Give EC peace of mind to do its work – Mahama urges


President John Mahama has called on Ghanaians to give the Electoral Commission (EC) the space to conduct the 2016 elections.

The president says the Commission has proven its worth and there is no cause for alarm as far as its ability to conduct credible elections is concerned.
President Mahama was speaking at a prayer ceremony at the Black Stars Square to mark the end of the month of Ramadan.

“Let us give the EC the peace of mind to do its work, they have done it before and indeed our electoral commission is one of the best commissions in the whole world and we have confidence in them to be able to conduct an election and so let’s leave them peacefully to conduct the election,” he said.

The president allayed fears of violence during the elections. He said he will ensure that the process is seen through peacefully.

“This year is an election year and as usual in advance of election years some fear and panic begins to enter our people that there will be trouble. I don’t believe there will be trouble, I don’t believe there will be any trouble this year.

For a country that has successfully conducted six elections, the president said “I believe we are going to vote in peace and whoever emerges as president will do so through a transparent and fair process.”

While the Supreme Court may have scored high marks in previous elections, it is racing against time to organise a smooth and peaceful election in November.

Already the credibility of the voter’s register it will use to conduct the election is in question with two persons proceeding to the Supreme Court to challenge its credibility.

The Supreme Court yesterday, Tuesday July 5, 2016 ordered the electoral commission to delete some 56,739 voters who were on list of registerants with the National Health Insurance card. The court also directed the EC to delete others who are not on the list the EC provided to the court, but who registered with NHIS card.

The ruling should end the month long controversy about whether or not to allow persons with the NHIS card to vote.

An earlier ruling by the court for this to be done was misinterpreted by the EC. The EC said the May 5 ruling did not instruct it to delete the names of the NHIS card holders.

But former youth organizer if the People’s National Convention (PNC) and one Evans Nimako, who had filed the earlier case against the EC went back to the court to seek clarification of the ruling.

The EC was then instructed to submit to the court the list of all voters who had been registered with the NHIS cards onto the voters register.

The EC complied by submitting a list of 56,789 names to the court on July 4, 2016, which paved the way for the court to rule on the matter on Tuesday.