The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) will begin its public hearing come Thurdsay 29th October, 2015. The hearing will allow the Commission to receive petition from parities, individuals and various stakeholders on the call for the compilation of a new voters' register.
The hearing will be done by a five member committee set up by the EC.
The purpose for setting up the committee according to the Electoral Commission is to ensure transparency, accountability and a fair hearing for all stakeholders.
The New Patriotic Party and the Let My Vote Count Alliance have called on the EC to compile a new voters register because they believe the current one is not credible to conduct the 2016 general elections.
The two former presidents, JJ Rawlings and J.A Kuffuor have all called for a credible register ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Meanwhile others have also called for an auditing of the current register including the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The hearings will take place on Thursday and Friday, the 29th and 30th of October, 2015 at Alisa Hotel, North Ridge, Accra from 10:00hrs to 13:00hrs and 14:00hrs to 17:00hrs daily.
The hearing will be conducted in a free, fair, transparent and an objective manner and will be broadcast live on radio, television and on the internet to allow Ghanaians who will not be able to attend the hearing to follow the proceedings.
The five member Panel will present their findings and recommendations to the EC after the process for final decision and communication to the general public.
The Panel is made up of:
a. His Lordship Professor V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, Co-Chair of the Coalition for Domestic Election Observers, (CODEO), former Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, former Professor of Law, and former Electoral Commissioner of Ghana;
b. Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana and Chairman of the National Peace Council;
c. Dr. Grace Bediako, a former Government Statistician and former member of the National Development Planning Commission;
d. Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor, a renowned computer scientist, Chairman of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) Board of Directors, and President of the Internet Society of Ghana; and
e. Maulvi Bin Salih, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Mission of Ghana.
Any person or institution interested in attending the Forum should please contact the undersigned for an invitation. The schedule for presentations at the Forum will be circulated prior to the Forum to all who made submissions to the EC and are scheduled to make presentations.
The EC, in the discharge of its constitutional mandate to run free, fair and credible elections, assures the people of Ghana of its commitment to undertake its solemn duty dispassionately.
Embattled National Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Mr. Paul Afoko says he still remains the chair of the Elephant party and the ‘’illegal’’ NEC meeting held to suspend him was unconstitutional and a breach of the party’s constitution.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Nana Yaw Osei, the suspended chair of the NPP has shot down the claims insisting that he is still at post as the party’s chairman.
‘’We want to state in unequivocal terms that the improperly constituted National Disciplinary Committee cannot recommend any indefinite suspension of Mr. Paul Afoko to the National Executive Committee (NEC) whose chairman did not call the meeting that purportedly endorsed the so-called decision of the national disciplinary committee,’’ the stamen read.
Here’s the full statement from Paul Afoko:
ILLEGAL NEC MEETING CAN’T SUSPEND PAUL AFOKO AS NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF NPP
The attention of Mr. Paul A. Afoko, the national chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been drawn to a statement allegedly authored by Nana Akomea, the party’s Director of Communication to the effect that the national chairman has been suspended indefinitely from his position.
In his stead, Mr. Freddie Blay, the First Vice National Chairman would act.
We want to state in unequivocal terms that the improperly constituted National Disciplinary Committee cannot recommend any indefinite suspension of Mr. Paul Afoko to the National Executive Committee (NEC) whose chairman did not call the meeting that purportedly endorsed the so-called decision of the national disciplinary committee.
We insist that an improperly called meeting of the NEC cannot legally deliberate on any matter for it to have the proper effect of binding on Mr. Paul Afoko as the national chairman.
The general public is entreated to treat the statement from Nana Akomea with the contempt it deserves and disregard same.
Nana Yaw Osei
Spokesperson for National Chairman, NPP
The Director In Charge of Transmission at the Ministry of Power, Mr. William Sam-Appiah has said that government have plans for dumsor, to make sure Ghana manage its current power crisis popularly called dumsor.
According to him if we have to meet the demand for the day as required, then about 2, 100 megawatts has to be provided but only 1, 500 and 1, 700 megawatts is provide for the day and evening respectively.
He explained further, a difference of 450 megawatts is been curtailed to salvage the situation, aside that about 600 megawatts is curtailed on what he described as a bad day.
Mr. Sam-Appiah indicated that plans are in place to give us over 900 megawatts in a day.
‘’Before the end of the year, we have projections that will end the current situation and have in excess and help us to plan. The current situation is such that is such that if a unit has to go down for maintenance or something happens and the unit is such down, we get into trouble but we should get into the situation where we can plan maintenance and the unit will shut down and you will not feel it,’’ he said.
He said that because Ghana do have enough reserves to manage the situation like other countries, when a unit is shut down, if affects the entire system, but efforts are in place to manage the challenge.
