President John Dramani Mahama has appealed to political parties and civil society organizations to give the Electoral Commission (EC) the peace of mind to exercise its constitutional mandate without fear or favour.
According to the President, per the constitution, no individual or group can dictate to the EC and this rule even applies to him as President.
Speaking at an Islamic ceremony to mark the Birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammed in Kumasi, President Mahama implored individuals and groups who have grievances with the electoral process to use the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) to resolve them instead of resorting to demonstrations.
“Being in an election year, I will appeal to all political parties and other civil society organizations to give the Electoral Commission the peace of mind to do its work. Our Constitution says that the Electoral Commission shall not be subjected to the direction or control of any person and that includes me.”
He explained that political parties and CSOs have the opportunity in ensuring integrity in elections by participating in IPAC meetings.
“Opportunities have been created for political parties and other organizations to participate in ensuring the integrity of our elections. The Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) is a forum for political parties to participate in making suggestions to the Electoral Commission.
Let us use this vehicle to cooperate with the Electoral Commission and make our suggestions known. Demonstrations against the commission will not enhance the process of our elections in any way,” President Mahama added.
LMVCA, Baamu Yadda demo President Mahama’s call follows a series of demonstrations that has hit the Electoral Commission in recent times over the demand for the compilation of a new voters’ register for the 2016 election. The new protest against the EC is dubbed ‘Baamu Yadda’. ‘Baamu Yadda’ in the Hausa language means we shall not agree.”
Another group, Let My Vote Count Alliance, staged a similar demonstration in the past with the conviction that the current register is bloated with names of foreigners and minors hence is unfit for the general elections.