Electoral Commission reviews leave arrangements; senior staff to continue working

The Electoral Commission has reviewed its earlier decision to proceed on a one-month leave, after the ‘successful’ conduct of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

According to its revised statement on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, the EC said senior staff will continue to work while juniors proceed on leave.

“The Senior leadership and some key operational staff of the commission will continue to work during the break,” the statement stated.

This follows the massive backlash from civil society groups and opposition parties after its leave announcement Tuesday.

Reacting to the announcement, the CSOs said: “At an emergency meeting of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to assess the current post-election political impasse, we noted with concern, a circular signed by the Deputy Chair (Corporate Services) of the EC, Dr Bossman E. Asare, suggesting that the Electoral Commission (EC) may be going on recess from the 23rd December 2020 to 19th January 2021.”

They further stated that:

“Given the current post-election context and the matters arising, some of which might require their attention, we find it unacceptable that the EC should be shutting down at this critical moment at this critical moment,and without any clarification to the public of the alternative arrangements that have been put in place.

“We have also observed with concern that the minority party in Parliament was barred from submitting a petition to the Electoral Commission today by security personnel, thereby preventing them from making their presentation. In light of the EC’s response that it received the notice late, and that it holds the institution of Parliament in high regard, we kindly urge the Minority to re-submit their petition and the results it has, to the EC, as soon as possible, for prompt action.

“We call on the EC to activate mechanisms for inclusive stakeholder dialogue as part of the electoral management process. We further call on the EC to review its decision on its intended one-month long leave and assure Ghanaians that until these matters are resolved, the leadership of the Commission will be on duty to discharge its responsibilities fully.”

But the EC on Wednesday noted that “all field staff of the Electoral Commission across the 275 Districts and 16 Regional Capitals, having worked tirelessly throughout the year in spite of COVID-19, have been granted a well-deserved break.”

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