Home Politics EC decision to go on Xmas break unacceptable - CSOs

EC decision to go on Xmas break unacceptable – CSOs

Seven Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have urged the Electoral Commission to review its decision to go on a month-long leave after the December 7 general election.

The CSOs find it unacceptable that the EC is going on a recess given that many issues have arisen in the outcome of the election.

The CSOs include Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Civic Forum Initiative (CFI), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and Norsaac.

“At an emergency meeting of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to assess the current post-election political impasse, we noted with concern, a circular signed by the Deputy Chair (Corporate Services) of the EC. Dr Bossman E. Asare, suggesting that the Electoral Commission (EC) may be going on recess from the 23 December 2020 to 19 January 2021,” the CSOs said in a statement.

“Given the current post-election context and the matters arising, some of which might require their attention, we find it unacceptable that the EC should be shutting down at this critical moment at this critical moment, and without any clarification to the public of the alternative arrangements that have been put in place”.

EC break

The EC had in a circular yesterday indicated that it will go on a Christmas and New Year recess on Wednesday, December 23, 2020.

A statement signed by the Deputy Chairman of the EC, Corporate Services, Dr Bossman E.Asare said the Commission will resume duty on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

“Following the successful and peaceful conduct of the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, Management has decided that the Commission will break for Christmas and New Year on Wednesday, 23th December 2020 and resume duty on Tuesday, 19th January 2021,” the circular said.

President Akufo-Addo won the Presidential election with 6,730,413 votes representing 51.302 per cent of the total valid votes cast. His main opponent Mr John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) got 6,214,889 votes representing 47.359 per cent of the valid votes cast.

However, Mr Mahama and the NDC have disputed the results of the Presidential election and called for an independent audit with the former describing the elections as the “most incompetent elections we (Ghanaians) have ever had”.

Members of the NDC have also been engaged in street protests against the results.

Resubmit petition

On Tuesday, December 22, some NDC Minority MPs were engaged in a standoff with the Police while attempting to submit a petition to the EC over some concerns they have about the election.

The Minority led by its leader Mr Haruna Iddrisu was unable to present the 21-point petition to the EC yesterday because neither the Chairperson nor any official was around to receive it.

The EC later in a statement said the MPs failed to give them prior notice of the petition.

The CSOs’ have since urged the Minority to resubmit their petition to the EC to be reviewed.

“In light of the EC’s response that it received the notice late, and that it holds the institution of Parliament in high regard, we kindly urge the Minority to re-submit their petition and the results it has, to the EC, as soon as possible for prompt action,” the CSOs said.

“We call on the EC to activate mechanisms for inclusive stakeholder dialogue as part of the electoral management process”.

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