The Center for Democratic Development (CDD) has disclosed that the Electoral Commission (EC) did not engage Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at its last two Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings.
Its Director for Advocacy and Policy engagement, Dr. Kojo Asante said the situation is partly to blame for the recent back and forth between the Commission and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NDC’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah in his recent utterances on IPAC meetings had alleged that CSOs that form an essential part of such meeting has not been invited to recent meetings.
When the host of Eyewitness News, Umaru Sanda Amadu asked Mr. Asante if the claim was true, he responded saying: “We haven’t gotten invitations to IPAC meetings. I know that the last two IPAC meetings that were held, we weren’t invited. We have said that because of the arguments that happen during such meetings, it is important for the public to get an independent version of what happens. If another person is not there, then it becomes a problem.”
“When the electoral reforms were concluded, one of the issues that was on the table was for the two sides to participate in the IPAC meeting. “There was an agreement that should happen. There was also a question if that should be put to the CI, but that wasn’t done. There was a consensus that should happen, it didn’t happen and when it gets to the heat of the election, the EC will call CODEO, CDD or IDEG. We have insisted that it is useful for the Electoral Commission and for the public record to make sure that it is implemented”, he added.
EC should settle its scores with NDC
Meanwhile, Mr. Asante warned the EC to be mindful of how it manages its disagreements with the NDC as it could undermine the institution’s reputation. a“There is going to be more meetings and critical issues that have to be managed with more carefulness. I really want to entreat the Commission as whole to ensure that these kinds of issues are not projected out there to create acrimony for everybody. The EC should step back and repair whatever issue rather than playing it in the public gallery. If we have an Electoral Commission which is unable to manage the process of consensus building around the issues of the election.”
The NDC has in the past days lashed out at the EC describing as distasteful, some actions of the Chairperson at IPAC meetings, adding that the Commission appears to harbour some prejudice against them.
The party has also said, some recent comments from the Deputy EC, Dr. Bossman Asare on election matters were inimical to the peace and stability of the country.
But, Dr. Asare who will not take lightly to the comments from the NDC is rather of view that, the schemes of the party are having dire consequences on Ghana’s democracy insisting that the Jean-Mensa administration has so far exhibited efforts aimed at deepening the country’s democratic credentials