Astute Accra based private legal practitioner Dr. Maurcie Ampaw is advocating for immediate cancellation of Ghana’s general elections slated for December 7, 2020, due to what he terms as a limited time period created by the COVID-19 expressing doubt if the Electoral Commission of Ghana could run a credible election.
According to Dr. Maurice Ampaw, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission Madam Jean Mensah should consider compiling a new voter register with two to three months before December 2020 under strict adherence to all the social distancing protocols but a reason to post postpone the elections to early next year.
Speaking to the host of DWABEREM political show Dr. Cash on OTECFM on Tuesday, May 11, 2020, Dr. Maurice Ampaw maintained that the Electoral Commission has a herculean responsibility in compiling the voters register in the face of the COVIS-19 pandemic adding that the electorates would have to be registered bit by bit at polling stations using more months during the exercise in order to stem the spread.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana has said it will observe all the necessary safety measures to curb the spread of coronavirus when it begins compiling a new register of voters. “All stakeholders are hereby reminded that plans are far advanced for the compilation of a new voter register with a new voter management system for the upcoming 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections”, the EC said in a statement on Monday, 11 May 2020 signed by Acting Public Affairs Director Sylvia Annor.
The Commission said it is “sensitive to the current state of affairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will abide by the necessary precautions and safety protocols in the execution of its mandate when it deems it appropriate to begin the compilation of the register”. The exercise had been scheduled to start in April but has been put on ice indefinitely following the outbreak of coronavirus in Ghana.
But speaking on the current devastating effects of the pandemic, Dr. Maurice Ampaw observed that until the COVID-19 was completely eradicated in the country the December general has the propensity to suffer a whole lot of setbacks that would run down the smooth running of the elections.
He, however, chastised the ruling New Patriotic Party to dissuade attempts to hold their intended primaries in the coming months adding that it was a complete joke if the National Executives Committee of the party would throw caution to the wind and rather hold the constituency primary elections.
Dr. Maurice Ampaw posited,” the major general election is not possible to come off in December because how could you hold elections for over ten million voter population with the COVID-19 hovering around? How could the large number observe social distancing protocols in just one day?
In case the elections go beyond 5:00pm or people decide to stay on to observe the voting process or during the counting of the votes, people begin to jubilate over the results how do you expect them to observe the social distancing rules? I would advise the Electoral Commission to go ahead and register the populace and cancel the elections in December but hold the elections early next year”.