Information available to this paper indicated that since becoming the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei has initiated over 27 new reforms into Ghana’s election management process.
This is contrary to impressions created by critics that she was solely focused on the controversial EC 5-year strategic plan involving a complete rebranding of the elections regulator.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
This paper can confirm that since Mrs. Osei became the EC boss, she has begun the implementation of a series of reforms aimed at improving the transparency, inclusiveness and credibility of the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Approximately 27 comprehensive reforms initiated by the embattled EC boss was the product of a Special Reform Committee set up by the EC after the 2012 Election Petition.
The Committee was tasked to synthesize the various reforms proposed by the panel of Justices of the Supreme Court and political parties. Membership of the Committee included representatives of the political parties, governance institutions and Civil Society Organisations.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
some of the reforms include: Holding of Presidential and Parliamentary elections in November instead of December; the EC to do continuous registration as well as periodic registration; Election Officials & Party Agents to take oaths before a Magistrate or Judicial officer instead of an officer of the Commission and the agreement to institutionalize the Inter-party Advisory Committee ( IPAC) to have more bite as an integral part of the electoral management system of Ghana.
Below is a comprehensive list of the 23 other reforms currently being undertaken by the EC?
1. Use of the Biometric Verification Device for exhibition of the Provisional Voters Register.
2. EC to raise the minimum educational qualification requirements for various levels of election officials.
3. EC should improve quality of training of election officials and EC staff.
4. PWDs and vulnerable persons should be given priority at polling stations.
5. EC should make clear provisions regarding processes and procedures to be followed upon an adjournment of the poll.
6.EC should improve the Compensation package for Election officials.
7. EC should serially number the statement of Polls and the Declaration of results sheets.
8. EC should set up a National Collation Centre to replace the “strong room”.
9. EC to appoint collation officers for each constituency.
10. EC to defer adoption of electronic voting.
11. EC must ensure that election officials who breached electoral laws are sanctioned.
12. EC should take steps to reduce rejected ballots.
13. EC should extend the period of notice for Voter Registration exercise from 14 to 21 days.
15. EC should be given the mandate to apply to the courts to delete names of unqualified persons from the Provisional Voters’ Register.
16. EC should be required by law to give a copy of the Final Certified Register to Registered Political Parties at least 21 days before the elections.
20. EC to reduce the number of voters per polling station.
17. EC should publish an annual calendar of its activities at the beginning of an Election year.
18.. EC should publish a list of all polling stations with their codes and locations not later than 42 days to the elections. EC accepted 21days.
19. Returning Officers should give copies of Proxy, Special and Absent Voters lists to Candidates/Parties.
20. Returning Officers to issue copies of collation sheets to Candidates/Agents.
21. EC to expand the list of special voters to include accredited media personnel and election observers. GJA to provide the list of accredited media to the EC.
22. EC to publish Presidential Election Results per polling station on its website.
23. EC to define the term “ordinarily Resident”.
The Commission is of the view that the implementation of this comprehensive list of reforms will make the outcome of the 2016 elections credible and acceptable to all the stakeholders involved.
By- Gazette Newspaper Published -http://ghanapoliticsonline.com