The nation experienced a major cut as at Thursday because Nigeria could not provide us with enough gas to power our system. According to reports there was some maintenance work which was carried out on some of the pipeline in Etorugu.
‘’In actual fact there was some work going on in Nigeria in a place called Etorugu and because of that they couldn’t give us enough gas. So we were actually running on what we called parking, there was not much pressure behind it so some of the unit has to go down and run some of the units on light crude oil. Unfortunately some other plants run strictly on gas and if the pressure goes down the plants has to be shut that’s why as at [Thursday] the situation was that bad,’’ he indicated.
However Mr. Sam-Appiah said Nigeria is working to rectify the situation and aside that Ghana Gas was also rampimg up to salvage the situation.
He said that Ghana should be able to get a point where we will have multiple sources of power, so we prevent the situation we experienced last Thursday.
‘’Yes we may have some challenges with fuel essentially gas but we they are plans to also look at how we meet the gas shortfalls. We are committed to have liquefied natural gas coming in, it is at an accelerated pace and that should come in and make sure the Tema situation is supported. We need to get into the situation where we have multiple sources of fuel coming in, and for that reason we are getting the LNG on a fast track basis, that should come in and make sure that we have a sustainable operation in our system,’’ he said.
Mr. Sam-Appiah indicated that aside all the medium term plans in place, government is working hard to bring in about 250 million scarf per day which can go up to about 750 megawatts per day which will stationed at Tema to help us manage the power crisis.
The National Executive Committee of the opposition New Patriotic Party has with immediate effect suspended the National Chairman, Mfr. Paul Afoko.
In an official statement released by the party, the 1st Vice-Chairman, Mr. Freddie Blay takes over as acting chair of the party.
The decision by the NEC follows an earlier petition presented to the Disciplinary Committee to oust Afoko for working against the interest of the party.
Mr. Paul Afoko remains suspended until the 2016 general elections is over.
"On the 21st October, 2015, the National Disciplinary Committee of the New Patriotic Party submitted a report to the Executive Committee of the NPP; recommending the indefinite suspension of Mr. Paul Afoko as National Chairman.
"At its meeting today, Friday 23 October, 2015, the National Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation of the National Disciplinary Committee," the official statement signed by Communications Director Nana Akomea indicated.
It added: "By the decision of the NEC, Mr. Paul Afoko is suspended indefinitely from the position of National Chairman of NPP.
"Mr. Freddie Blay, the 1st Vice Chair, per the NPP's Constitution, becomes acting National Chairman of the NPP."
Below are some of the leaders that attended the meeting
Haruna Eseku – Former chairman of the NPP
Bugri Naabu – Bugri Naabu is the Northern Regional Chairman of the party.
Hackman Owusu Agyemang –A leading member of the party
Treasurer – Abankwah Yeboah
Freddie Blay who convened the meeting,
Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi.
Sammy Awuku – National Youth Organizer
There was a clash as the Invincible Forces stormed the party Headquarters of the New Pariotic Party today following some disagreement over an intended NEC meeting which was meant to suspend the party’s Chairman Paul Afoko.
The situation led to a traffic jam as the road infront of the party’s headquarters was blocked.
About 20 private security men with the Invincible Forces burnt down a motorbike and destroyed the windscreen of another taxi.
The police arrived swiftly to manage the situation and restore calm at the party’s headquarters and also restore law and order.
Earlier today, information broke that the National Executive Committee of the party was to hold a meeting to suspend Paul Afoko but the chairman in a release refuted the claims and told supporters that, he still remains the party’s National Chairman.
Meanwhile the Bolga Bull Dogs have hinted of their arrival at the party’s headquarters to disrupt the intended meeting.
The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Paul Afoko has said that he is still the party’s chair discharging his duties as required by the constitution of the NPP.
In a release copied to the media, the embattled chair refuted claims that the party has scheduled a meeting today, to suspende him as the party's chair.
According to him, the 1st Vice-Chair in the person of Freddie Blay has no such powers to call for a meeting by the constitution of the party.
He has also called on party supporters to remain resolute and calm as he Paul Afoko still remains the Chairman of the NPP.
Below is the Press Statement
FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY
TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES
DATE: 23RD OCTOBER 2015
It has come to my notice that an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party has been called for today Friday the 23rd of October 2015 at 10am at the Party’s Headquarters. I hereby state categorically that no such meeting of NEC has been scheduled and that members should disregard any such notices they might have received.
I am informed that the said meeting is being called by the Party’s 1st Vice Chairman, Mr. Freddie Blay. By the provisions of our constitution, Mr. Freddie Blay has no vested authority to sanction such a meeting, especially when I the chairman, the constitutionally mandated person to call and preside over such meetings have not authorized Mr. Blay to call any meeting.
I wish to further state that I am in the jurisdiction, available and capable of discharging my constitutionally mandated functions as chairman of the NPP.
I also wish to serve notice, and notice is hereby served that the meeting called by Mr. Blay is an illegality and a breach of our party’s constitution.
Thank you very much. Long Live the NPP!
PAUL AWENTAMI AFOKO
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has charged the Electoral Commission to engage the services of a competent, credible and external organization to conduct independent investigations into allegations of bloating.
This was revealed in a communiqué issued by the IEA after the forum held few days ago.
The IEA indicated that, although ‘’Article 46 of the National Constitution protects the EC from direction or control, it is nevertheless accountable to the citizens because it is a public organization which draws its funds from the Consolidated Fund. It must therefore ensure full transparency and accountability in its work’’.
The IEA through the release admonished the EC to take to consider working all the stakeholders involved in resolving the irregularities identified in the voters’ register.
Below is the full communiqué:
GHANA’S VOTERS REGISTER – IEA BROKERS SOME KEY CONSENSUS
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A NATIONAL DEBATE ON GHANA’S VOTERS’ REGISTER ORGANIZED BY THE IEA ON TUESDAY, 20TH OCTOBER 2015 IN ACCRA
As part of its commitment to promote good governance and entrenched multiparty democracy for sustainable national development in Ghana, The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Ghana) organized a National Debate on Tuesday, 20th October 2015 in its conference hall. The Debate was under the theme: “Towards a Credible and Peaceful 2016 Elections: A Review of the State of Ghana’s Voters Register and the Way Forward”. It brought together over 100 participants from Parliament, Civil Society, Political Parties, Development Partners, Traditional Authorities, Statesmen and Media.
The 2012 Election Petition at the Supreme Court recommended an overhaul of Ghana’s electoral system. Justice Atuguba, Presiding Judge of the Election Petition, stated as follows: “this petition has exposed the need for certain electoral reforms”. In the lead up to next year’s elections, discussion on Ghana’s Voters Register has taken centre stage, with wide public concerns expressed over its credibility.
Even though it is generally agreed that the Register is flawed, there is disagreement on the magnitude of the irregularities in the Register and the approach to addressing the problem. While some have argued for purging the existing Register, others have called for compilation of a new Register.
The IEA recognizes that if this issue is not resolved in a timely manner, the nation will be further polarized, and the peace of Ghana will be threatened. It is against this background that the Debate was organized to provide an objective, non-partisan platform for a discussion of the issues in order to find common ground.
Two presentations were delivered as follows:
Towards a Credible Election 2016 – Compiling a New Voters Register by Prof Mike Oquaye (Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament)
Towards a Credible Election 2016 – Purging Ghana’s Current Voters Register by Dr. Ransford Gyampo (Senior Lecturer, Political Science Department, University of Ghana)
The current Register is bloated with illegal entries (minors, foreign nationals, doctored photographs, etc.).
The need for empirical evidence to prove allegations of bloating.
The capacity and credibility of the Electoral Commission to undertake effective audit of the Register.
The specific methodology to be used for auditing the Register. How will the Register be audited? What principles will guide this process? How effective will the methodology be?
The empirical soundness or reliability of the source data for a new Register. How does one prove to be a citizen of Ghana? What form of identification is authentic and acceptable?
Cost implications of cleaning the existing Voters Register. How will it be funded?
Cost implications of compiling a new Voters Register. How will it be funded?
Political parties and citizenry have not taken full advantage of existing processes to ensure periodic reviews of the Register.
Ghana currently does not have a codified body of electoral laws to deal with electoral offences.
It was agreed that there are irregularities with the current Voters Register. All stakeholders must work towards a consensus position on addressing these irregularities. The two main schools of thought on how to resolve the problem of illegal entries in the Register are not mutually exclusive. This is because purging the Register will ultimately result in a new Register, while compiling a new Register will rely on some existing data from the old Register. What is critical is that the final output of this exercise must be a Voters Register with an acceptable margin of error.
The Electoral Commission should demonstrate proactiveness and leadership on this important national issue. It should engage the services of a competent, credible and external organization to conduct independent investigations into allegations of bloating. Though Article 46 of the National Constitution protects the EC from direction or control, it is nevertheless accountable to the citizens because it is a public organization which draws its funds from the Consolidated Fund. It must therefore ensure full transparency and accountability in its work.
It was agreed that there was the absence of a single codified body on laws dealing with electoral offences in Ghana. The incidence of electoral fraud is rife in Ghana because of this deficiency in its legal regime. Ghana should emulate the example of Kenya by codifying a set of electoral laws which adequately deter electoral fraud. Having adequate electoral laws will ensure that elections are conducted without repeated incidents of illegal registration, ballot box snatching, etc.
The cost implications of auditing the existing Voters Register or compiling a new Register should not take away from steps to provide a credible and acceptable Register for the 2016 elections. This is because the cost of managing a national crisis resulting from a flawed electoral process will be potentially higher than that of having an acceptable Register.
Ghana should renew its efforts towards an authentic national identification system for all citizens. This is crucial going forward as it will feed into the process of providing a robust and credible Voters Register.
Mrs. Jean Mensa
(Executive Director, IEA)
20th October, 2015
The Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, President John Mahama has admonished newly commissioned officers to exhibit a high sense of moral integrity as they undertake their duties.
This he said will help them achieve greater heights in their line of duty.
In an address at the 2015 graduation parade of the Ghana Military Academy in Accra on Thursday, President Mahama charged the officers to be selfless, dedicated and be committed in their line of duty at all times.
President Mahama indicated that, Ghana’s Armed Forces is touted as one of the best in the sub-region with an heritage that needs to be preserved, he charged the newly graduated officers of be proud of themselves.
“Our armed forces have a heritage and tradition that we can be proud of. From the colonial area, Ghanaians as part of the West African frontier force saw action in many theatres which we now only recall in the names of or various barracks. Domestically our troupes have emerged in times of natural disaster ensuring marine time safety and security and at all times working to assure the territorial integrity of our nation. This is indeed a proud tradition,” he said.
President Mahama further encouraged the newly graduated officers to be mindful of the respect the Armed Forces has gained over the years and be guided by the tenets of integrity of the Armed Forces, so they serve the nation with a high sense of moral integrity.
“Ghanaians are proud of our Armed forces. Let me therefore remind you, graduating officer cadets, that you are gaining entry into a force with a proud tradition of service. You must therefore not just behave with the highest professional efficiency but you must also display a sense of moral integrity,’’ he said.
In all, 75 officers regular Cadet Officers and 19 Short Service Commission and Special Duties Officers were commissioned.
The sword of honour for the all-round best cadet went to SUO Rodney ODOI.
Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Frempong Manso says he has not resigned as a member of the PCG but rather he has resigned from active ministry of the PCG.
The former Moderator indicated that he has been misunderstood by the public because his letter he wrote was to inform the church to resign from ministry and not as a member of the church.
According to him the way and manner in which the church treated him was not fair, respectful and indecent on their part.
In his resignation letter he had this to say:
‘’In view of the current misunderstanding of the PCG concerning the extension of my call to the service of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church through the Presbytery of New York City and the clear understanding of the PNYC of the PC(USA) polity regarding transfer of my membership to the Presbytery and for that matter under their jurisdiction in their letter of September 24, 2015 to you, I have decided with the support of my family to resign from the Ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana with effect from October 31, 2015. I wish you all the best in the LORD’’.
The former Moderator refuted claims that he resisted to come down to Ghana after the church parted ways with the Presbyterian Church in the USA.
According to him, the church in question the Ghana office refereed to, had not accepted the ordination of gay pastors because the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in the USA consist of Ghanaian Presbyterians, who are not gays or lesbians and so he would not accept to preside over a gay church.
Rev. Dr. Frempong Manso has denied any claims by PCG to resend his decision, he described it as a blatant lie.
“I will say it’s a total lie. If they have taken that decision, I have never heard about it. Nobody has called me personally on phone to speak to me about this matter.
“What you are telling me is totally news to me, I want to emphasis clearly that the best thing is for people to be truthful. Nobody has written to me to resend my decision, I have not had anything through the email, telephone or anything,” he stated.
Speaking in an interview with Citi FM, he asked the leadership of the church to communicate with him appropriately if they claim they want him to resend his decision.
Ghanaians must embrace themselves for an intensified power outage in the coming days. If that becomes possible, we could be experiencing 12 hours power supply and 24 hours off.
Electricity Company of Ghana may be forced to shed 590 megawatts because of some technical challenges that affected a fuse at N-GAS pipeline in Nigeria which caused a drop in gas supply of about 100 million cubic feet.
The incident is affecting the smooth flow of gas supply to Tema gas enclave where Asogli power plants are stationed.
Current information we are picking indicates that, the situation in Nigeria is delaying in repairing, leaving only one unit of the Asogli power plant running.
Some other repair works are been conducted on some power cables and equipments which was affected by heavy rainstorms.
ECG shed about 300 megawatts last week but the erratic situation is set to worsen as they plan to shed double the amount this week.
The situation will leave Accra without 210 megawatts and Kumasi with 120 megawatts.
Ghana’s industrial hub, Tema will be down by 100 megawatts whiles the Central and Eastern Regions will lose 40 megawatts each.
The Western Region will go down by 60 megawatts.
The Volta region will suffer a 20 megawatt shortage.
Government and all stakeholders are currently working around the clock to manage the situation and possibly work out a new round of loadshedding exercise.