The Electoral Commission (EC) on Thursday commenced the second round of its high-level stakeholder consultation to solicit the support of key stakeholders ahead of various electoral activities.
The series of visits of EC is to demystify the operations and bring the Commission closer to the citizenry and to inform stakeholders about its current activities and outlook for the future.
Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the EC, who led a team to the office of
the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), said the consultation was to hear first-hand what the concerns and issues of key stakeholders were regarding the Commission and its operations.
The delegation was made up of Mrs Mensa, Chairperson, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, Deputy Chairperson, Corporate Services, Mr Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairperson, Operations and other Commissioners.
Giving an account of her stewardship over the past 10 months, the EC Chairperson said she had taken steps to run an open door policy devoid of secrecy to discuss challenges and measures to address them.
“So far, we have implemented a number of activities, such as the referendum, by-elections, and consultation on the Representation of People Amendment Act. This could not have been done without their support,” she said.
Internally, Mrs Mensa said the Commission is instituting governance framework as part of reforming and standardizing the operations of the various departments including; the Finance and Communication to make it vibrant.
She said the Commission also set up a Legal Service department and they were also retooling, recruiting and building the capacity of the Information Communication Technology to take charge of its systems.
“We did not have a scheme of service for senior officers. Now we are doing a lot to motivate staff. Already people have been promoted and we have instituted a staff durbar where people can air their views on critical issues.”
Mrs Mensah recounted that on assumption of office, the Commission successfully organised the referendum that led to the creation of the six new regions, and thereafter, supervised the by-election in Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in Accra to replace the Member of Parliament who passed on.
“The elections were characterized by violence and as we continue to say it did not emanate from the activities within the polling stations.”
“We have learnt many lessons including; paying more attention to security, the training of EC workers and stakeholders, especially the media. This will be beneficial in the next election,” she said.
Most Reverend, Dr Paul K. Boafo, Chairman of CCG said the institution since its inception in 1929 continued to play a crucial role in the political system of Ghana and would support the EC to succeed.
He commended the EC for good work and urged the EC to find novelty ways to bring all stakeholders on board to ensure that they understood the processes to ensure smooth electoral system.
Most Rev Boafo assured the Commission that they are ready to partner with them to embark on voters education and the monitoring of elections before during and after.
The CCG suggested to the EC to set up a dedicated Television station to educate the public.
They also recommended that a system needs to be developed to ensure that relatives of deceased presents their voters Identification card for the number to be recorded before burial.
The Commission would also meet with other Clergy groups, Traditional Leaders, Former Presidents and Civil Society among others.
Already, the Commission has visited a number of media houses including Multimedia, Citi FM, Despite Group of Companies, Graphic Communications Group, and the Ghana Journalists Association.