In a scathing critique, Franklin Cudjoe, the President of IMANI Africa, has vehemently condemned the Electoral Commission (EC) for dismissing recent District Assembly election lapses as mere “technical challenges.”
Mr Cudjoe contends that this explanation is disingenuous and sheds light on deeper issues regarding the Commission's planning and transparency.
Cudjoe expressed his disbelief, stating, “This whole conversation about technical issues for the lapse the EC had cannot be true.”
He argued that while minor issues like misspelt names on the ballot might qualify as technical problems, the last-minute revelation of inadequacies indicates a blatant disregard for processes.
He emphasized, “You can't tell me that 12 hours or 6 hours to the elections, you didn't know that you didn't have all the accoutrement. These are not technical issues; they are just blatant disregard for the processes; it should have been ready two weeks earlier.”
The IMANI Africa President further criticized the EC's approach, labelling it as “headstrong” and pointing out a lack of collaboration with stakeholders.
According to Cudjoe, excluding voices from different parties in the planning process contributes to avoidable problems, as evidenced by the recent elections.
“The EC has been very headstrong,” Cudjoe remarked. He questioned the rationale behind the EC's recent announcement that, in the main 2024 polls, polling stations would close at 3 pm.
He argued that such decisions, seemingly made without proper consultation, raise concerns about the Commission's decision-making process.
“If they had internalized some of these issues, I don't know why they would then wake up and tell us recently that in the main 2024 polls, they will close polls at 3 pm. What kind of signs went into that type of decision?” Cudjoe questioned.
Speaking on the Big Issue, Cudjoe emphasized the need for a more nuanced approach, particularly in light of the recent election irregularities.
Given the challenges observed during the district-level election, he questioned whether the blanket application of a 3 pm closing time for every polling station was suitable.