Sunday, September 7, 2008


A BETTER collaboration between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) has been identified as key to a credible election in December.
The Executive Director of the West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP), Mr Emmanuel Bombande, said in Accra yesterday that the country would benefit a lot, if the EC would disabuse itself of the mentality that reduced the relevance and contribution of the IPAC.
He said the situation where deliberations and suggestions made at IPAC were implemented at the discretion of the EC because the former was not a statutory body and the latter was a state institution had to end for better co-operation.
“The best form of co-operation that the EC needs now is that with the political parties to produce a clean election, and you cannot achieve that by making power the centre of argument between you and the parties,” he told the Daily Graphic in Accra.
He said the IPAC was a good platform to address the challenges of the registration exercise.
In their conviction of the nature of IPAC in contributing to credible elections, therefore, WANEP, together with the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), had made overtures to the EC to be observers at their meetings, he said.
In that capacity, they would also recommend appropriate response actions to each challenge discussed and find those responsible for implementing actions.
That would then become a bench mark for determining who was committed and who was not to credible elections.
He said because the political parties also found IPAC to be purely advisory, and some suggestions made in the past had not been considered by the EC, they were unsure of how the EC would take into account their current views.
An interesting contradiction though, Mr Bombande pointed out, was the fact that there were certain issues that the political parties agreed on and this bound them together.
However, there was no opening valve for them to agree on steps to make the process better.
He cited the challenges of the recent registration exercise as an example of that.
“And this is where the leadership role of EC should come out,” he said.
Mr Bombande said judging from the undesired reports of the registration process, there was the urgency for all partners to accelerate their efforts to ensure a clean register for a credible election process.
A failure to infuse a sense of urgency in activities to ensure credible elections, he said, might create a situation where parties might mistrust each other and that could linger on psychologically and influence the December elections by making reference to flawed voters’ register.
Mr Bombande said the disturbances during the registration exercise was the result of a total disregard for the political parties code of conduct and the disposition that made losing the election out of the question.
“It is important to remind them that if they do not include the option of losing the election, then they will do whatever it takes to win, which will amount to political malfeasance,” he said,
He said the current political arrangement was inimical to peace, as access to political power determined the distribution of resources and wealth, making winning a compulsive desire, as losing meant waiting for another four years.

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