Ghana may breach the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on elections, if it goes ahead to procure new voters register under a new law less than six months to the December 7, 2020 elections, according to conflict resolution and peacebuilding expert, Mr Emmanuel Habuka Bombande.
Explaining, Mr Bombande made a specific reference to the protocol on democracy and good governance (ECOWAS Protocol A/SP1/12/01).
This is the supplementary protocol to the main ECOWAS mechanism for conflict resolution, peacekeeping and security.
It basically underscores that no new substantial modification shall be made to the electoral laws in the last six (6) months before elections, except with the consent of a majority of political actors.
Speaking in a radio interview with Accra based Class FM, Mr Bombande noted that because it was less than six months to elections [December 7, 2020], and “because there is no consent from the other political actors, to now go ahead and allow a Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) to mature into law, whereas it would be the legal procedure in our laws, it will be a violation of the [ECOWAS] treaty that we [Ghanaians] are bound by.”
The comments of the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in the President John Dramani Mahama’s administration followed an earlier comment he wrote and published on Facebook on June 3, 2020, on the issue.
Commenting on whether or not in relation to the consent of all political actors made reference to in the protocol, and the fact that the EC in Ghana have been consulting with all political actors on its move on the new register and that on January 10, 2020 for instance, the EC held an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting together with an Eminent Committee it formed on the issue, Mr Bombande argued that at that meeting, it was not made clear that the existing voter ID would be excluded as a source document for the new register.
When he was also prompted that at that meeting a majority of members from that meeting agreed on the need for a new voters register and pointed to the number of 13 political parties being, a majority supporting the new register, Mr Bombande said:
Mr Bombande said Parliament has an opportunity to look a the C.I. before the House and make sure that it is aligned with the ECOWAS protocols.