The opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, has shot down all the proposals made by the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) on the management of the country’s subsequent elections.
The party, which has boycotted recent IPAC meetings after the 2020 election, at a press conference on Thursday said that the proposals by IPAC will rather lead to serious challenges.
The press conference was in reaction to a communiqué issued by IPAC following a 2-day workshop to review the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections which the NDC did not attend.
The communiqué indicated that IPAC had made 16 resolutions aimed at improving subsequent elections in the country. These resolutions include the change of the closing of polls from 5:00pm to 3:00pm.
Also, it was agreed that the voter registration exercise be made all-year-round for persons who are eligible to vote to register.
But Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, the Director of Elections of the NDC, said the party does not agree with the resolutions.
Concerning the review of the time for closing the polls, he said, “NDC finds the proposal by the Jean Mensah-led EC to change the closing time of polls from 5:00pm to 3:00pm in 2024 baffling and mind-boggling. Since the 1992 elections, polls have always closed at 5:00pm. This has worked perfectly without any challenges whatsoever. It, therefore, beggars belief that the EC would want to change this time-tested arrangement and go for a poorly thought-through alternative which is bound to disenfranchise eligible voters and create needless problems for our electoral system.”
On having an all-round voter registration exercise, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah said it will be untenable to have political party agents stationed at the various EC offices all the time to monitor the registration of new voters.
“Continuous registration cannot be a substitute for periodic nationwide registration because the all-round registration can only be done at the district offices of the Electoral Commission. Eligible voters may have to travel several kilometers to district offices to register and not everyone can do this.”
“Secondly, political parties always assign agents to observe the voter’s registration process. It will therefore be ludicrous for the EC to suggest that political parties should employ permanent agents at their district offices to observe the registration of eligible voters all-year-round,” he said.