I am writing as a voter and a concerned Ghanaian who is an unrepentant lover of democracy. The kernel of my letter is on the sustainability of our democracy.
Madam, one of the ways to undermine democracy is to aid and abet electoral fraud before, during or after elections and when democracy is undermined it creates serious problems for the system. Ghana’s democracy did not come on a platter of Gold. We achieved our democracy through sweat and tears. Election is the heartbeat of all democratic systems and the sustainability of democracy begins with allowing the citizens to elect persons of their choice through properly organised elections. The people must be allowed to decide who lead them without any manipulation.
Madam, the phrase “free and fair” election encompasses several invaluable aspects and vital elements. It does not not merely means placing ballot boxes at polling stations. The fairness also lies in ensuring that all proper pre election measures are taken involving all stakeholders. The element of fairness demand as well that the candidates and parties are allowed to seek votes within the parameters which have been set which have evolved over a period of time. Fairness also calls for an equal playing field for all parties and candidates, which implies that the EC will not succumb to ruling party’s manipulation and intimidation. All of these require a great deal of diligence, dexterity and alertness at all times. Any lapse or omission or dereliction of duty or delinquency on part of the electoral commission would defeat the very purpose of our elections and shake the foundation of our democracy.
Madam, election violence is triggered during the electoral period, when the party in a strong or weak position finds that the other party is unilaterally setting the rules of the game for its own benefit or, the election organisers are conniving with a particular party to change the rules to facilitate fraud. The most common trigger events are voters’ list, establishment of the electoral administration, and electoral results.
Madam, I see deliberate attempts by yourself and other compromised officials at your outfit to distort the collective will of the voters. I hold this conviction because of the attitude you’ve shown so far – your attitude towards representatives of the opposition parties, your unwillingness to listen to views from the opposition parties and clandestine dealings with the ruling party and the jubilee house. We know the pseudo democratic methods employed by despots to retain power. What the current administration is doing in collaboration with your office to rig the coming election is no different from what known despots do. The opposition parties and people who care about the sustainability of our democracy are vehemently opposed to your decision to create new voters register because, the best election rigging tactics are subtle, legal and effective; nobody knows you’re doing them and if you are caught, you will tell us it’s technically within the confines of the law. This year Ghana is going to undertake population census which will give us the authentic data we need for our registration and other relevant processes. The popular position being expressed by Ghanaians including our civil society organizations is that, wait for the population census figures before the new register. This call is not coming only from the political parties you hate so much but also from well respected Ghanaians and election experts. The fear is that if the opposition parties go into the elections with this perception, it can produce serious consequences. Ghanaians have already lost trust and confidence in you and Bossman Asare because of your attitudes and pronouncements. There will be consequences. If you think you can rig the election and have the kind of peace that we have now, you are wrong. I hope you are not thinking that in your calculation.
Ghanaians are living in fear- almost all the pastors in their end of year sermons touched on this crucial issue and prayed for peace during the 2020 election. One can easily predict what will happen during and after the 2020 election if you go ahead to do what you’ve promised your partners (Npp) to do.
We expected this; we have lived with this since your appointment. But you and your partners are not going to deter us from fighting aggressively for free and fair elections. Your actions are not going to break our spirit. But be assured that there would be serious consequences if you are found culpable of rigging the upcoming elections. We all saw how your predecessor conducted the last election culminating in the praises Ghana and the commission received from respected organizations and leaders. Ghana is rated among the democratic states in the world because of the record you inherited. You and I know how diminished a people can be each time their collective aspiration is made of no importance. They become angry, and can set them on a path of destruction. To this end, I pray you don’t indulge or pander to any interest that will bring about this situation. Progressive forces in the country will resist any attempt to impose a Jean Mensah President on Ghanaians..be assured of that. You might have noticed the increased level of concerns being expressed through various activities both on the ground and online. If you haven’t heard about #DropTheNewVotersRegister, I’ll be quite surprised.
I will not touch on the economic angle because you are not the Finance Minister. But we know the caring spirit of women. If you think we should spend over billion Cedis on this useless project when children and mothers die painfully because of lack of beds in our hospitals, share polluted water with animals, study under trees, your conscience will be the best judge.
Madam, wake up from your slumber and prove to Ghanaians that you are preparing for a free and fair election this year.