General News Fri, 15 May 2020

Coronavirus: EC can’t postpone 2020 polls – Dep. AG

A Deputy Attorney General, Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, has warned the Electoral Commission that in spite of a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections in the country, it is constitutionally mandated to hold the December 2020 general elections at the scheduled time.

According to the MP for Tempane, any move by the election management body to disregard the constitutional provisions for holding the polls could breed chaos and possibly lead to a constitutional crisis.

After a Cabinet retreat to deliberate on the impact of COVID-19 on the country, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told journalists on Tuesday, 12 May 2020 that the Akufo-Addo government sees no “justifiable reason” to seek to extend its first term “using the virus as an excuse – without a safe, free and fair election.”

“The government is of the view that instead of contemplating measures that are not envisaged in the Constitution, our best energies, our innovation and creativity should be invested in exploring how a country like ours can have safe and free elections”, he noted.

Despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Electoral Commission, recently, issued a statement saying its intention to compile a new register of voters ahead of the elections, remains unchanged.

According to Mr Kpemka, the EC must hold the election because the 1992 Constitution demands so.

“The Electoral Commission has not, it hasn’t indicated anywhere that it has no capacity or it is incapable of carrying out its mandate by virtue of COVID-19. I haven’t heard that from the Electoral Commission. So, let’s give them that benefit of the doubt”, he told Blessed Sogah on Class91.3FM's State of the Nation programme on Wednesday, 13 May 2020.

He said delaying the election would need a constitutional amendment.

“You see; you have no mandate whatsoever to extend it without amending the Constitution. Unless somebody wants to say that we have to act in a vacuum”, Mr Kpemka noted.
Source: classfmonline.com
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