Oppong Nkrumah: Akufo-Addo Will Not Extend Term in Office Over The Coronavirus Pandemic
There has been a midst feeling as whether the general election scheduled for December 2020 will still hold following the suspension of all electoral activities due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Some people are of the view that the electoral Commission should not compile a new register due to time constraints while some other people believe that going by some constitutional provision may be the best way to go. On that note, arguments had risen among citizens as to whether there will still be an election or the government would use the coronavirus outbreak in the country and the pandemic around the world as an excuse to extend their stay in office. It was due to this that the government through the information minister gave a statement to put the issue at rest and ensure the citizens of the government commitment in upholding the constitutional mandate expected of them.
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah during a press briefing on Tuesday May 12, 2020 has revealed that President Akufo-Addo administration is not thinking of extending its stay in office due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to him, the government sees no reason extending its first term constitutional mandate and use the coronavirus pandemic as excuse for doing so. He went further to add that as other countries are looking for ways to conduct elections amidst the pandemic, the country should also explore ways of doing same.
More so, the government is of the opinion that instead of trying to use measures which are not contained in the Constitution, innovations, creativity together with every available strength should be geared towards making it possible for the country to experience a safe and free election. Meanwhile, there has been reactions on this issue around the country as the host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere on whether the president should extend his stay in office because of the pandemic ruled out any possibility of the Chief Justice taking over from the president in case there is no general election due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country. He also went further to say that it is impossible because it has no grounds in the country’s legal framework.
Furthermore, the Electoral Commission has reacted to allegations labelled against it by the Minority of their plans to compile new voters’ register ahead of the December 2020 polls in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The minority leader made this known at a press conference where he amidst other matters questioned the priorities of the government and the electoral Commission as the coronavirus persists. The Electoral Commission through a statement signed by the election management body’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Mrs. Sylvia Annor noted that the Commission will still embark on the compilation of the new register despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Just like Ivory Coast and Burundi, Ghana have to find innovative ways to hold elections in December. Therefore all stakeholders and political parties should put in their energy and explore ways that will ensure a safe and credible presidential and parliamentary elections.
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