Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated that the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) of the Electoral Commission is currently nonexistent because the committee’s suggestions and counsel to the commission are ignored.
Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia noted that should the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) return to its former function, the National Democratic Congress would be willing to attend the sessions.
“The political parties that have been attending IPAC, are they not the ones who are joining us now in court against what the Electoral Commission has done? They went to IPAC, learned about what to do with this voter’s registration and everything they decided upon, the Electoral Commission came out to announce the opposite.”Johnson Asiedu Nketia
Asiedu Nketia Admonishes EC To Revert IPAC To Its Original Status
The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress also stated that the party would not hesitate to attend meetings to participate in discussions for a better Ghana if the Electoral Commission restored the Inter-Party Advisory Committee to its previous role as a forum for building consensus.
“Everything you do, there must be an objective, and there must be a motive. If the motive behind IPAC is for us to go and seek consensus, and you have come to the conclusion that consensus cannot be sought at the IPAC, you are wasting your time going to sit there.
If you are calling us to school, it means we are going to study. If you go to school and then you don’t study anything, would you continue going there and your parents be paying the school fees? No. That’s the reason why IPAC was established. So let us go back and use the IPAC to be building the consensus. But if IPAC is not going to be used to build consensus, then that meeting is not IPAC.”Johnson Asiedu Nketia
Meanwhile, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been urged by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to rejoin the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).
Evans Nimako, the NPP’s director of research and elections, argued that the opposition party must attend IPAC again to be represented in decisions that will be of relevance to all parties.
“IPAC has been meeting; the New Patriotic Party has always been honouring invitations from the EC. We cannot force other parties to come or not to come, but if you check from the EC you realize that anytime IPAC has been held the party has enquired about the steps the EC has taken to invite the NDC”.Evans Nimako
According to Mr Nimako, the Electoral Commission Constitutional Instrument 91 requires the Commission to conduct continuous registration. He underscored the important role the Inter-Party Advisory Committee plays in such exercise and therefore appealed to the National Democratic Congress to reconsider its decision to boycott the activities of the Committee.
“If you look at the current CI, the 91, it says that the EC must conduct continuous registration and it says also that there must be a modality committee and that committee has been formed at IPAC. We expected NDC to be part, to be around so that we can all discuss issues that will take onboard the interest of all stakeholders and this they’ve reneged. So we’d rather continue to call on them to come back to IPAC for all parties to discuss”.Evans Nimako
The NDC has boycotted IPAC meetings since March 2020 after the party raised questions about the posture of the Electoral Commission.
On Wednesday, April 2021, the party declined an invitation by the Electoral Commission of Ghana to attend an IPAC meeting to review the 2020 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections.
The party cited the lack of candour, odious duplicity, and open bias that was been displayed by the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission in favour of the New Patriotic Party in the conduct of the 2020 general elections as reason for its action.