests.

it is, therefore, much easier for anyone to understand that our two political giants, the NPP and the NDC, are fighting for their interests when it comes to issues pertaining to the compilation of a new voter register or not.

Interestingly, the EC in spite of their role of neutrality, happened to be always agreeing with the suggestions of the NPP on the compilation of a new voter register, giving NDC every reason to believe that their suggestions are not being heard.

I don't think it will be difficult for a child to realize that he/she is not the favorite of his/her parents. The EC, therefore, is given NDC enough reason to think that they are not important when it comes to discussing the future of Ghana and upcoming election.

Utterances

Some utterances from NPP loyalists and gurus over the new voter register should be a matter of concern to the EC and the general public.

We heard NPP loyalists say on national television or radio that there was no way NDC would win election 2020 with the new voter register.

Others publicly declared that there would be no election without a new voter register.

Recently, the Majority Leader in Parliament, kyei Mensah Bonsu, stated that the absence of a new voter register will result in 2020 election violence. With all due respect, is he now an election expert?

We were told in this country that the Ghana cards, would not be used to compile a new voter register.

Now it looks like we are going back to use the Ghana cards to compile a new voter register.

The EC, therefore, seems to be in agreement with the government's suggestions as against that of the largest opposition party, the NDC.

I will except the EC to show maturity and neutrality by engaging all stakeholders and also be guided by accurate data and information on every step towards the election 2020.

COVID-19

Now, let's leave politics and focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic issue that is ravaging through the world, shaking every nation and threatening the very survival of human race on planet Earth.

One will expect the EC to be guided by the devastating effects of COVID-19 and refrain from the new voter register exercise out of respect for Ghanaian and also not to be connected with anything that will jeopardize human life.

The EC, however, is taking a strange posture even though we are in abnormal times. The President constantly says in his speeches that we are in abnormal times.

I think abnormal times require abnormal decision to make a progress in abnormal times.

The continuous increase in the number of infected persons, the death toll, the inaccuracy of numbers from the Ghana Health Services and the current utterances of the Information Minister, which suggest that the government has given up on the fight against COVID-19 are all matters of consideration when the EC insists on compiling a new voter register.

If one person can infect 500 hundreds persons as stated by the president in his last speech, I see no wisdom in going for a new voter register, especially when we are fully aware that this exercise is going to endanger the lives of Ghanaian citizens.

Clearly, I remember how fearsome and strong the NPP was during opposition. The numerous demonstrations and promises still resonate in my ears.

In conclusion, I think the call for a new voter register is untimely, not backed by any tangible reason, but a call from the government in power, working through a few selfish individuals.

Let us assess Ghana's current situation and the impacts of COVID-19 and come out with a decision that will preserve lives.

We must learn to put Ghana first.

I wish the EC Chairperson well, as she tries to navigate through these uncertain moments in the history of mother Ghana.

Again, my wish is that the EC should be guided by the current situations, accurate data and information.

We cannot build Ghana without thinking through our actions as individuals, corporates and political parties.

I am a citizen, not a spectator.

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