Yesterday’s district level elections were held across the country and although the turnout was not impressive, as has always been with such polls, the Electoral Commission (EC) was on top of its task.
One of the salient things most observers look out for during elections ‒ yesterday’s not an exception‒ is the integrity of the management of the polls. Being the second major exercise undertaken by an EC under a new leadership, eyes were still locked on how it would conduct the polls regardless of the resounding success during the referendum on the creation of new regions.
District level polls ‒ although subservient to the presidential and parliamentary ‒ was, of course, another test for Mrs. Jean Mensa and her team.
After all being a countrywide affair with the political parties hiding behind the candidates, the stakes were nonetheless high. The EC could not be complacent, especially since everything bordering on choices in a democratic process must be taken seriously.
The movement of logistics and the general management of the polling stations, prevalence of freedom and fairness all constitute factors which dictate the success or otherwise of elections.
On the aforementioned scores given the information from our reporters across, the country the EC has passed another stress test.
As we inch towards next year’s polls, yesterday’s exercise offered another rare opportunity for the EC to sharpen its tools for a more strenuous and stressful exercise.
The new lessons learnt by the EC against the backdrop of challenges observed in some polling stations or even districts yesterday should obviously impact on the quality of the 2020 polls to the betterment of our democracy.
We cannot boast of making progress in our democratic journey when the process of choosing our representatives at the various levels of governance is flawed.
Since elections birth the political leadership for a country and the midwife or even the obstetrician being the EC, the election management must be synonymous with impeccable integrity.
Yesterday’s performance is another feather to a Commission which some were ready to bet could not be ready for the referendum, yet it did so in impressively.
The newly empanelled Advisory Committee, it is our position, would audit in its own way the performance of yesterday’s polls as an important dress rehearsal for the 2020 polls.
Against the general thumbs-up for the Constitution of the Committee, we were not surprised that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) felt otherwise. It is a political grouping which hardly finds anything good if these do not originate from them.
The party’s founder incurred harsh expressions from his own party for being supportive of the membership of the committee.