The National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah says no political party has been informed of the Electoral Commission’s plans to review the voting duration downwards ahead of the 2020 elections.
The EC Chair, Jean Mensah hinted at the opening ceremony of an ECOWAS-UN Workshop on Tuesday, that “The commission will discuss the idea of reducing the duration of the voting from 7 am to 4 pm to allow for the counting and coalition of results well before dark.”
The move, according to the EC, will improve the security of the polls and do away with last minute overcrowding at polling centres that prolong voting into the night and end up posing “grave danger to the security of ballots and the safety of electoral officers.”
But speaking to Accra based Power FM, Mr. Mornah expressed surprise at the EC’s decision, and wondered why the EC leadership did not bring it up for discussion at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) level.
“We are not aware of the review. When I heard the news, I called my colleagues in the CPP, NPP, UFP and NDC and they all said they were unaware…We had an IPAC meeting three weeks ago, so I’m surprised this wasn’t raised at that level,” Mr Mornah told co-host Kwame Minkah.
He disagreed that the review of voting time will enhance the voting process, saying the EC rather has to make sure electoral materials reach the polling centres on time to ensure that Ghanaians begin to exercise their franchise on time.
Meanwhile, the EC chair, Jean Mensah believes reducing the time will ensure a peaceful and conducive voting environment.
“As a commission, we are keen to guarantee the security of the ballot and make every vote count. In this regard, one of the issues that has occupied our mind is the duration of voting…Ultimately, we believe that this will lead to the early declaration of results and help to reduce the tensions and suspicions that manifest during the waiting period,” Mrs. Mensah clarified.