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General News of Saturday, 5 November 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

EC's own law allows for postponement of elections - Newsfile report

With 31 days to the elections, uncertainty over the number of contestants and several litigations in court, will the general elections come off on the constitutionally set date -December 7?

Three panelists of Joy FM's news analysis show, Newsfile Saturday remain confident the elections will come off. In the optimist corner - law lecturer Clara Beeri, deputy communications minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu and the 'incurable optimist" and veteran journalist Abdul Kweku Baako.

Huddled together in their belief that the elections will come off as planned, NPP parliamentary candidate for Adentan Yaw Buaben Asamoah was left in the lone corner of skepticism that armed with an explanation and with a theory.

Background

By close of work Friday, the EC was saddled with two suits from NDP presidential candidate Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and PNC candidate Dr. Edward Mahama. Already, the EC had lost two suits from PPP candidate Dr. Nduom and APC candidate Hassan Ayariga, a popular source of butt jokes. But now the joke appeared to be on the EC who is yet to win the last five cases in court.

The EC has not shown any disinterest in litigations too and so it is also in court challenging the PPP ruling. In all this, Ghanaians have become spectators in what Kweku Baako described as the 'legalisation of absurdity'.

On Joy FM/MultiTV Saturday news analysis shows Newsfile, four panelists tried to explain the political spectacle happening right before the public eye.

The pessimist vs optimists

Yaw Buaben Asamoah known as YB said the litigations in court, five at last count, means the process of organising the elections is out of the electoral commission's hands

YB said a better approach at solving the ligations would have been one decisive court judgment that makes it impossible for the disqualified presidential candidate to troop to court one after the other to court to challenge their disqualification.

"The first judge should have reviewed the matter and given a decision to impact the rest because it is possible. They were all suffering from different shades of the same malady", he said.

That option was a road not taken and hence the several litigations irrespective of the commitment of the courts to expedite matters.

As it stands now 'the issues are out of their hands'. It will get worse if Akua Donkor decides to go to court and another also follows.

And if it is out then questions must be raised about the EC's assurance to the nation via BBC that the elections will come off and a result will come out.

With a mentality that sees the glass as half empty not half full, YB preferred a what-if analysis of a scenario in case the EC defaults in organizing the election on December 7.

At this point, "in the event of an administrative and operational failure, who deals with it?" "supposed they do not meet their commitments to us what happens?

He invited the listeners to examine 'potential scenarios in the vent December 7 does not deliver us elections'.

"I found something very interesting reading the Public Regulations Elections CI 94 section 16" he giggled as he built a political possibility.

"the commission may at any time between the issue of the writ and the days specified in the writ as polling day adjourn the taking of the poll for a period not more than 30 days after the days specified earlier". The commission shall give reasons for the adjournment.

If the poll is adjourned more than a certain period of time, Ghana may have no president, no Speaker of parliament, the Chief Justice may have assumed the presidency, he finished his theory.

Veteran journalists Kweku Baako was quick to pour cold water on YB's theory.

"You are inviting us to interrogate hypothesis" Baako shot it down.

"Exactly..it is very farfetched. It is rather a bizarre hypothesis", deputy communications minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu followed up to dismiss.