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General News of Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Source: Ghanaian Times

Ghanaian Times Editorial: Electoral Roll Impasse: Let’s take advantage of Gamey and Co ADR offer


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The decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new biometric voters’ register for the December polls has stirred controversy leaving actors in Ghana’s political space sharply divided.

Whiles the EC argues that the new roll with an added feature, iris recognition, will ensure a credible register, opponents say the current system is credible enough to be used for the elections.

As a result of the impasse the parties, the Inter-party Resistance Against a New Register (IPRAN), a coalition of some political parties, and the EC have taken entrenched positions on the matter with no side showing signs of giving in.

A meeting at the behest of the EC’s Eminent Advisory Committee last month to iron out the differences ended inconclusive as the parties remained unbending with 10 months to the crucial election.

It is against this backdrop that the Ghanaian Times welcomes the offer by Gamey and Co Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre to mediate in the matter for a peaceful resolution.

A statement issued by the Centre in Accra last Friday said subject to the approval of the parties, the pre-mediation meeting with the respective stakeholders would be held February 24 with the plenary expected the following day.

We see this as a perfect opportunity for all stakeholders to gather around the table to once and for all amicably resolve the stalemate which if not handled with care could disturb the vaunted peace and security of the country.

As the Chairman of the Centre, Mr Austin Gamey, puts it “It has become necessary for stakeholders to reach an amicable solution.”

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a very workable tool which has been used to resolve many disputes around the world and it is time we deployed same in resolving this conundrum which is in the interest of Ghana’s democracy.

The Gamey and Co ADR Centre, we think, has the pedigree and mettle to mediate between the parties to find solution to the standoff between the parties given its longstanding experience and expertise in mediation.

The Centre has the track record in mediating in matters between other institutions and as it said in its press statement, the gesture is its corporate social responsibility to mother Ghana.

We urge all parties in this matter to seize the opportunity and go into that mediation with a clear conscience, sit around the table to have Ghana in mind as the utmost winner and not any faction in the standoff.

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