The 2016 flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has said it would have been prudent to set up an independent body to undertake the much needed electoral reforms ordered by the Supreme Court.
According to him, the independent body would have had representation from all key stakeholders including the Electoral Commission (EC).
He, however, expressed regret that the EC is being allowed to undertake the reforms; a process he said is not likely to be comprehensive.
Addressing party members in the United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday, Nana Addo said: “I would have preferred an electoral process which will be undertaken by an independent body from the EC, which the EC could also make representation…to look at the whole gamut of reforms that are necessary and present its proposal to Parliament and to the President for action,” he said.
“But the present arrangement of our constitution doesn’t make that possible for the time being, so it is the EC that has to reform itself,” he remarked.
Following the first ever election petition filed at the Supreme Court by the NPP, which sought to challenge the 2012 election results, the nine justices ordered the EC to undertake comprehensive electoral reforms to prevent disputes over election results.
A year on, some political parties have accused the EC of dragging its feet in undertaking the reforms.
Nonetheless, Nana Addo has disclosed that the NPP has set up a seven-member electoral reforms committee chaired by his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and composed of senior figures of the party.
The committee has been tasked to put together a complete set of proposals on election reforms which when approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC), will be submitted to the EC as the NPP’s contribution to the debate on electoral reforms.
Nana Addo, however, charged members of the NPP and the general public to insist on the most essential reform, which is the creation of new voters register.
According to him, the present voters register “is bloated and it is anomalous and there is an urgent need to access a broad concuss in our country to ensure we get a new voters register before the next election…there is every need for us to do something about it.”
He said the greatest wish and desire of Ghanaians “is to have an election with results that are easily acceptable by the contending parties and by the population at large.”