Electoral Reforms Committee formed

The Electoral Commission (EC) will next week inaugurate a 10-member Electoral Reform Committee to come out with electoral reforms.

The committee would be made up of a representative each of four political parties in Parliament, three persons from civil society organisations and three officials of the EC one of whom would serve as secretary without voting right.

They would be mandated to assess the electoral reform proposals submitted by the political parties, civil society organisations, suggestion recommendations by the Supreme Court which adjudicated the 2012 election petition and make recommendation which can become part of the electoral process for the 2016 general election.

Dr. Afari Gyan, chairman of the EC made these known when he launched a revised version of electoral laws in Accra yesterday.

In all five publications have been added to the electoral laws to update the legislative framework to meet the demands of the current electoral process.

The revised version was compiled by the EC with inputs from the political parties and financial support from the European Union.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said Ghana’s current democratic dispensation was based on the 1992 Constitution which promotes a multi-party competitive political system.

He said “such a system needs to be governed by laws applied by the EC to ensure smooth electoral processes in the country”.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said the EC has made some changes to the electoral system over the period of its existence in line with the constitutional provisions.

He said most of the changes were due to requests by political parties, government as well as exigencies of the times.

Dr. Afari-Gyan cited the use of transparent boxes instead of opaque boxes, introduction of photo 10 cards which replaced the thumbprinted ID cards, and the introduction of photographs of the voters on the register to facilitate voter identification.

He mentioned others as allowing party agents to be present at registration centres during the registration of voters, allowing party representatives to be present at printing houses during the printing of ballot papers, introduction of biometric voters registration and biometric voter verification.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said there was no perfect electoral system, therefore, making improvements to the system was always an ongoing agenda.

He said changes to electoral laws and practices were always made through dialogue and consensus among stakeholders.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said those consultations were necessary to boost the confidence in the electoral process and enhance its integrity.

By Lawrence Markwei

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