Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) platform on Good Governance in the Northern Region have taken a swipe at parliamentarians and the electoral commission for their ineptitude that has led to indefinite suspension of this year’s district level elections.
The CSOs say if parliament had lived up to its oversight responsibility, the suit brought against the EC would have been averted. The CSOs, numbering over 40 operating in the area local governance and human rights, say institutional failure in Ghana if not checked will bring the country to a stand-still.
The CSOs and some disappointed aspirants in a peaceful match dubbed; ‘Democracy Walk’ matched through some principal streets of Tamale and later presented their petition to the Northern Regional Minister, Mohammed-Muniru Limuna at the northern regional coordinating council.
Some of the people who took part in the match were holding placards with inscriptions; parliament apologize, we need fixed date for district level election; EC, compensate aspirants; local governance our priority; give us election table we can trust; Mr President, show commitment to local governance; this must not happen, again among others.
The CSOs also express their disappointment for the failure of the twenty-fact-finding Ad hoc committee to investigate the lapses in the last 2010 elections which was postponed 8 out of 10 regions elections dates 5 times before the execution of the elections in different months from 29th December, 2010 to 4th January, 2011.
Mr Alhassan Mohammed Awal, the Coordinator of the CSOs platform on good governance in the Northern Region who presented the petition to the minister said there has been notable low voter turn-out in the district level elections such that the 20101 recorded 25.27% voter turn-out.
The 20 member parliamentary committee observations on the elections was that the period between time of releasing of L.I 1983 and the filling of nomination was too short and could not allow for effective interaction with the public especially, candidates in newly created electoral areas/unit committees.
The postponement of election date the conduct of election on different polling stations affected quantum of funds and other resources allocated for public education.
- Why did the electoral commission wait to submit a constitutional Instrument in November, 2014 expecting its maturity on 19TH December 2014 when actually Ghanaians were expecting the elections to be held in October, 2014?
- What happened to the recommendations of the 2 member Fact finding Ad hoc committee such that we are suffering more inefficiency in the 2015 district level elections?
- What prevented parliament who knew that the inability t conduct the elections before 15th March, 2015 will create a vacuum in the in assemblies to give a firm directive and make use of the 2010 recommendations for smooth election?
- Is parliament not aware of that this development is gradually leading the country into a constitutional crisis?
- Parliament and electoral commission must work together to restore the confidence Ghanaians in their mandates as state institutions by ensuring that the recommendation to have a fixed date for district level elections is adhere to.
- Parliament and electoral commission as a matter of urgency act swiftly to have an LI within a shortest possible time to avoid throwing the nation into a constitutional crisis
- The government must as a matter urgency provide the needed resources for the electoral Commission to organized the election once a date is fixed and do same for the National Commission On Civic Education o carry out voter education to deal with voter apathy and restore voter interest in the district level election among others.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru Limuna who received the petition said government is committed in local governance and assured that the election will surely come off.
Alhaji Limuna described the current constitutional crisis as God testing Ghana and promised to forward the petition to the president for consideration.
The minister also urged CSOs to be proactive in raising concerns on matters such as this so that government and other stakeholders can addressed it before cause the country.