Lecturer challenges EC decision to reduce voting time

A senior lecturer at the History and Political Science Studies Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Dr Samuel Adu-Gyamfi, has panned and opposed a decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) to review the voting duration ahead of the 2020 elections.

He has vehemently questioned the rationale behind the intended reform and has called on political parties and other stakeholders to reject it at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee level.

According to the Electoral Commission, the decision to reduce the duration from 7am to 5pm to 7am to 4pm, though not approved yet, was to improve the security at the polls.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of an Economic Community of West African States-United Nations (ECOWAS-UN) Workshop, Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the EC noted that the Commission would discuss the idea of reducing the duration of the voting from 7am to 4pm to allow for the counting and collation of results well before dark with the political parties and other stakeholders.

She explained that the Commission was not only keen on ensuring a peaceful and conducive voting environment but keen to guaranteeing the security of the ballot, officials of the commission and also make every vote count.

But Mr Adu-Gyamfi indicated that the decision by the EC was a total disgrace to the nation’s democracy, good governance, rule of law, a discredit to the electoral processes and would expose the malpractices in elections in the country.

“Rather, the EC must put in place better mechanisms and modalities to achieve its mandate, the government should accelerate and expand the rural electrification project to allow the EC in providing light at all polling centres should the elections travel beyond the stipulated time.

“I  admit that the country needs reforms in the electoral processes but not a move that will disenfranchise most electorate from voting, if voting day falls on a working day, I appeal to the public to desist from going to the polling centres late to vote to avoid rush which can subjugate their right to vote,” Mr Adu-Gyamfi stressed.

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