New Patriotic Party’s (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko says the Electoral Commission (EC) has gone on break and there is nothing wrong with that.
Ghanaians, some CSOs and especially members of the NDC have complained bitterly about the decision of the Electoral Commission to go on a break till January 19 when the country is currently tensed due to the NDC’s decision not to concede defeat.
But reacting to the concerns of the public, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko thinks there is nothing wrong with the decision by the Commission to go on break as it is legally enshrined
To him, the Electoral Commission have for the last six months been working to ensure that Ghana has one of the smoothest elections in the country’s history and certainly will need a break after organizing one of the best elections in the country.
Below is Gabby’s Comment
The Electoral Commission of Ghana has gone on Christmas break because its work is done. There is nothing remotely irresponsible about this. It does not mean a court cannot compel the EC to come to court. It does not mean its lawyers are asleep. It does not mean the entire system is shut down. No! And, we know it! Within six months or so, Jean Mensa and her team have done what no Commission has done before. It has compiled the biggest voter registration (biometric) ever in Ghana in the closest time ever to general elections and it has done so at the height of the global coronavirus pandemic in Ghana. It has held the biggest general elections ever in the largest number of polling stations ever all on a single day and without leading to a spike in covid-19 cases.
This is remarkable by any standard. It has declared all 275 parliamentary results at where the law says it should do – at the local level and published the results nationally. For the presidential results, it even inserted another layer of collation at a critical level: the regional level to engender another important level of cross-party endorsement – since political parties have organisations at the polling station level, constituency level, regional level and national level.
This means that at every important layer of Ghana’s political organisation structure, the EC has established a results tabulation system for broader inter-party scrutiny and endorsement. That is good for transparency and accountability. The EC has declared the presidential results and gazzetted the results, as well. Per the laws of the land, the elections are truly over. It does not, however, mean that the outcome is completely done and dusted. Any dispute with the results can only be handled at the law courts.
There is nothing more the EC can do but to defend its work or otherwise at the law courts for the judges to decide one way or the other. The NDC has challenges and the NPP also has challenges. Both parties believe they have legitimate grievances to challenge some of the declared parliamentary results. The NDC is even giving the extra impression that it may even challenge the presidential results; if only it can gather enough evidence to seek to overturn a margin of over half a million votes. We can only wish them well.
“They both know what to do. That is just how a responsible society behaves. Challenge the results but do so within the rules. Even when you have issues, legitimate or not, over how the rules have been applied, you still have no choice but to work within the rules of the game. It is that simple and that is what society expects of its leaders. I am sorry.”