19th May 2024

EC Boss

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, has confirmed that the date for this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections remains December 7.

The confirmation puts to rest speculations among the public that the elections will be held on November 7.

She made this disclosure in a media interview.

According to Jean Mensa, even though a new date for elections in the future cannot be ruled out, that will be put on hold this year as the change will have to go through stringent process, which might affect this year’s election.

“Although the EC is in favour of the change in date, we don’t intend to do so this year,” Mrs Mensa stated.

Plans advanced

In the run-up to the 2016 elections, there were plans to change the voting day from December 7 to November 7 to allow for smooth transition from one government to another.

The EC has initiated the process to amend Article 112 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, which will allow it to change the date of elections from December 7 to November 7, to make the elections convenient and also enhance the electoral process.

A deputy chairperson of the EC, in charge of operations, Samuel Tettey, had explained that, to enable the EC amend the law, it has to write to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice justifying why it needed to change the date.

After this, he said, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice will need to initiate a bill for the appropriate amendment, with the requisite justification.

He added that the bill will also have to go through the requisite parliamentary process, after which two-thirds of Members of Parliament will have to vote in favour of the amendment.

He further explained that once Parliament approves the amendment, the EC will then go ahead to begin the processes to change its calendar and programmes to be in tune with the new date.

Background

Many have asked that the elections be held a month earlier than December 7 so that the government can have enough time to hand over to the new administration, in case there is a change.

Proponents of the November 7 date argue that in the event of a run-off, there will be adequate time for such an election and smooth handover processes.

Activities

Per the EC’s interim calendar of activities, it will begin the compilation of a new voters’ register from April 18 to May 30.

It will deploy 8,000 registration devices to cover the 32,000 polling stations across the country.

Mr Tettey said after the 43-day registration period, the EC will provide a five-day mopping up period to take care of any exigencies.

The commission intends to mount voters’ register exhibition from August 15 to August 28.

It estimates that the registration process, the exhibition of the register and adjudication on challenges raised will all end by October 26.

“A lot of buffer — allowing enough room to accommodate delays and contingencies — have been built into the timelines to ensure that they are not missed,” Mr Tettey explained.

Adjudication and correction

The EC will also make room for people challenging the identities of others on the register, a process known as objection adjudication and correction. That will take place between October 1 and 9, while the authentication of the register by revising officers will take place between October 12 and 15.

The receipt of nominations from presidential and parliamentary candidates will be done between October 5 and 9.

 

 

 

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