The Electoral Commission (EC), has stated that it will amend its timetable following Parliament’s rejection of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, that would have made November 7, the new election date.
Ghana’s law-making body, voted against the Bill which sought to change the date of the elections in Ghana from December 7, to the first Monday of November.
125 of the 275 Members of the Parliament, voted for the November 7 Bill to be accepted.
The Speaker, announcing the result, stated that, 95 MPs had voted against the date change. 45 MPs were absent from Parliament and were unable to vote.
According to the Director of Communications at the EC, Eric Dzakpasu, although the rejection of the Bill will force the Commission to adjust its calendar, the change would not affect their schedule much.
“Certainly, there must be amendments in the timetable. Every electoral activity is regulated by law and there are specific guidelines to undertake specific activities.
If the election date had been brought forward much earlier than 7th November, then we would be talking about an issue. Rather it gives us room just to amend the timetable to accommodate the change to 7th December,” he told Citi News.
The date of the elections remain December 7, while the swearing-in ceremony comes a month after in January.
The advocates for the change had argued that the change would give more time to prepare for changes in government and ease the stress in government transitions.
However, those against the November date stated that, there were indications that the Electoral Commission was not ready for a November election.
According to them, holding the polls a month earlier than usual would put undue stress on the election management body
‘Get your act together’
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), in response to Thursday’s rejection, charged the Electoral Commission to “get its act together” and focus on its mandate of ensuring that this year’s general elections in December come off successfully.
The Director of Elections for the party, Martin Adjei Mensah-Korsah, accused the EC of failing to accept the obvious challenges it has in order to start dealing with them.
“The Commission doesn’t have its act together. It’s not enough to come and tell us that you are ready when indeed you are not. Everything seems to be disorganized. If they eat humble pie, get down to work and stop the talking, they should be able to overcome it.
If you have difficulties and you don’t let people know. you are are not going to get help. There is so much talking and very little being done,” he said on Eyewitness News