Story By: Ishmael Barfi
The Distinguished Scholars of Africa(DistinSA), renowned insritution of scholars has humbly called on the Electoral Commission of Ghana to put in measures that would make this year’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections credible to avoid any doubts and chaos.
According to them, it is important for the electoral processes to be free, fair and transparent to enhance the country credentials of being a democratic nation.
Distinguished Scholars of Africa made these remarks at a press conference in Accra on Friday ( 28th November 2020) under the theme: “Securing Amicable Lawful Transition(SALT) by Legitimate Open Verifiable Elections(LOVE).
The call on the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) is to ensure that, all parties involved have faith and trust in its proccesses and to accept the outcome of the elections come December 7th, 2020.
This year’s electoral processes has been charactized with numerous irregularities and challenges right from the Voters’ registration exercise in July/August,2020 to the printing of the ballot papers for elections day, next week Monday, 7th December, 2020 across the country.
Engaging the press, the President of DistinSA, Nana Oppong pointed out, legitimate, open and transparent elections is of importance to safeguard the peace and harmony Ghana is currently enjoying compared to other African countries on the continent.
Speaking further, such an act would boost the morale, confident and trust of the electorates to beleive and accept the results at the end of the polls.
Touching on polls conducted by institutions, Dr. Nana Oppong acknowledged that, such polls do help but was quick to explain that, such polls does not affect the final polls conducted on the day of elections.
“Whether a polls is correct or wrong, it does not matter, what matter is, is what happens on the day of elections”, he stressed.
To this effect, he emphasized that there is the need to take a cue from the recent US elections where the incumbent Donald Trump refused to concede defeat on account of suspected electoral fraud in certain States.
He therefore called for the election to be conducted in what he termed a LOVE manner adding that, this is the only way to avoid electoral disputes in the December polls.
On his part, the Projects and Programme Specialist of ACI, Mr. Isaac Kwabena Abrokwa explained that lack of the aforementioned issues is likely to plunge this country into chaos if measures are not put in place to safeguard the peace before, during and after.
Emphasizing that, the Constitution of Ghana does not provide any provision that can compel an aggrieved incumbent Candidate to either concede defeat or sanctions for non-compliance or any related infractions.
This according to him means that “they the accusers, but not any other person or court with contrary view, determine for themselves what is right and what is true”.
“…And when this happens, then naturally this is a recipe for chaos”.
Mr. Abrokwa further revealed that there is no law in the constitution that points out that once another person is elected as President, the incumbent Presidents’ term comes to an end immediately.
Expressing his worry, he bemoaned over how the constitution has given all the powers to the President without what he called a reserved power for the defense of the people.
“What if after he loses the President decides that he would not leave office?, what if with support of some judges the President declares an election fraudulent requiring another kangaroo election or another election to be held at an indeterminate date?.
Adding, “What if the President appoints enough supreme court judges who will grant him judgment, declaring him the winner?. What if the President acting within his powers as Commander in chief orders the forces of the nation to arrest and crush dissidents or the opposition”, he queried.
On this background, DistinSA is therefore calling for an amendment of the constitution to deal with the aforementioned constitutional laps, believing it would strengthen the country’s democratic process and credentials.