Former Minister for Defence, Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor has said political parties accusing the Electoral Commission of suspicious acts are doing so due to the internal methods of conducting their own elections.
According to the Former National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for the Nandom constituency, parties who use crooked methods in their internal elections are fearful that same method will be used against them.
Leadership of the opposition NDC including its flagbearer, Former President Mahama has on several occasions questioned the neutrality of the Jean Mensah led Electoral Commission.
Mr. Mahama also expressed concern over the lack of transparency and consultation from the commission.
General Secretary for the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia also said the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, appears to harbour some prejudice against his party.
But Dr Kunbuor who was part of former President Rawlings’ team at a meeting with the leadership of the National Electoral Commission on Wednesday, 26 June 2019, said parties always view the membership of the commission with suspicion.
He said: “Once you superintend the process of acquiring political power and given the disturbing meaning most political actors give to that power, you are between the rock and a hard place. Therefore, you need to conceptualise and factor in such a reality of the environment of your work.”
He revealed that the original idea behind IPAC was as a forum to deal with the internal dynamics of political parties.
He said the only reason why there are agitations and accusations is what psychologists call prolongation.
“What is done within a party becomes a habit. Once you use crooked methods internally, there is always that fear in your mind that in every electoral process the same will be done,” the former Defence Minister said.
Dr Kunbuor, who is a member of the ROPAA Implementation Committee, said beyond the mention of internal party democracy in the constitutions of political parties, they should specify its essentials and the highest decision bodies of political parties should adopt detailed guidelines at their congresses along the lines of Article 55 of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.
Internal practices of our political parties, Dr Kunbuor stated, are still those of the African political parties of the 1950s and not in tune with modern democratic and governance best practices provided for in the national constitution. He said If political parties are internally democratic then IPAC positions will have a rank and file buy-in and that will give the EC popular legitimacy.
The former Minister said it will be important in the future to legislate for the consultative and consensus building role of IPAC without compromising the EC’s independence.