The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande says the Electoral Commission (EC) has not engaged with stakeholders on its decision to reduce voting time in the upcoming general election.
He says that the NDC has not taken a position on the EC’s decision to reduce the duration of voting from 7am – 5p.m. to 7am – 3p.m.
Speaking on JoyFM’s Midday News, Mr Gbande said, “This is the first time I’m hearing this. I’m not also aware that my superiors, I mean the leader of the party, the chairman of the party, and the general secretary of the party are also aware of anything like this.”
Mr Gbande’s comments follow a disclosure by the Director of Electoral Services for the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe in an exclusive interview on JoyNews’ PM Express on Monday, June 12.
According to Dr. Quaicoe, if the EC is successful in carrying through its proposal contained in the yet-to-be-laid Constitutional Instrument (CI), the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2024 will start at 7am and end at 3pm.
Dr. Quaicoe added that more polling stations would allow voting to proceed more quickly and shorten the voting period by two hours.
But the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC contended that the proposal in question had not been subjected to any stakeholder consultations.
“How do you make up such proposals to say that you want to redeem time of voting when you have not engaged with stakeholders, you have not engaged with political parties…
“It’s funny that you [EC] haven’t discussed with stakeholders, and then you are running on the radio speaking to such a matter,” he stated.
He also advised Dr. Quaicoe to refrain from making such rash comments as they had the potential to tarnish the reputation of the EC.
Mr Gbande further reiterated that the NDC did not approve of the proposal in the yet-to-be-laid CI, which seeks to use only the Ghana card for voters to register their names in the voters’ register.
“Our position has been that the EC’s decision offends the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana as much as it offends human rights and the right of Ghanaians to participate in election. So that decision is not a political decision.”