The host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Paul Adom Otchere has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to double the number of polling stations across the country as part of measures to ensure social distancing ahead of this year’s general elections.
“All 30,000 polling stations across the country must be doubled. The normal queues we use to see on Election Day, we can’t have them for 2020 elections because of COVID-19. We should have a socially distant queue,” he stated.
Speaking on his show on Tuesday, Mr Adom Adom-Otchere said that as an added precaution, the EC must provide gloves and face masks for the about 12 million eligible voters in the country ahead of the polls.
“The EC must provide nose masks for all 12 million people and a pair of gloves as well,” he said.
He made further suggestions to the EC, including spacing out the long queues that usually characterise elections in Ghana, while enforcing handwashing protocols at the various polling stations.
With Ghana dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 5,000 cases confirmed so far, concerns have been raised about how it could affect this year’s polls.
There have even been suggestions that holding the elections while the pandemic continues to spread might not be viable.
Mr. Adom-Otchere, however, does not share this opinion and believes that the elections should be able to go ahead in spite of the pandemic, once the EC is able to put stringent precautionary measures in place.
According to him, the country’s Constitution specifies that the elections must be held on December 7 with “no room not to have the elections” on the set date.
“7th December must occur. That is the conclusion. The elections must happen and that is what the constitution is telling us. The constitution hasn’t given us any room not to have elections on the 7th of December.
“In whatever circumstances, the constitution says that 7th December is a ‘sine qua non’ to the establishment of the constitution and our democracy,” he emphasized.
The EC said in a recent statement that since the COVID-19 outbreak, it has “taken concrete steps in adherence to the rules and regulations regarding the protocols spelt out by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health and therefore has not violated any protocols in the discharge of its duties,” in response to concerns raised by the Minority in Parliament.