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Security isn’t EC’s job; but lives should never be lost in an election – Jean Mensa

Electoral Commission Chairperson Jean Mensa still at post - Graphic Online

The Electoral Commission (EC), has absolved itself of blame for the electoral violence that resulted in the death of some persons in the 2020 elections.

Many have criticized the EC for superintending over an election that led to the demise of some voters, something that has never happened under the 4th Republic.

Speaking at an IPAC review workshop on the 2020 polls, the Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Mensa, while condemning the violence and the deaths, indicated that security is not part of the responsibilities of her outfit.

“An exceedingly disturbing challenge is the violence which led to the death of citizens of our country. And we say never again. Never again should we go to an election and have anybody lose their lives. Here also, there is a tendency for fingers to be pointed at the EC when security is not the core mandate of the EC.

“I have read the constitution and security is not part of our core mandate. I use this occasion to clarify that the EC is not responsible for election security, although the entire election and its success rest on the shoulders of the Commission. Our mandate as entrenched in the Constitution does not include security.”

This is one of the few times the Electoral Commission chair has spoken strongly to condemn the violence and the subsequent deaths recorded in the election.

The Commission had initially heaped praises on itself for the way the election was conducted, regardless of the deaths and the many disagreements that eventually led to an election petition by the opposition NDC’s Presidential Candidate, John Dramani Mahama, to challenge the Presidential results at the Supreme Court.

Some parliamentary election results, notably that of Techiman South, is currently being contested in court between the NDC and the NPP candidates.

There were 61 recorded cases of electoral and post-electoral violence across the country, according to the police.

Six members of the Minority have already tabled a private members’ motion in the House seeking a full-scale probe into acts of violence that occurred in the 2020 general elections.

The MPs; Haruna Iddrisu, Muntaka Mubarak, Mahama Ayariga, Alhassan Suhuyini, and James Agalga want the scope of the probe to take a look at the inappropriate interferences by state security in the elections, and violence against citizens, leading to the loss of lives.

They insist the IGP and other security agencies reneged on a promise to Parliament and Ghanaians to protect lives.

Many have criticized the government for doing little about the violence and the deaths through an investigation to bring the perpetrators to book.

2020 election deaths have dented Ghana’s image – Ibn Chambas

The immediate past Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has said the deaths that were recorded in the 2020 general elections have dented the country’s image.

According to him, Ghana needs to work to reclaim its enviable democratic credentials on the continent.

Source:Graphiconline.com

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Elections

50% of Ghanaian adults want MMDCEs elected – CDD report

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has said in a report that half, 50%, of all Ghanaian adults want the 1992 Constitution amended to empower citizens to elect all local government representatives, including the one-third appointed by the president.

However, the report added, a sizeable minority (43%) want the status quo maintained.

Close to seven in every 10 Ghanaians prefer non-partisan election format for the selection of local government representatives (including the one-third appointees) to ensure citizens’ participation and selection of competent person (13%); reduce political interference (11%); and bring solutions to community problems (11%).

“Ghanaians are nearly equally divided in their opinions on whether the current system of electing assembly members is really non-partisan.

“While almost half (48%) say the current system of electing assembly men/women to MMDAs is non-partisan, about a similar proportion (43%) say the current system is partisan.”

This report comes at a time calls are being made to revisit a move to elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive (MMDCEs) in Ghana.

Mr Gabby Otchere Darko, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo intended to have the laws amended in order to make MMDCEs elected as a way of curing the winner takes all problem but some Ghanaians rejected that move,

The former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute said the winner takes all concept in Ghana, from local to national, is not does not help the democracy of Ghana

“It was not for nothing that Akufo-Addo set about to amend the Constitution and have MMDCEs (mayors) elected by the very people they serve. But the opposition had different ideas. The winner takes all, from local to national, is bad for a healthy democracy anywhere in the world.

“Akufo-Addo is not a leader who particularly enjoys wielding the power to appoint or disappoint. He’s slow to reshuffle & even finds the constitutional powers to appoint 1,000s of people tedious a time that could be better spent on getting the work done. But it is what it is,” he said in a tweet reacting to the list of the MMDCEs announced by the Local Government Dan Botwe on Sunday September 19 and some of the agitations that characterized the announcement.

Mr Akufo-Addo in 2019 ordered for the withdrawal of a Bill that was seeking to amend Article 243(1) of the Constitution which allows the President to appoint MMDCEs.

In a national address where he announced the cancellation of the December 17, 2019 referendum that was to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to enable political parties to participate in local level elections, the President also put on hold plans that would also allow for the election of MMDCEs as he promised ahead of the 2016 elections.

“It is with deep regret that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development …to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the Constitutions both in respect of Article 243 (1) and Article 55 (3).”

Whilst the President attributed the decision to cancel the referendum to the absence of “a durable national consensus” on the matter, he did not explain why the Bill to amend Article 243 (1) was also withdrawn despite the fact that it had seeming bipartisan backing.

Source:3news

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Elections

Yendi :Assembly Members reject Akufo-Addo’s nominee

President Akufo-Addo

President’s nominee for the Yendi Municipal Assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Yussuf Abubakar, has been rejected by the Assembly members.

He polled 21 votes out of a total of 41 ballots on Friday September 24.

Regional Electoral Commissioner Lucas Yiryil who declared the results said the nominee had 51 percent of the votes and is qualified for a second round, which will be conducted by the Electoral Commission within 10 days.

The nominee served as the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) in President Akufo-Addo’s first term.

Meanwhile, the first of 260 nominated metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) was approved by assembly members.

On Thursday, September 23, Bismark Baisie Nkum was approved as Chief Executive for Gomoa West District after he polled 39 out of 52 votes cast.

He was renominated as a District Chief Executive (DCE) by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Coincidentally, he is the President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG).

Among personalities at the elections was Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Elections

Students of Akropong Sch for the Blind embark on demo; demand removal of ‘abusive’ headmistress

Students of Akropong Sch for the Blind embark on demo; demand removal of ‘abusive’ headmistress

Some students of the Akropong School for the Blind in Akuapem United North Municipality in Eastern Region Friday embarked on a demonstration demanding the immediate removal of the headmistress of the school, Madam Mahela Narh.

The students say the headmistress has been diverting donated items for her personal use and sometimes selling them.

More soon…

Source : 3news

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