The Electoral Commission (EC) has been urged to hasten activities towards the constitutional amendment for the November elections, especially as it pertains to the change in election dates from December 7 to November 7.
According to Employment and Labour Relations Minister Haruna Iddrisu, the amendment of the constitution is also aimed at limiting the time frame within which an individual could challenge an outcome of election in the country.
Speaking at a programme in Wa organized by the youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) he said:
”We need to do a review because we are changing [general elections date] from 7 December to 7 November and even more importantly on how many days and how long anybody can challenge elections outcome”
The EC however, is expected to work faster on the amendments to avoid any congestion at the eleventh hour.
Aside the constitutional amendment, the EC also assured that the postponement on the limited voters registration from March to April will not affect preparations for Ghana’s general polls in November.
According to Christian Owusu Parry, EC’s Director of Public Affairs voters’ registration was rescheduled to April because the necessary documents for the election are yet to be approved.
“We are operating within a certain time. We are confident that if we start the registration exercise at the time that we are rescheduling this exercise we will still be able to run the elections calendar and be able to deliver the elections on 7 November as indicted” he said
The motion for the change in elections date was moved by the EC in October 2015. The bid to have the elections held on November 7, had gained weight with the EC liaising with the Parliament to have the relevant constitutional provision amended to effect the change.
EC boss, Mrs Charlotte Osei, had said that since the constitutional provision which stipulated that the elections be held on December 7 was not a rigid one, the necessary protocols could be observed to effect the change. One of the major factors which motivated the change was that of making provision for run-offs should the need arise.
Run offs are held when no candidate has the required number or percentage of votes for winning an election, the candidates with the lesser numbers are eliminated and a run off voting or second ballot is held between the two candidates with the most votes.