Mahama doubts neutrality of EC in 2020 elections

Former President John Mahama has cast doubts over the Electoral Commission’s (EC) ability to conduct neutral general elections in 2020.

According to him, the EC has not been transparent with the political parties ahead of the elections in 2020.

“They need to prove us wrong. We have our doubts that they can be neutral and fair… the current posture and the way they are conducting things makes us doubt that they will be neutral and fair in 2020,” he said in an interview on Accra-based Citi FM.

Mr Mahama added that, the posture of the EC Chair, Mrs Jean Mensa, does not give confidence to the electoral body.

“Public office is a hazard. I mean people will criticise you. The president is criticized everyday not to talk about an electoral commissioner. And so you should not become sensitive to criticism and behave as if you are at war with a political party. And so I’ll advise that she changes her posture. Her posture doesn’t give confidence that she is going to be neutral in this matter,” he said.

Mr. Mahama also expressed concern over the lack of transparency and consultation from the commission.

“The EC is not a secret society. It is not somebody’s private closet that needs to be shut and us not know what is going on there… they should open all the process.”

“When the EC starts behaving like the representatives of political parties are a nuisance [to the Commission]… then this affects the trust and confidence the people have in the EC [which is supposed to be] a neutral arbiter,” the former President added.

The NDC has claimed the EC was scheming to disenfranchise eligible voters in the upcoming limited voter registration exercise because of a lack of decentralisation at the district level.

This has been one of the points of contention between the NDC and the EC amid reports of other tensions during Inter-Party Advisory Committee meetings.

The Commission, in turn, said the NDC was a threat to the peace and stability in the country.

General Secretary for the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia also said the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, appears to harbour some prejudice against his party.

Mr. Mahama advised Jean Mensa not to “become sensitive to criticisms” and further urged her to change her posture.

“Her posture doesn’t give confidence that she is going to be neutral in this matter,” he stated.

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