In recent times, the conversation within the political arena has been around the registration of new voters and the possibility of the country having elections on December 7.
Many political connoisseurs are also wondering what will happen if the country is unable to hold elections come December 7, 2020.
Furthermore, they have also wondered what will happen if the country has no elected President by January 7, 2021.
All these conversations have come about as a result of the fact that the Electoral Commission (EC), managers of our elections, are advocating a new voters’ register to ensure free, fair and transparent polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though the process of getting the new register has received fierce criticisms from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as it continues to argue against it, the COVID-19 global pandemic is also hurting every step of the way.
For us, we believe the EC needs the support and trust of all sides to discharge its constitutional mandate satisfactorily.
Equally, it will be prudent in our view for the commission to take a critical look at the consequences and the impact of COVID-19 if it persists for long.
That is why notwithstanding the COVID-19 threat, the EC needs to remain focused and quickly come out with its overarching plan of action to stay on course of the electoral calendar towards the 2020 polls.
This will also put all stakeholders at ease to get on board quickly while preparations are made towards the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections come December 7, 2020.
At this time of our democratic journey, we cannot toy with any constitutional crisis; that is why a stitch in time will save nine.
For us on the Daily Graphic, we are very confident that our election managers, the EC, will once again successfully take us through this path and secure for the nation, another resounding successful election come December 7, 2020.
The commission did it in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, and we have no doubt in our minds that it can do it again in 2020.
Our democratic gains have been touted globally and it is a visible pointer to the successful democratic story on the continent.
We are aware of suggestions from reputable institutions such as the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers’ call on the EC to use the old register if it becomes necessary due to the exigencies of time.
It further asked the EC to come out with an alternative plan on how it intended to conduct the elections on December 7, 2020.
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has also asked the EC to consider alternatives to the compilation of a new register for the 2020 general election.
It explained that if the COVID-19 pandemic persisted beyond the month of May, the EC would be left with very little room to roll out its full calendar, including the compilation of a new register.
The Daily Graphic believes that these suggestions are worth considering because it will be in the national interest that we successfully hold this year’s elections without any hitch.
We think that the EC must be more decisive, act fast and inform its stakeholders, especially the political parties, so that they get themselves in readiness for whatever alternatives it may be considering.
It is good that the EC has also hinted of validating the old register in the event that it is unable to compile a new one.
But we think that the commission must go beyond this and be more engaging in this enterprise while remaining highly principled, firm and resolute.
This is in view of the fact that any litigations that will further delay its activities for the year will not augur well for our democracy and they can also not escape blame for that.
It is for this reason, the EC must endeavour to get the buy-in of stakeholders including political parties to ensure that the electoral calendar is not derailed.
Everything must be done quickly to safeguard and maintain the sanctity of the country’s democratic success and we believe the EC has the competence, capacity and ability to do so. Let us have a peaceful 2020 polls.