Ghanaians should continue to believe in the Electoral Commission in spite of recent happenings that have brought its credibility into question, Communications Minister Edward Omane Boamah has urged.
The Electoral Commission has suffered a few legal setbacks, the most recent being Friday’s ruling by an Accra High Court reversing its disqualification of Progressive People’s Party (PPP) flag bearer Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom from contesting in the 2016 presidential elections.
The EC on September 30, 2016, refused to accept the nomination forms of Dr Nduom – and 12 other presidential aspirants – for what it termed were infractions on their forms, forcing the businessman-cum-politician to head to court to challenge the decision.
Earlier in the week, a civil servant, Kwesi Eshun, succeeded in getting an Accra High Court to compel the EC to provide all presidential and parliamentary candidates contesting the 2016 elections with collation sheets after this year’s polls in order to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections.
The EC is also to ensure that all returning officers at the 29,000 polling stations sign the collation sheets before the results are declared and transferred.
With rising perception that the EC’s integrity has been torn to shreds following these developments, Dr Boamah advised that care should be taken not to trash the electoral body, given its accomplishments after more than two decades of superintending polls in the country.
“What I would say is [that] as much as possible we should also be careful not to bastardise the Electoral Commission, the commission which since 1992 has helped us get to where we are. As a country our democracy is very, very respected. Even when at times US’ democracy was threatened, I think, Ghana, we could say that we stood the test of time,” he said on Multi TV’s Newsfile on Saturday October 29.
“I strongly believe that the men and women serving at the commission and also serving as supporting staff of the commission have what it takes to get us to the Promised Land.”
Ghana goes to the polls on December 7, 2016 to elect a president and 275 lawmakers for another four years.