The Institute of Economic Affairs, under its Election Reform Project is calling on the Electoral Commission to define and publish specific electoral activities to be executed ahead of the 2016 elections.
The proposal is part of electoral reforms suggested at an IEA workshop with representatives of the political parties and other stakeholders.
A report authored by Dr Ransford Gyampo a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs which captured the sentiments of participants at the workshop, in part said, there is the need for the EC to “publish well-defined programmes with timelines to ensure certainty in the implementation of its activities.”
Crucially, the report further admonished the EC not to wait till the last hour before implementing its activities in a rush.
Dr Gyampo cited some electoral activities conducted by the EC ahead of the 2012 elections but which appeared to have been conducted in haste, thereby heightening political tension and mistrust.
The electoral activities: “include Biometric Voter Registration, Exhibition of Voters' Register, Review and Creation of additional forty-five constituencies and seats in Parliament, etc etc. Needless to say, these activities undoubtedly overstretched the capacity of the Electoral Commission to successfully undertake and accomplish all its pre-election programmes and still organize the 2012 General Elections successfully. But why should all these activities be undertaken at the time when key actors in our electoral process, particularly the Political Parties were very busy touring all parts of the country campaigning? Why should we sit down and wait till the eleventh hour?” the report noted.
“Things done in a rush are susceptible to costly mistakes. Indeed such crash activities are a recipe for distrust, tension and the raising of unnecessary alarms over issues that could ideally pass without many qualms from the key stakeholders,” the report indicated.
The IEA therefore reminded the EC, to as a matter of urgency, publish with timelines its programmes and execute it expeditiously without delay.