A senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Jonathan Asante-Otchere, has claimed that the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) has collapsed due to the “recalcitrance” of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Mr. Asante-Otchere made this statement during an interview on e.tv. Ghana’s “Fact Sheet” socio-political talk show with Samuel Eshun. According to him, the EC’s “mutating characters” are indicative of their unwillingness to compromise and engage in dialogue.
He claimed that IPAC, which used to be a platform for constructive dialogue between political parties, has now become a monologue due to the EC’s inflexibility. As a result, IPAC has lost its effectiveness, and the opposition parties are left with no choice but to oppose any proposals put forward by the EC.
The senior Ghanaian lecturer argued that the current group of players at the EC has caused unprecedented opposition in Parliament due to their reluctance to engage in meaningful dialogue with the opposition parties. He claimed that this is unfortunate, as IPAC has historically been a place where dialogue and compromise were valued, resulting in more effective election management.
“Their mutating characters have more of a recalcitrance on their part, and it’s as if it’s their way or no other way. I think this crop of EC has virtually collapsed IPAC, which used to be a place where a lot of dialogue took place. “Their faces stiff opposition in Parliament because IPAC has just become a monologue instead of a dialogue,” he told Samuel Eshun.
He continued, “So if it’s a monologue, the other part will be waiting for your Parliament to ensure that they pull whatever you bring. For the first time in our 4th Republic, our electoral commission, the current group players at the EC, have virtually destroyed IPAC’s effectiveness.
This is not the first time that the EC has been criticized for its handling of IPAC. In 2018, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) accused the EC of sabotaging IPAC by failing to involve all parties in decision-making processes. Asante-Otchere’s comment on e.tv Ghana has now added to this growing chorus of criticism.
Mr. Asante-Otchere further highlighted the importance of constructive dialogue and compromise in ensuring effective election management.
With the current controversy surrounding the controversial new CI proposal to use the Ghana card as the sole document in the voter registration process, it remains to be seen whether the EC will heed these calls and work to rebuild IPAC as a platform for constructive dialogue or continue with its current approach.