Elections will be held in December as government does not intend to serve beyond its constitutionally mandated first term using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah gave the assurance yesterday during a ministerial briefing on Covid-19 management situation in the country.
He pointed out that the government does not see “any justifiable reason to seek to extend its first term constitutional mandate using the virus as an excuse, without a safe, free and fair election.”
To this end, he went on to say that credible elections would be held with all safety etiquettes adhered to during the exercise.
So far, his remarks are the most assuring about the December polls in the face of speculations in some quarters that the exercise could be postponed, a situation which would have triggered an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the country.
The Electoral Commission (EC) was compelled to suspend plans in the meantime to compile a new voters’ register which was scheduled to begin on April 18 due to the Covid-19 crisis.
While some have cast doubts about the ability of the EC to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, others have already been considering the practicalities of some constitutional provisions to be considered.
But the Information Minister said the government had taken note of the commentary and has no plans of extending its mandate.
He further indicated that just as other countries, such as Ivory Coast and Burundi, are considering ways of holding elections in the wake of the pandemic, Ghana should also invest its energies in exploring how to do same.
“The government is of the view that instead of contemplating measures that are not envisaged in the constitution, our best energies, our innovation and creativity should be invested in exploring how a country like ours can have safe and free elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EC has also hinted it is collaborating with health experts to decide on a more favourable date depending on the prevalence rate of the novel Coronavirus.
It, however, indicated on Monday, April 11 that it would observe the necessary protocols when it begins the compilation of a new voters’ register.
Source: Daily Guide Network