EC’s waning credibility debacle [Opinion]

Jean Mensa, EC boss being sworn in with others

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has embroiled itself in a self-degrading suicide since the appointment of Jean Mensa and Bossman Asare. Apart from their ignominious public utterances, their clearly incompetent handling of processes towards the 2020 general elections has become a debilitating gunshot in the Commission’s own arms.

In a 30-page document presented to parliament and the IPAC in the presence of the Eminent Advisory Committee detailing the budget for the purchasing of new equipment for the conduct of 2020 elections and the compiling of a new register, the EC stated clearly they had an intention to use the data from the old register. However, in a surprising U-turn the Chairperson of the EC changed its own rules. This attitude has subjected the legislative body, the Eminent Advisory Committee which she instituted and the entire Ghanaians to ominous uncertainty.

In the ECs response to the press conference organized by the NDC who accused the independent EC of harboring a rigging plan, she was heard saying that the EC cannot rig any elections in favor of any political party and that the accusations against the office is unmerited and should be discarded. The unfortunate thing is that, Jean Mensah thinks she is the only person who could reason better than the entire country when she says one thing today and another time she’s found doing different things rendering her own integrity questionable. This makes one wonder if indeed she is the same person who was almost prided herself as preaching ‘Angel’ for good electoral reforms in her days at the IEA.

The EC should come to the understanding that, it is not so complex for one to recognize that elections rigging plan is not only executed on the voting day but a series of concerted effort in every process, especially when the processes onto the register has prevented people from registering, the elections are rigged equally and far in advance. Their co-conspirators have orchestrated this plan to be executed by Jean Mensa and Bossman Asare. It would be the highest patriotism one could show to Ghana aside the fight for independence, if one rises up to fight for his citizenship rights due to the consequential effect of any likely disturbances which no one prays for.

We know how costly democracy is and we all know what to do to reduce cost of democracy. Using the old register to conduct these elections would rather save this nation huge sums of money to take care of other needs of the same citizens whose status of citizenship she wants to redefine. With much surprises and lies churned out there by Jean Mensah, she has procured dubious huge figures just to create a bigger picture for Ghanaians to be blindfolded and allow her do the unthinkable by saying that, the cost involved in procuring new BVR, and other machines are less costly than the repair of the old system which was used to conduct only two elections, 2012 and 2016. The biometric voter’s register is never a depreciable asset that need to be changed periodically, the joke must be stopped.

If Jean Mensah is sincere to herself and Ghanaians for the first time ever since this plan came to light, she needs to question herself whether she is aware of the number of people who would be disenfranchised from this voting from one region to the other. And if her decision to use only the NIA card as the only proof of citizenship and the only document to rely on for purposes of compiling a new register for the conduct of elections 2020, what would be her position when eligible and qualified citizens are disallowed from exercising and participating in the processes to vote and elect people who would best represent them in both Parliament and at the Presidency based on policies of the various political parties of their choice.

A rigging plan is not done in one stage but other sources of rigging plan include what the EC is rolling out and such must be resisted by any well-meaning Ghanaian who believes in our democracy and how far we have come, as the best form of governance system which has also placed Ghana high in the global map for our strong democratic system we have had decades ago including our successful elections we have held without any rancour, violence of highest degree, manipulation of results or any act of bad faith in the organization and declaring of elections.

  1. The timelines stated by Jean Mensah in her 30 page document was to begin the exercise on the 18th of April through to 26th of October at separate times where the entire process of the compilation of the new register would come to an end, and with only seven months to go into an election without proper engagement with political parties aside the party she is working for and bent on declaring them winners of the yet to be conducted elections. Her uncompromising stance even in this crisis of COVID-19 where the infections rate could spring up to an unimaginable increase within this period of the compiling of the new register.

In all honesty, all indications and the posture of the EC point to the fact that, there is a well calculated and coordinated effort to rig the elections for the NPP government which is trembling under the reality that Ghanaians will pass a negative verdict on them in December. The evidences are clear coupled with her provoking responses and activities of the EC. We must watch before worse occurs. All ears should be pricked immediately!

By Naaba Nakuwabug Fetse, Dodowaa

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