The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said it does not support the proposal by the Electoral Commission (EC) to change the date of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections from December to November.
“Instead of cherry-picking, we (NDC) call for a comprehensive review of the electoral process through inclusive and proper dialogue,” the party said.
The NDC Deputy National Director of Elections, Dr Tanko Rashid Computer, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the decision not to support the proposed change of date for the general election was backed by the leadership of the party.
He said the party was rather opened for discussions on voting on prayer or worship date but not the change of date for the elections.
At the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held last Monday, January 22, 2024 which was attended by the various political parties including the NDC, the commission proposed a shift in the timing of both Presidential and Parliamentary elections, advocating a change from December to November.
In addition to this proposal, the EC also expressed the desire to designate election days as national holidays.
While arguing for an earlier election month, the commission emphasised that designating election days as national holidays would encourage greater civic participation and contribute to fostering a stronger democratic culture.
However, during the meeting, the majority of political parties expressed scepticism about the feasibility of implementing such changes within the current year.
Concerns were raised about potential logistical hurdles, the need for legal amendments, and the necessity of a thorough public consultation process before the change in the date of the general election.
Despite the reservations voiced by the political parties, the commission assured them that further discussions and considerations would take place.
The electoral management body had previously indicated its intention to eliminate the use of indelible ink in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
In the District Level Elections held in December last year, the commission proceeded without the use of indelible ink even before the amendment of Regulation 33, sub-regulation 2(c) of Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 127)
Dr Computer, who represented the NDC at last Monday’s IPAC meeting, said the EC had scheduled another IPAC meeting for next week Monday, January 29, 2024 for the various political parties to make their submission on the proposal by the EC for a change in the date of the general election from December to November.
But the NDC deputy director of elections said the party had already submitted a comprehensive proposal for electoral reforms to the EC, shortly after the 2020 general election and, therefore, it did not support the change in the elections date from December to November.
He expressed the readiness of the NDC for the 2024 general election, saying that the party had appointed regional and constituencies directors of elections through competitive means.
“That tells you that we are ready,” he said.
Source – Graphic online