University of Ghana campus remains charged as electoral crisis around this year’s GRASAG Legon election heightens.
In a video clip in the possession of http://eveningmailgh.com and that has gone viral on Social Media, blows are seen flying in the air at an emergency senate meeting which uncharacteristically had the Dean of Students, Prof Godfred Bogpin, in attendance.
The emergency senate meeting and the attendance of the Dean of Students was meant to resolve the crisis which has been lurking around since the electoral processes began. The meeting held at the SRC Union Building therefore became apparent after a meeting chaired by the Electoral Commission ended in similar heat.
EC Chairman Crisis
There has been tension on the campus following alleged resignation of the chairman of the Electoral Commission and the subsequent appointment of an acting chairman by the GRASAG President, Mr. Rock Ashley. Conflicting reports from the Electoral commission has questioned the status and legality of the Acting Electoral Commission. It is unclear to the public, stakeholders and to candidates whether the Electoral Commissioner, Mr WK. Dziewornu – Norvor indeed resigned as noted in the letter by the President or not. This has led to the legitimacy of the Acting Commissioner, Mr Odortor Ayernor-Sikafutu, been questioned by the students given that he has no approval from Senate, the highest decision making body of the students.
Some candidates in the election have also raised serious concerns over a bloated voters register which they claim contains widespread irregularities.
Some senators and the general student population have expressed concerns about the non-publication of the voters’ register to the University Community few hours to the election.
Though the ‘acting’ EC released the register on social media, particularly on whatsapp platforms, some students have questioned the timing and why the register have not been posted on bill boards as well as designated polling stations where students can check and make corrections if irregularities are found.
Time table and debate
The electoral timetable for the election has been disrespected beyond comprehension with scheduled dates for Vetting and Presidential Debates not been followed as planned. A Presidential Debate on main campus was held under circumstances which some students have described as ‘mysterious’. Two other Presidential debates that were planned to be held at the Satelite Campuses; Atomic and Korle Bu, were also called off with a Radio Univers Debate that was supposed to be held for all candidates held for some portfolios with the exception of Presidential Candidates. So far, no reasons have yet been provided for the various changes.
Call for Removal of Senate Chairman
Surprisingly, information gathered by http://eveningmailgh.com indicate that the President, Mr. Rock Ashley, is calling for the removal of the Speaker of GRASAG Senate, Mr. Fred Kumadzi, a move which some students say “frowns on the Constitution of the Graduate Students Association of Ghana, University of Ghana Chapter.”
Removal of Judicial Board Chairperson and Injunction
Meanwhile, a petition has been served on the Judicial Board requesting for an injunction on the election and another petition has been served for the removal of the Chairperson of the GRASAG Judicial Board, Mr. Westcort Brobbey, on grounds that he is not a student.
Call off of Elections
Though it is unclear what will be the turn of events in the coming days, the Dean of Students Prof.Godfred Bopkin has called off the election pending a stakeholders engagement meeting on 2nd May.