The Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has rejected the proposal of the Electoral Commission to change the election date from December 7 to November 7.
This response comes after the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Monday, January 22, 2024, where the Electoral Commission suggested a shift in the election date as well as well as declaring that day as a national holiday.
The EC further justified that the proposal, initially put forth by the political parties, aims to allow sufficient time for the commission to effectively manage its operations, particularly in the event of a run-off.
The proposals were put forward during the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Monday, January 22, 2024, as the EC also wants election days to be designated as national holidays to boost public participation in the electoral process.
It will be recalled that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church recently petitioned the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General to shift the voting date for the 2024 general elections from December 7 to any other date because the voting day, which falls on a Saturday, conflicts with the Sabbath—a holy day they dedicate to the worship of God.
Referring to the 1996 general elections, the church said about 95 percent of their members were unable to vote because the elections were held on a Saturday.
The SDA church recommended the adoption of “the first (1st) or second (2nd) Tuesday of November” as the new date for Ghana’s general elections, seeking codification to ensure Adventists’ are free to worship and to enable them to vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections.
But the Director of Elections for the NDC, Dr Omane Boamah reacting to the EC decision said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 that the NDC does not support the November date for elections thus, December 7 should be maintained, supporting their argument that voting on prayer or worship days does not affect the overall turnout of the elections since 1992.
According to him, instead of cherry-picking, the NDC calls for a comprehensive review of the electoral process through inclusive and proper dialogue which proposal has been sent to the Electoral Commission.
He further explained that even though the party is not in favor of the proposed date, they are ready to engage in discussions about voting on prayer or worship days.
He said ‘’We (NDC) do not support the November date for elections. Instead of cherry-picking, we (NDC) call for a comprehensive review of the electoral process through inclusive and proper dialogue; we already submitted our proposals to the EC’’.
‘’On voting on prayer/worship days, we (NDC) are open to discussions. NB: Details of Election Years, Days, & Voter Turnout since 1992
Giving some break down of the Year, day, and turnout of the elections from 1992, he said ‘’On 1992- Tuesday 50.16 %, 1996 Saturday 78.20%, 2000 Thursday 61.74%, 2004 Tuesday 85.12%, 2008, Sunday 71.00%, 2012 Friday 79.43%,
2016 Wednesday 69.25% and 2020 Monday 78.89%’’ he stated on his Facebook post.
Source: Daily Guide
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