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General News of Sunday, 24 July 2016


Fix new poll date well ahead of elections - Kwame Jantuah

If the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana were really serious with the change of the election date from December 7 to the first Monday in November of every election year, it would have started the processes immediately after the 2012 elections, given that there were going to be some hurdles, Kwame Jantuah, a member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has said.

Last week, Ghana’s parliament rejected the Constitutional Amendment Bill that would have paved the way for the elections to take place on the new date.

The majority of Members of Parliament (MPs) who voted for the date change (125), could not manage to secure the two-thirds needed to approve the bill, therefore, the bill was rejected. Ninety-five MPs voted against it.

The rejection of the bill has shocked some civil society groups and individuals, who thought given the assurances by some MPs at a forum, held before the voting day on the bill, they were going to approve the new date without any hurdle.

But speaking on TV3’s New Day programme on Saturday July 23, Mr. Jantuah said: “How many years have we been running elections? Since 1992. Do we not have a history of the challenges and the problems that we faced through the different elections that we have been through? And if we have this history, does it not behoove us to plan way in advance? Because really and truly, November 7 is not supposed to be meant for 2016, because we haven’t put plans in place.”

He added: “Now we are going into 2020. If we want November 7 for 2020, we should start planning immediately after the 2016 elections. If we started planning immediately after the last elections, at least, we would be somewhere. Let us learn because we don’t seem to want to learn, we seem to want to rush when we are hot.”