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EC drops proposal to shift December 7 election day to November – Deputy Chair Bossman Asare reveals

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has backed down on the proposal to shift the December 7 polls to a date in November. The Commission, in January, proposed the date change with the explanation that it would help make more room to organise a run-off be able to declare results before the mandatory January 7 swearing-in of a new president in case a winner does not emerge from the December 7 polls.

But, the proposal presented at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting was rejected by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). Following this, a Deputy Chairman in Charge of Corporate Services at the EC, Dr Eric Bossman Asare has hinted that the commission has dropped the proposal.

He was speaking at an event organised by the Multimedia Group on Monday [Feb 19, 2024] to launch the media house’s election coverage programmes.  The EC had also proposed that Election Day should be declared a national holiday to help increase civic engagement and contribute to the cultivation of a more robust democratic culture. But that proposal has also been shelved by the commission.

Dr Bossman Asare explained that the EC’s decision to drop the proposal was a result of the opposition expressed by the NDC and added, it was likely any such proposal in a Constitutional Instrument presented to Parliament would face an opposition. “One of the major political parties indicated clearly that they don’t support the change of the election date from December to November in 2024, while we the commission, knowing the law requiring that making such a change you have to go to parliament, to have two-third of members of parliament approving of that particular change, the commission has resolved that we are going to have the elections come December 7 as we did in 2020.

Throwing more light on the EC’s decision, Dr Asare said, “In that IPAC meeting it was agreed with the political parties that in the event we cannot marshal the forces of IPAC to have it in November in 2024, the commission should take steps to ensure that in 2028, we are going to have it in November,” he said. He added that the commission has not settled on any specific date in November as of now as part of the future plans.

“This must be clear; we were not talking about November 7. At the IPAC meeting, the decision was a day in November. So it can be the first Monday, a second Monday, a third Monday or Tuesday or Friday or Thursday,” he added.

By: Getrude Ankah Nyavi

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