Home » EC Clears Air on SALL Voter Exclusion Claims

EC Clears Air on SALL Voter Exclusion Claims

Detailed Explanation on Why SALL Residents Missed 2020 Vote  

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has stepped forward to address persistent allegations about its role in the disenfranchisement of the Santrokofi, Apkafu, Lolobi, and Lipke (SALL) communities during the 2020 Parliamentary elections. In a recent statement, the EC elucidates that it had no hand in barring the residents from voting, attributing the incident instead to a complex interplay of legislative and constitutional timelines.

Legislative Instruments and Constitutional Constraints

The heart of the issue lies in the administrative chronology and legal frameworks governing electoral processes. The EC’s statement outlined a critical timeline: the Legislative Instrument establishing the Guan District, which includes the SALL areas, was enacted on November 9, 2020. This date coincides with the day Parliament went into recess, not returning until December 14, 2020, which regrettably was after the scheduled date for the General Elections on December 7, 2020.

Due to this unfortunate timing, the Constitutional Instrument necessary to create a new constituency for the Guan District could not be laid before Parliament and thus did not mature into law in time for the elections. This gap in legislative action, according to the EC, is a clear indication that the disenfranchisement of the SALL communities was not an orchestrated effort by the Commission but rather a consequence of legislative scheduling.

Navigating Through Misinformation

Complicating the situation further, several public figures and citizens have voiced opinions that seemingly hold the EC accountable for the electoral mishap. Notably, Franklin Cudjoe, the CEO of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, along with other commentators like Prof. Kwaku Asare, has publicly criticized the EC, suggesting that its actions or lack thereof led directly to the disenfranchisement of the SALL residents. The EC, in its defense, has labeled these accusations as misleading, emphasizing that the decisions surrounding the creation of the Guan District were made without its consultation and that its operations were strictly in line with the constitutional requirements.

The statement also touched on the broader implications of allowing SALL residents to vote within the existing constituencies. According to the EC, such an action would have contravened the country’s 1992 Constitution and Act 936. The legislative oversight that led to the absence of a designated constituency for SALL in the 2020 elections thus points to systemic issues in the timing and handling of legislative instruments rather than any deliberate attempt at voter suppression.

Clarification and Future Preventative Measures

In light of the controversy, the EC has committed to enhancing its communication and collaboration with legislative bodies to prevent such occurrences in future elections. This includes pushing for earlier legislative sessions in election years to ensure that all new districts and constituencies are adequately represented and can participate fully in national elections.

The EC’s detailed explanation serves not only to clear its name from accusations of deliberate disenfranchisement but also highlights the complexities inherent in managing a national electoral process within the rigid frameworks of legislative timelines and constitutional mandates.

Source: Graphic Online 

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