Ghana’s Electoral Commission has set up a 10-member working group to scrutinise raft of proposals submitted to it for electoral reforms aimed at amending existing laws, administrative procedures and arrangements ahead of the 2016 general elections. Following the 2012 presidential election dispute culminating in a petition to the country’s Supreme Court, there was a clamour for electoral reforms from political parties, civil society organisations, individuals and technical staff of the commission. This public outcry, coupled with the Supreme Court’s recommendations, forced the West African country’s elections body to initiate a roadmap for the process. The committee, made up of representatives of the commission’s members, political parties and civil society organisations is, therefore, tasked to examine those proposals for the reform.
The Supreme Court says it will rule on the National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s application seeking to join a petition contesting the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the December 7, 2012 presidential poll. The petition was filed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), Chairman Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan announced the final results and declared John Mahama winner of the 2012 elections on December 9, 2012.
Ghana’s election commission announced Sunday night that the West African nation’s president won re-election, though the main opposition party says it has “credible evidence” the results were manipulated. In a statement streamed live on the Internet, Electoral Commission Chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan declared “John Dramani Mahama president-elect” after securing 50.7% of the vote. Nana Akufo-Addo, the candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), garnered 47.7% of the vote, according to the commission.
“We must celebrate together as Ghanaians and refrain from anything that will derail the peace and unity we have enjoyed over the years,” Mahama told supporters after the result was announced. But reiterating claims made earlier that the vote had been “manipulated,” the New Patriotic Party issued a statement it has “credible evidence (that) undermines the integrity of the electoral process and the results.”
President John Dramani Mahama was declared the winner Sunday of Ghana’s recent presidential election, according to provisional results, despite widespread technical glitches with the machines used to identify voters, and over the protest of the country’s opposition, which alleges vote-rigging. Armored tanks surrounded Ghana’s electoral commission and police barricaded the road around the electoral offices as the election body’s chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan announced that Mahama had polled 5.5 million votes, or 50.7 percent. Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who lost the 2008 election by less than 1 percent, came in second with 5.2 million votes, or 47.7 percent, Afari-Gyan said. Voter turnout was high, with more than 80 percent of the roughly 14 million registered voters casting ballots in Friday’s presidential and parliamentary election.
The Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday set-out acts and inactions that may constitute electoral offences in Election 2012 and called on the political parties and other democratic stakeholders to respect the laws or face the consequences. The offences include: to make or publish, by written or spoken word or by song, a false statement about the personal character of another candidate or the conduct of a political party; and to excite enmity against a person, group of persons, or political party on grounds of religious, ethnic, professional, regional, or political affiliation. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the EC Chairman, explained that a careful examination of the offences indicated that an election official, a polling agent, a party official, a candidate, a voter, or any member of the general public could commit an election offence.
The December elections may prove to be one of the sternest tests faced by Ghana’s electoral commission. Ghana’s Electoral Commission has proven robust in trying circumstances in the past. But the coming elections this December may test its capabilities like never before. A re-drawing of constituency boundaries has provoked cries of foul play and, although lauded in the past for impartiality, the electoral commission faces difficult challenges.
The chairman of Ghana’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) says the ongoing voter registration process will ensure a credible general election December 7. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan called on prospective voters to verify their personal information during a 10 day registration program. “We are exhibiting the provisional voter register [and] after that we will make any corrections that are appropriate, and then print the final voters register,” Afari-Gyan said. “Without the register we can’t take nominations, so I reckon that we take nominations for the elections around the middle of October, and then we will be on.”
Ghana: Electoral Commission says biometric register for 2012 election is coming on | Ghana Business News
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has stated that the commission is vigorously going on with its processes of ensuring that it secures a biometric registration system for the 2012 general election. He said, with the court clearance for the commission to undertake its legitimate business, there was no let or hindrance on its part and that it was “continuing with the processes”.
However, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the People”s National Convention (PNC) have raised red flags cautioning the EC that the path it was taking would compound the existing problems of double registration and voting and that as major stakeholders they believed the commission must tread cautiously and heed the caution.