Former UN Senior Governance Advisor, Prof. Baffour Agyeman Duah has proposed a stakeholder dialogue to fashion out strategies for holding the 2020 elections if COVID-19 fight is not won in the next two months.
According to him, such a forum will be critical towards determining the political future of the country in a period where the pandemic has virtually thrown the electoral calendar out of gear.
Prof. Agyeman Duah, speaking to Citi News said, “I am suspecting that by now, all the responsible institutions must be drawing their strategy. There must be a strategic plan on different kinds of scenarios that must be created and each scenario then will yield its own responses. So, in my own view, by the middle of the year…[if things are still unstable] then the key stakeholders–government, political parties, CSOs, judiciary, all of us will have to think fast. One of the beautiful things about democracy is the building of consensus and compromises.”
The conduct of the December 7, 2020 polls remains uncertain given the fact that many of the electoral activities in the build-up to the polls have been put on hold until further notice as a result of the pandemic.
Due to the disease, a ban on public gatherings has been imposed on Ghanaians, thereby making it impossible to conduct the elections in the way it has been done over the years.
Already, the Electoral Commission (EC) has suspended its planned compilation of new voters’ register which was initially scheduled for April 18, 2020 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
While many continue to cast doubts on the ability of the EC to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, several others have already begun looking into the practicalities of some constitutional provisions to be considered for the present situation.
Aside from the legal and constitutional arguments that have been advanced to minimize the risk and political implication of holding or cancelling the election in the face of the outbreak, there is a school of thought that believes that the Chief Justice as head of the Judiciary could rise to the helm of affairs as President.
But Renowned media practitioner and Host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere, has ruled out any possibility of the Chief Justice ascending to the highest office of the presidency in case there is no general election due to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in Ghana.