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Woo opposition parties to avoid unnecessary attacks, Gyampo urges EC

Ransford Gyamfo urges the Electoral Commission (EC) to improve its rapport with the opposition parties to ensure smoother voting in future

Professor Ransford Gyampo, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, is advising the Electoral Commission (EC) to enhance its relationship with opposition parties to help avoid the unnecessary wrangling that has come to characterise elections in Ghana.

He was speaking to Kojo Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show yesterday morning (23 October) about trending issues of the week.

“Relational competence”

‘You must build a certain relational competence with the opposition,’’ said Gyampo. “Since 1992, the Electoral Commission has been relationally incompetent.

“When it comes to dealing with the stakeholders, when it hits a rock, [the EC] will tell you, ‘We have the mandate. We are independent.’

‘‘But you see, there is a way to build bridges with your stakeholders, particularly with the opposition, such that they will tone down on their rhetoric, [because] the Electoral Commission needs institutional peace to be able to execute its mandate.’’

Gyampo stressed that such relations cannot be built at meetings of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), but through a different forum that will allow all participants to improve the flow of communication between them.

Positively transparent

Speaking on the same programme, Dr Kweku Agyeman Budu, the head of law centres at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), said the Electoral Commission should enforce its mandate and ensure neutrality.

He praised the Commission for its level of transparency and communication in the past few months during and after the voter registration exercise.

The editor-in-chief at large of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jr, who also appeared on the same programme, agreed that relations between the EC and opposition parties have not been pleasant over the years.

‘‘Progressively, I would have thought that hostility or antagonism towards the [EC], especially from political parties, should have been subdued a bit by now,’’ Baako said. ‘‘But unfortunately, like [with all] human error, if you are not the one who is in charge, you think the one in charge is manipulating something.

“And that means that perhaps, [if] you were there, you might have done the same,’’ he told the host of ABS.

Fred Dzakpata

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