Ghana’s elections now first Monday in November
This year’s crucial presidential and parliamentary elections and subsequent ones will now be held on the first Monday in November every four years if the constitution is duly amended.
The change in the traditional December 7 date, to the first Monday in November is to smoothen the transition process from one elected government to another, even if it is the same party that wins an election.
Given the December 7 date, it will take barely a month for a newly elected president to be sworn into office, something political pundits have raised issues about.
After three rounds of elections in 2008, including the crucial Tain Constituency run off, outgoing president John Kufuor had barely a week to hand over power to the late president John Mills.
A process to amend Article 112 clause 4 which sets out the procedure for the presidential elections is already underway to change the December 7 date.
On Wednesday, an elections committee made up of the Electoral Commission, Representatives from the Attorney General and the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament agreed to the first Monday in November arrangement but must go through a number of processes to make it the law.
The Attorney General and government will make their input after which the instrument will then be laid in Parliament to mature.
Speaking to Joy News on the matter, the Vice Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament, George Loh dismissed media reports that November 7 has been confirmed as the new date for future elections.
On the contrary, he said the committee settled on the first Monday in November as the most convenient day for elections.
Why Mondays and not weekends?
George Loh explained that weekends were deemed as inappropriate because a lot of people will be going for funerals and weddings for which reason Mondays were adopted.
“Mondays are the best option,” he said. He could not however say the length of time it will take for the processes to be concluded for the November date to be adopted as the new election date.
Meanwhile the Director of Communications of the NPP Nana Akomea says he would rather the Elections Committee had chosen a Saturday instead of a Monday.
One would have thought a weekend which are “natural holidays” would have been considered, he said.