The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said that it will not be part of the meeting slated for today, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, if the EC does not rescind its decision to hold it in batches.
Today’s meeting is aimed at updating the parties on the new voters’ register and election related matters.
But the NDC believes it will be close to impossible to achieve the purpose of the meeting, which is consensus building, if all political parties do not sit around the table at the same time to discuss issues at stake.
While the EC argues that it is consistent with the social distancing protocols in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NDC believes the meeting could be held if it is moved to a bigger venue.
For them, the programme in its current state cannot be described as an IPAC meeting but a casual conversation between the EC and the parties.
This will, however, not be the first time the NDC is boycotting an IPAC meeting for such reasons. The party on March 25 this year boycotted a similar meeting for the same reasons.
They, therefore, cannot understand why the EC has come back with the same rejected strategy.
Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Peter Boamah Otokunor had said in an interview that: “What stops the Electoral Commission, even under compliance of the public health protocols, to rent a bigger auditorium and send all the 16 political parties together? In actual fact, we have agreed at IPAC that every political party is represented by three people at IPAC.”
“Now they have unilaterally decided that political parties should bring one representative each. Even with that, if they are going to do that, they can just find an appropriate auditorium that will host all the political parties together so that discussions can make meaningful sense,” he said.
“But here we are, they have just completely disregarded our concerns and they have called for the meeting without recourse to the issues that we raise. So in consistence with our earlier decision, we are unable to participate in this meeting which has been described as an IPAC meeting,” Otokunor maintained.
The Electoral Commission is already facing some criticism following its decision to compile a new voters’ register ahead of this year’s general elections.
Led by the NDC, a group known as the Inter Party Resistance Against the New Register, has kicked against the move.
Citing procurement breaches and timing, some civil society organizations have also joined calls by these political parties to stop the EC from compiling the new voter roll.
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH