President John Dramani Mahama has described Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) as one of the best in the world, whilst urging Ghanaians to allow the Commission the space and peace of mind to conduct this year’s elections.
In his view, the EC has proven its worth in six past elections and there is no cause for alarm as far as its ability to conduct credible elections is concerned.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the Eid celebrations in Accra, President Mahama said, “Our Electoral Commission is one of the best in the whole world and we have confidence in them to be able to conduct an election.”
Given his confidence in the EC, President Mahama further urged Ghanaians to “give the Electoral Commission the peace of mind to do its work. Let’s leave them peacefully to conduct this election and I am sure Ghanaians would be the better for it.”
The President also assured Ghanaians that, there is no cause for fear and panic ahead of the polls saying, “This year is an election year and as usual in advance of election years, some fear and panic begins to enter our people that there will be trouble.
I don’t believe there will be trouble, I don’t believe there will be any trouble this year. I believe we are going to vote in peace and whoever emerges as.
Increasing pressure on EC
Despite President Mahama’s praise of the EC, several stakeholders have doubted the Commission’s commitment to oversee a smooth, free and fair elections in November.
The credibility of the voter’s register has been a bone of contention over the past two years, as evidenced by the successful suit filed by a former PNC Youth Organiser, Abu Ramadan, and one Evans Nimako, to delete the names of persons who used NHIS cards to get onto the electoral roll.
The two, among other reliefs, wanted the current register declared inappropriate for the November polls given the presence of NHIS registrants on the electoral roll. The apex court on May 5, 2016, subsequently asked the EC to expunge from the current voters’ register the names of all persons who registered and voted in the 2012 elections, with the NHIS card as a proof of identity.
While asking the EC to delete the names of those who registered with the NHIS cards, the court also asked the commission to allow such persons to re-register using the right procedure.