Ghana’s Major Political Parties Express Concerns Over Proposed Election Time Change

Both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Ghana have raised reservations about the Electoral Commission (EC)’s proposal to adjust the closing time of the 2024 elections from 5:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

EC Chairperson Jean Mensa defended the decision, emphasizing that the shift aims to enhance transparency and orderliness in the collation of votes by electoral officers in daylight.

Despite this rationale, Richard Ahiagbah, the NPP’s Communications Director, urged the EC to ensure that the proposed change does not disenfranchise eligible voters. In an interview with Citi FM, he stated that the party would cautiously consider the proposal if the EC assured them that voters would not face challenges and that none would be turned away.

Ahiagbah emphasized, “We receive that with some cautious optimism, to the extent that the EC can provide us with the necessary comfort that electorates would not be found wanting on the day of the election.”

Mustapha Gbande, the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, expressed caution, indicating that the party would oppose any attempts by the EC to manipulate the election in favor of a specific political party. He stressed the need for the EC to assure all political parties of a transparent election.

Gbande stated, “We welcome a response that will give Ghanaians a feeling that there’s a credible, transparent general election at the end of the day.” He added that the NDC would rely on advice from technical directors and assess unfolding conversations before deciding on a course of action.

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