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General News of Sunday, 23 May 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

NDC's position against change in election time 'makes sense' - Professor Gyampo

Professor Ransford Gyampo, senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo, senior lecturer at the University of Ghana

• The NDC is against a proposal by the Electoral Commission to shift the time for closing polls to 3pm

• Professor Ransford Gyampo believes that the NDC has a legitimate case

• He is of the view that the new time could to lead to stampede at polling stations

Professor Ransford Gyampo, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana says that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is justified with its decision to reject some of the proposals tabled by the Electoral Commission.

One of the proposals which the NDC has kicked against is the alteration of the time for closure of polls from 5pm to 3pm.

The NDC, in its argument against the new proposal, stressed that over the years, polls in some parts of the country do not start as scheduled due to delay in the arrival of electoral materials which ultimately affects the time for closing.

Sammy Gyamfi, the Communications Officer of the NDC said on JoyNews that, “like the EC Chairperson herself mooted in her speech at the two-day workshop, if a system is not broken, you don't fix it. Reforms are formulated and implemented to address challenges."

"Our position is that currently, the 5pm closure time for polls for elections in this country, poses no problem for our electoral process. Since 1992 till now - except for 2020, polls have always closed at 5pm and that has worked perfectly. So, why change a system that has worked perfectly without any challenges?" he quizzed.

This views by Sammy Gyamfi has been backed by Professor Gyampo who said on Asaase radio that the shift in time could birth new challenges during polls.

“Some of the things made a lot of sense, especially bringing closure of election to 3pm. NDC critiqued it and I thought they made a lot of sense because from 1992 up till now we haven’t been able to commence election on time in all polling stations. Sometimes you have election commencing at 11am”.

“And if you say they should close at 3pm then there is going to be stampede and chaos and all that. But I felt that some of these laudable counter proposals could be brainstormed and could be talked about at a roundtable where all participants and stakeholders are, but as it stands now the NDC is not prepared to be part of IPAC processes and all that.”

Prof Gyampo, however, described calls by the NDC to be given more voice at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting by the EC as very ridiculous since Ghana is practicing a multi-party democracy.

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