Politics of Sunday, 5 January 2020
Former President John Mahama appears to have backtracked on his call for no political party attacks against the Electoral Commission (EC).
Reacting to the change of logo of the Electoral Commission by then chairperson of the Commission, Charlotte Osei, when he was President, Mr. Mahama could not fathom why some political parties at the time were ‘attacking’ the EC.
He had wondered why “some parties have made it a penchant to continuously attack the Electoral Commission for reasons I can’t understand.”
“This is a time when we need to give the Electoral Commission peace to do its work you know and every little thing they are doing at the Electoral Commission and they are attacking the Commission,” he said in the run-up to the December 7, 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections which he and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost miserably.
“Recently a brouhaha over a logo. I mean how is a logo going to affect the quality of election in this country. I don’t think it’s a discourse we need to be splitting heads on.”
“I think that our electoral process has inherent safeguards in it that any serious political party can ensure that it polices that election and makes sure of the integrity of the election,” according to him whilst in power.
“I believe that our Electoral Commission continues to be one of the most experienced and the best not only in Africa but in the world and has delivered very successful elections in the past.”
Interestingly, Mr. Mahama and his party have in recent times been interfering with the works of the EC by challenging every decision of the commission.
In December 2019, while speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement with members of the Christian Council, Mr. Mahama who is leading the NDC into the 2020 elections, questioned the need for the 21-member Eminent Advisory Committee.
He had noted that representatives of the Christian Council being on such a committee is not advisable, as political parties go to the same body to settle issues between them when the political atmosphere becomes charged.
Meanwhile, his party is leading five other political parties to protest the EC’s decision to compile a new Voter register.
Come January 6, 2020, the NDC and it’s surrogate parties are billed to organize a press conference under the theme: Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voter Register, with the hashtag #DropTheNewRegister.
Similar actions and press conferences by the then opposition New Patriotic Party and other parties were what he referred to at the time as attacks on the EC.
But the same things he spoke against and defended the EC for are what his party is doing today at a time Ghana is preparing for election in December 2020 and the EC needs the much cherished peace he spoke about back then to work.
The NDC has lined up series of street protests againt the EC including storming the commission’s headquarters in Accra according to Mahama Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah.