It appears the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has sustained its rebellious activities against the Electoral Commission (EC) as the party has once again decided to boycott an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting organised by the country’s election management body today.
The EC has held IPAC meetings with the various registered political parties in the country on its decision to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general election.
However, the NDC has boycotted some of the meetings including the one on March 25, 2020, strongly opposing the compilation of a fresh electoral roll for the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The main opposition party yesterday served another notice that it will boycott the crucial IPAC meeting scheduled for today May 27, 2020.
The EC is expected to brief the political parties on preparations ahead of the voter registration exercise, which will likely take place in the middle of next month.
Whilst the NDC and its few allies are against the new register, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and 12 other political parties are strongly in favour of the new electoral roll.
The largest opposition party has been on neck of the Jean Mensa-led EC from day one, accusing it of conniving with the governing party to rig the next general election.
Some NDC big shots were even said to have contrived to constantly attack Mrs Jean Mensa and the activities of the EC.
Notwithstanding the resistance, the EC in its determination to conduct free, fair and transparent elections, has decided to proceed with the voter registration exercise.
The exercise, which was originally scheduled to take place by April 15, was put on hold due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the subsequent imposition of restrictions on social gatherings by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
However, the EC has indicated that the exercise will start when the restrictions are lifted hopefully, giving the assurance that it will observe the necessary safety protocols.
The political parties, according to a programme by the EC, will be divided into two groups to allow for social distancing during the meeting.
However, the NDC has claimed that the meeting has been improperly and illegitimately called hence its decision not to attend.
A Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Peter Boamah Otokunor, told Citi News that his party has asked the EC to put proper mechanisms in place and organise a legitimate IPAC meeting which decision can be accepted by all the stakeholders involved.
“The last IPAC meeting which was held on 25th March 2020, we raised various concerns which led to political parties boycotting and we (NDC) walked out. That meeting does not constitute a proper IPAC meeting because they had divided one committee into groups– you may want to call it double tracking– to decide on the same issue. And we think that with any such approach, you are not going to properly appreciate and understand the issue and contributions from various political parties and we believe that, decision making will be problematic. So we decided not to participate in that meeting because we raised a question earlier and we are waiting for a response which did not come so we decided to boycott the meeting because it was not going to serve the purpose for which it was called.”
“Again, we thought the Electoral Commission would have learnt its lessons and now we have been called to another IPAC meeting on Wednesday with the same arrangement that we are going to have the meeting in two halves with some coming in the morning and some coming in the afternoon and we think this is an improper way or organising an IPAC meeting and it gives one the opportunity to perpetrate any mischief in the meeting and we think the National Democratic Congress cannot be part of that meeting.
“If the Electoral Commission is refusing to put in place the proper mechanism to hold a proper legitimate IPAC meeting which decision can be accepted by all stakeholders, then NDC [officials] are not going to participate in the Wednesday meeting and we have since relayed our concerns to the EC again,” he maintained.