Editorial: EC must step up its game

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has described as unfortunate, challenges that bedevilled the District Level Elections held nationwide on Tuesday, December 19.

CODEO blamed the Electoral Commission (EC) for not living up to its task and urged it to do better, following reports of non-functioning of the Biometric Verification Device (BVD) used for verification. There were also delays in the distribution of voting items to some centres, which hampered the process in some areas.

We are joining CODEO in asking the Electoral Commission to take lessons from this process.

The Chronicle does not see the EC as a saint, but we had expected a better output by the election body. We believe whatever happened on Election Day is administrative. Since 1992, we have been having some of these experiences and to us, the EC should have taken a cue and learnt its lessons, so that mistakes in the past were not repeated.

The Chronicle would like to emphasise that election management is not cast in stone. It is about the experience, consultation, dealing with people who know the work better than you to help you build a solid, transparent, dependable, credible system that will give a free and fair election to the people of Ghana.

The mistakes as recorded on Tuesday are avoidable and for which reason someone must take full responsibility, beyond apologising.

It is almost beyond doubt that the EC has messed up an election system that many stakeholders saw clearly and cautioned it, but it appears the Commission didn’t listen.

The Chronicle recalls the numerous calls by interested parties that the EC should put in place adequate measures to ensure smooth processes to sustain the trust of the people, but from what happened yesterday it seems to us that the EC planned to fail, or simply failed to prepare adequately for this year’s district-level elections. They cannot be excused for the lapses in the District Level Elections.

For an exercise that the EC had about two years to plan before executing it, such lapses cannot be pardoned.

Although the elections were largely peaceful across the country, except for the usual low turnout, the Commission’s postponement of the election in some electoral areas in some regions, as a result of technical challenges such as the shortage of ballot papers, is not the best of news.

We are hoping the EC has taken notes of its failures and also measured the temperature of Ghanaians as we look forward to elections in 2024.

The Chronicle believes Madam Jean Mensah and her team have by now realized that any slip on their part on December 7, 2024 could potentially cause huge disappointment to Ghanaians.

To avoid any chaotic scenario, we would like to call on the EC to step up its game and deliver fair and acceptable elections next year. We have done it before, so it is possible in 2024.


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