Ghana: Opposition Must Keep EC On Its Toes - Alex Asabre

The Ghanaian opposition parties have been asked to keep the Electoral Commission (EC) on its toes by raising their concerns with the international community, ahead of the December elections.

Mr. Alex Asabre, an astute international politician, indicated that nothing stopped the opposition parties from going international with their agitations, ahead of the December elections.

According to Mr. Asabre, the opposition parties had the mandate to write to the international communities, which have sent advanced parties to ascertain the preparedness of the EC, to make their grievances known to the world, ahead of the elections.

Mr. Asabre, who is the chairman of the defunct Ghana Democratic Movement (GDM) of the UK, in a statement issued in Kumasi, said a move in this direction would enable the international communities and donors to be aware of developments, and draw the EC's attention to them for amicable resolutions.

The democrat noted that since advanced parties of these foreign observers were mainly here in the interest of concerns the opposition parties may raise, it would be prudent for the opposition parties to make their concerns known to them, than wait for something evil to cloud our democracy before they act.

Mr. Asabre said with only few days to go to the polls, the opposition parties had failed to impress him, because they had not made any effective input into the elections.

He said in spite of the existence of the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and its role, it seemed there were no good deliberations, and that the smaller parties were at a disadvantage, hence the need for them to draw the attention of the international community to their concerns now.

The GDM founder appealed to opposition parties that think the EC was infringing on their rights to voice out their apprehension now, in order to push the authorities at the EC into action, and ensure that the Electoral Commission sits up and remains a respectable institution in the sub-region.

He said the EC's success story, and the feat so far, could not have been achieved without the concerns of some individual Ghanaians.

Mr. Asabre, however, said his concern was not to incite the opposition to act unreasonably, but to be seen as a wakeup call from their deep slumber to do what they had failed to do in the recent past.

The call to action, Mr. Asabre, indicated was to ginger the opposition parties to act now, before it was too late to cry over spilt milk.

He said the Ghana Democratic Movement, which believes that our budding democracy needs to be crafted well to avoid blame by posterity, should the actions and inaction of anybody help throw Ghana into chaos, would not countenance any post-election accusations.

The GDM, it was stated, would rather entertain decisive comments before we go to the polls in December.

He hoped the EC would iron out the grievances of the opposition parties to defuse concerns that had the tendency to mar the elections.

His concern emanates from complaints by the opposition to the EC lately, and the need for the EC to smoothen the process of multi-party democracy in Ghana.

According to Mr. Asabre, the accusations, which commonly fraught elections in Ghana in the past, were also featuring prominently in the pre-election period, coupled with the introduction of the biometric voter system in this year's elections.

He observed that there were clouds of doubt in the minds of people, as a result of which the opposition had raised qualms with the EC, which had not adequately responded to the issues raised.

Mr. Asabre pointed to the shaming of minors who registered as voters by the EC in publishing their names and pictures in the media recently, and the obliteration of 20,000 names from the register, were some of the issues the EC needed to adequately address.

He said in spite of the assurance by the EC that there would be zero tolerance of multiple voting, credible elections seem to be in doubt, because while the EC had deliberately expunged multiple names from the register, its deputy Chairman in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr. Sulemana Amadu, had publicly declared that nobody (not even a party agent) had the right to stop a voter from voting, even if the person was a minor.

Mr. Asabre also expressed worry over the intended cancellation, by the EC, of votes that exceed the turnout, saying it could bring confusion.

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