The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has proposed for a split of the Electoral Commission (EC) into two separate and distinct bodies.
This will comprise an Office of the Regulator of Political Parties (ORPP) responsible for the registration and regulation of political parties and an Electoral Commission (EC) responsible for the conduct of Presidential, Parliamentary, District Assembly and Unit Committee and other public elections and referenda.
The suggestion forms part of the NDC’s technical committee report on proposals for electoral reforms.
Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, general secretary of the NDC, at a news briefing on the committee’s report, said they put together an eight-member committee chaired by Nana Ato Dadzie to engage and consult on issues regarding elections in the country.
The committee identified eight election-related problems including; the violence and militarization, lack of credible consultative process, a clear absence of level playing field for elections, among others.
Asiedu-Nketiah, touching on the 34 recommendations contained on the party’s position paper on electoral reforms, proposed that the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) should be backed by legislation and that its composition and functions spelt out.
He said members of the EC should be appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State and prior approval by Parliament, provided that the Chairperson of the Commission must be approved by two-thirds of the house.
The EC, he said, should be given the right by law to apply to court to remove deceased and other unqualified persons from the provisional register based on the information provided by relevant state institutions.
The NDC General Secretary said the EC should ensure that recruitment for the various categories of election officials was made non-partisan.
“The available positions should be advertised and non-partisan incompetent persons selected after interviews. The selected persons should then be given appropriate training,” he added.
The general secretary of NDC said there should be a comprehensive legislation dealing with election security, which outlined specific roles for security agencies during elections.
He said the military must not be deployed in civilian elections under any circumstance.