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Haruna Pushes Back on Jean Mensa’s Proposal to Close Polls at 3 pm, Says it “Defies Common Sense”

Iddrisu also emphasized that the minority in Parliament will not back the decision to amend the law to change the date of the upcoming elections, suggesting that a consensus will not be reached on this matter.

Former Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has described the proposal by the Electoral Commission (EC) to change the closing time of the 2024 elections from 5:00 PM to 3:00 PM as unconstitutional.

According to him, the action undermines the right of the electorate and urged the EC to show respect to the electorate by abandoning that proposal.

Haruna made these claims while speaking at a town hall meeting in the Northern Region as part of the Building Ghana Tour of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

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“If at 5:00 PM you have a queue, you have a queue. The right to vote established under Article 42 is not a divisible right. It is a legitimate, full, absolute, constitutional, inalienable, right,” he said.

“So you can’t tell somebody that when it’s 3:00 PM go home. That is above Jean Mensa and the Electoral Commission,” he added.

Iddrisu also emphasized that the minority in Parliament will not back the decision to amend the law to change the date of the upcoming elections, suggesting that a consensus will not be reached on this matter.

“We do not think that Parliament may be able to build a consensus on that matter, because it will require a constitutional amendment to Articles 1124 and 113, whereas our general elections shall be held at least 60 days before elections. So you have to come and amend the 60 days to read 30 days. It will mean that you must engage Parliament, ” Haruna said.

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“We think that this matter must be deferred for the future and allow 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on the 7th of December,” he added.

The Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, has suggested moving the date for both Presidential and Parliamentary elections from December 7 to November 7.

The EC is also advocating for election days to be designated as national holidays to bolster civic engagement and improve turnout. These proposals were presented during an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Monday, January 22, 2024.

Meanwhile, days ago, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in a petition to the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General suggested the first or second Tuesday of November for the 2024 General Election as December 7, which is the original voting day falls on a Saturday. Saturday is a holy day dedicated to the worship of God, according to the belief of the Adventists.

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