ELECTORAL COMMISSION AND REGISTERED POLITICAL PARTIES MUST MEET TO DECIDE THE PROSPECT OF ELECTION 2020 IF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS NOT CONTAINED---PIRAN-GH
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19 and its impact on our socio-economic well-being which has resulted in partial lockdown, bringing so many activities to a halt in line with prescribed social distancing protocols aimed at containing and stopping the spread.
It is as a result of this pandemic that we wish to appeal to the Electoral Commission of Ghana to have a meeting with all parties concerned to think through and fashion out a strategy to help the EC organize the election in the face of COVID-19 by a new method of voting such as ‘electronic voting’ or suspend this year’s election till further notice. In such a situation, there is a need for constitutional considerations to deal with whatever lacuna that will be created to prevent any crises.
Coming events, they say, cast their shadows, so I think any preparations in advance to make way for alternatives in time like this is very crucial. Church services, schools and other mass gatherings among other social activities have already been suspended due to the surge in the COVID-19 cases. In view of the current development in fighting the COVID-19, with its attendant challenges socially and economically, the more cases we record, the more challenges we are bound to face especially at our health sector.
Looking at the surge in coronavirus infections in the world and the percentage of increase in Ghana as we continue to vigorously test the contacts of infected persons, I am of the opinion that the earlier we start having a discussion about election 2020, the better. I wish to plead with the EC and all stakeholders to start discussions as early as possible and come out with possible alternatives for the smooth running of the country with or without COVID-19.
We have only 8 months to election 2020 and there is no clear view as to whether the coronavirus disease pandemic will be over any time soon. Preparations towards the election is in limbo and the future is unknown as an aspect of the preparation is suspended until further notice. This development makes the prospect of the coming election being questionable
With the partial lockdown, social distancing protocol, fears of further spread, fears of COVID-19 lingering on and when we will be certified as COVID-19 free to warrant our going out freely and to engage in our normal duties until such a time that it will be deemed appropriate and most convenient to resume election 2020 processes.
The risk and implication of holding election 2020 in the face of the ongoing pandemic should be thought through and work out a contingency plan as to how production and distribution of ballot papers can work in the face of this horrifying pandemic and how the prescribe social distance protocols should be adhered to.
Felix Djan Foh