Change electoral calendar - IPAC urges EC
Akosombo, May 12, GNA - Seven Political Parties on Tuesday called for Constitutional review of the electoral calendar to ensure a smooth transition period.
They were of the view that the period specified for the election of Members of Parliament, should be amended to be in consonance with the provisions on the period specified for the election of a President. According to Article 63 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution, the election of the President "shall be held so as to begin not earlier than four months nor later than one month before his term of office expires." Article 112 (4), on election of Parliamentary Candidate stipulates that a general election of members of Parliament shall be held within 30 days before the dissolution of Parliament. This provision means that the parliamentary elections cannot be held earlier than December 7. The political parties through the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) made the suggestion at a self-assessment forum organised by the EC in collaboration with KAB Governance Consult and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) under the "Safeguarding the Integrity of the Ballot Project" at Akosombo.
The parties are the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention Peoples' Party, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), and Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD) stated at the fourth in a series of post election self-assessment consultative forum. Other parties that participated are; Ghana National Party (GNP), Peoples National Convention (PNC), and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
The parties noted that the difficulties encountered during the last election, which lead to a short transitional period called for a review of the electoral calendar to ensure that the incoming and outgoing government have enough time for transition.
The parties also called on EC to develop appropriate and transparent procedure for the recruitment of both permanent and temporary officials to ensure the integrity of EC personnel and the process.
The EC was also tasked to enhance the capacity of its Information Technology Department in order to cope with new trends in data management.
The parties called for continuous electoral education for all stakeholders to deal with electoral acrimony and antagonism. In an interview with Ghana News Agency, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofu, Eastern Regional Minister called on the EC and the Police Administration to institute investigation into electoral allegations by NDC and NPP during Elections 2008.
While the NDC accused the NPP of intimidating and beating its official in its stronghold of the Ashanti Region, the NPP was also alleged to have accused the NDC of killing its polling agents in the Volta Region.
Nana Ohene Ntow, NPP General Secretary supported the call for investigation to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegations to ensure that the nation develops the necessary mechanism to avoid these occurrences. 12 May 09