President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has emphasised the importance of strengthening the institutional capacity of Ghana’s electoral body to deliver on the verdict of the people through a fee, fair and transparent electoral process.
He insisted that he does not need the support of the Electoral Commission to win an election, as that verdict should lie solely in the decision of the majority of Ghanaians.
“I do not need the Electoral Commission to win an election; I don’t want to win an election in Ghana because of the Electoral Commission.
“I want to win an election in Ghana because of the people of Ghana; that they make a free and open choice that Akufo-Addo will be, again, their choice, ” the President said this when the Electoral Commission, led by its Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa called on him at Jubilee House on Thursday.
The visit formed part of a series of consultative meetings being held with stakeholders of the electioneering process.
President Akufo-Addo stated that to have an Electoral Commission that is partisan or open to manipulation was “essentially striking the heart of the democratic system of the country.”
“What the ballot should do is to present an unvarnished verdict of the will of the Ghanaian people. That is what should take place in any well-functioning democracy; that the ballot represents a fair, clear statement of what wishes of our people are.
“If there is any interference with that, it is a distortion of the popular will, and that, therefore, means, the democracy that you seek to advance itself becomes questionable,” he stated.
The President stressed that it was vital that the Electoral Commission was not subject to manipulation, but was directed by the will of the people.
He was happy the Commission had undertaken to initiate key reforms that would make it transparent and accountable to the people of Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo said the key measure by the EC to institutionalize the role and operation of the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).
On the ECs suggestion to persuade political parties to merge, the President said “I am not so sure that, encouraging parties to merge is a part of the functions or remit of the electoral commission”, adding that “those decisions, I believe, are for the parties; yours is to provide the regulations and the ambit within which the parties can operate.”
He described as important the efforts the Commissioners are making to strengthen the EC, enhance its institutional capacity, and control its own processes.