AS part of reforms to enhance the credibility of this year’s election, the Electoral Commission (EC) has announced its decision to draw the expertise of two professional bodies: the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) to perform crucial roles on the election day.
For the first time in the history of elections in Ghana, the EC is engaging the membership of the ICAG to scrutinise Statement of Poll and Declaration of Results Form, otherwise known as “pink sheet” to ensure that they are authenticated by the presiding officer and the party agents, while the lawyers will take their turn to accurately tabulate and certify the “pink sheet” as true reflection of the votes cast.
All these activities, which are expected to ensure free, fair and transparent elections, will take place at all the 275 collation centres across the country.
This was one of the measures the EC boss, Mrs Charlotte Osei, outline at an encounter with the media in Accra on Tuesday. It will be introduced at the collation centres across the country, in an effort to ensure that this year’s election results will be acceptable to all parties and that Ghanaians will go to bed after the declaration of the December 7, general elections with a clear conscience.
Indeed, the issue of “pink sheet” which was a subject matter of litigation at the Supreme Court after the 2012 election, provoked debate on how to enhance the integrity of the electoral process, especially during vote counting and recording of the results at the polling stations on the “pink sheet.”
We hail the initiative by the EC to engage these specialised professional bodies in the electoral process, especially in the crucial activity of vote counting and recording.
Undoubtedly, GBA and the ICAG are professional bodies whose expertises are not questionable and we trust that they will bring their expertise and professional experience to bear on the country’s electoral process, so that Ghana will record another landmark feat at the election without any rancour and bitterness.
It is our prayer and hope that the membership of these reputable professional bodies will rise to the occasion, especially in a polarised environment, by conducting themselves in a manner that will earn respectability and credibility from the various political parties and the Ghanaian electorate in general.
Since this is the first time that these bodies would be engaged to perform such a critical role, we hope that the EC will build the capacity of these bodies and re-orient them to withstand the drudgery of Election Day.
We give our blessings to the EC/GBA/ICAG trio and expect a good outcome from this unique partnership to enhance the integrity of the Ghanaian ballot and make us a true beacon of democracy.