The Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has denied claims that the party boycotted the Electoral Commission’s Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).
Peter Otukunor said the NDC it is false that the party boycotted the ECs meeting concerning the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) on the registering of voters and the conduct of the December polls.
In a statement copied to JoyNews, Peter Otokunor accused the General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as making false claims.
“This is a concocted bare faced lie that must be treated with the contempt it deserves. It is preposterous for John Boadu to suggest to right thinking Ghanaians, that because the NDC protested and walked out of the last illegimate ‘partitioned’ IPAC meeting, that is why the NDC didn’t get the information about the amendments,” Mr Otokunor said.
The NDC is against the EC’s decision to compile a new register for the 2020 elections.
Last week they reignited their opposition to the move and questioned the decision to exclude the old voters’ ID from the requirement for a new one.
At a press conference, the party’s National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo accused the EC of flouting Regulation 2(3) of C.I. 91 which requires the Commission to inform political parties on any proposals for amendments to that C.I. not later than 21 days before the first day of the registration of voters.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo proceeded to accuse the EC of conniving with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to rig the December elections in favour of the NPP and President Akufo-Addo.
However, in an interview on JoyNews’ AM Show, General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu expressed surprise at the NDC’s claims
He said “the NDC boycotted the last IPAC meeting at which meeting details of the EC’s CI on the registering of voters and the conduct of election 2020 was exhaustively discussed before it was laid in Parliament.
“How can you boycott a meeting and then months later, hold a press conference accusing the election management body of failing to discuss the CI with political parties? You just can’t understand the NDC’s desperation”, he added.
But Mr Otokunor said the NPP General Secretary’s deliberate expression of ignorance on the matter is “very repulsive, because he is very much aware of the IPACs established procedures for preparing electoral legislation for consideration by Parliament through the Legal sub-committee of IPAC, with representation from the two major political parties and the smaller parties as was the case in the preparation of the original CI 91.
“None of these procedures were used and as if that was not enough, the EC had in earlier communication at various fora, expressly intimated that they will not use the NIA system for registration.”
Mr Otokunor said although the NDC walked out from the meeting at a point, never did the two Deputy Chairpersons of the EC who led the meeting and gave introductory remarks mention anything about a discussion on the C.I. and its possible amendments.
“It is important to emphasize that considering the enormous importance attached to electoral laws, such major amendments to the CI that governs the registration process, couldn’t have been discussed as AOB, without being featured on the agenda,” he added.