The leader of the governing New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) 2020 national campaign team, Peter Mac Manu has said Ghana has no option than to go the polls in December 2020 regardless of COVID-19.
The conduct of the December 7, 2020 polls remains uncertain given the fact that many of the electoral activities in the build-up to the polls have been put on hold as a result of the pandemic.
While many continue to cast doubts on the ability of the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voter’s register ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, the national campaign chairman of the NPP believes Ghana has no other way to avoid the poll since the Constitution does not make room for that.
Mr. Mac Manu made these comments on Citi TV‘s current affairs program, Face to Face hosted by Godfred Akoto Boafo on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
“The situation we find ourselves now, the pandemic has shot the world in a shock economically and health-wise but nevertheless, in a country like Ghana where our Constitution does not give room for any change of date for elections, we are bound to go into the elections on 7th December because the constitution doesn’t have room for any manoeuvers,” he said.
“In other countries, their Constitution made room but ours doesn’t. Equally, last four weeks, South Korea went into the elections and they had the highest voter turnout in their election history. As we speak, Burundi is going to have their elections in May, and Malawi is going to have theirs on July 2nd and Tanzania is going to have theirs in October. So what prevents Ghana from having ours?” he quizzed.
We’ll observe safety protocols – EC
The Electoral Commission has put on hold most of its activities scheduled to be done ahead of the 2020 polls following the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Commission has subsequently assured that said it will observe the necessary protocols when it begins the compilation of a new voter’s register.
It said the necessary precautions have been put in place to ensure safety in the execution of its mandate.
“All stakeholders are hereby reminded that plans are far advanced for the compilation of new voters register with a new voter management system for the upcoming 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.”
“The Commission is however sensitive to the current state of affairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will abide by the necessary precautions and safety protocols in the execution of its mandate when it deems it appropriate to begin the compilation of the register,” the EC clarified in its statement.
However, Ghana’s has 5,127 cases with 494 recoveries and 22 deaths.
Government won’t use COVID-19 as excuse to extend first term mandate – Oppong Nkrumah
Meanwhile, the government has also disclosed it is not contemplating an extension of its first term constitutional mandate despite the seeming distortion of the political calendar by COVID-19, Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said.
The Information Minister, at a press briefing on Tuesday, pointed out that the government does not see “any justifiable reason to seek to extend its first term constitutional mandate 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 said.
CJ can’t take over as President if COVID-19 hampers 2020 elections – Adom-Otchere
Renowned media practitioner and Host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere, has ruled out any possibility of the Chief Justice ascending to the highest office of the presidency in case there is no general election due to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in Ghana.
He clarified that: “We will not get there with the issue about the Chief Justice. It is fundamental to explain that in order hierarchy in terms of the most important people of the state, there is a President, Vice President, Speaker of Parliament and Chief Justice. The law does not actually contemplate the Chief Justice running the show as President because the law provides for what the Vice President does under circumstances for him to perform the functions of the President. It also provides under what circumstances it brings the Speaker”.