IEA Commends EC For Adopting Its Proposal

Jean Mensa
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has commended the Electoral Commission (EC) for accepting its proposal for the date of the voting date to be changed to November 7.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director of the foremost think-tank Mrs. Jean Mensa, the IEA explained that the proposal ‘was born out of work undertaken by the IEA-Ghana Political Parties Programme in 2007 towards preparation of a Presidential Transition Bill.’

The Bill, the statement went on, was later passed into law in 2012 as the Presidential (Transition) Act, providing a legal framework for managing political transfer of power from an out-going democratically elected President to an incoming President.

The original Bill, published in 2009 observed a number of challenges as provided by the constitution regarding the political transitions of 2001 and 2009, the IEA recalled.

‘There were severe time constraints, since the transfers were forced to take place within the short period of six days, 1st January to 6th January for the 2001 transition, and an even shorter period of three days, 4th January, to 6th January, for the 2009 transition.’ It further stated: ‘The short lengths of the periods between the declaration of the results and the commencement of the transfer process in the two cases did not allow the losing party sufficient time to properly orient itself for the transfer’.

Earlier, following a two-day IEA workshop organized by the IEA at Continental Hotel in Atimpoku in 2008, it was agreed that ‘The current 4-week transition period should be extended to 8 weeks by bringing forward, Election Day to 7th November. This would accommodate possible run-off elections and the resolution of any election related petitions.’

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Ghana’s immediate past Chair of the Electoral Commission, the statement recalled, ‘referred to the work of the IEA in a speech published by the Daily Graphic edition of Friday, January 23rd 2009′.

The IEA had been consistent with its demand for the November date for the polls something which culminated in the eventual adoption of the proposal for which it is commending the EC.

This it maintains will ‘ensure ample time for proper handing over and transition in a manner that would ensure policy continuity and good governance. The IEA is therefore gratified to note that the EC has adopted this worthy proposal. It is hoped that other IEA proposals would be adopted to strengthen Ghana’s electoral system and consolidate democracy.’

By A.R. Gomda

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