Ghanaians are now on a partial lockdown as a outcome of Covid-19.
Provided that some individuals have honored the Social Length Protocols in breach, there is the worry that there might be even more unfold of the disease, in a fashion that may intensify phone calls for and true overall lockdown. But, really should there be a overall lockdown, when will we be accredited as cost-free from Covid-19, to warrant our opening?
There are fears, (no matter if very well-founded or illegitimate) that Covid-19 may perhaps linger and consequently direct to the postponement of election 2020. In some nations, there are fears of precise or perceived politically determined abuse to be shown, in suspending elections that are nonetheless to be held.
But in Ghana, it does not seem the ruling party is fascinated in abusing the procedures and postponing the 2020 elections, just to extend its stay in electrical power. Impliedly, Ghana Might go ahead with the 2020 elections, even if Covid-19 has not been absolutely contained. Should this be the scenario, there are some critical challenges recognized by the Worldwide Thought, in its current Technical Paper on Elections and Covid-19 (2020), that may possibly be regarded as:
- We should entirely assess the dangers and implications of holding the 2020 elections in the wake of Covid-19. Based on how hard we may be strike by the illness, it may perhaps be really hard to hold the elections. The creation and distribution of ballot papers and other vital election resources, can be undermined by the quite steps imposed to restrict the spread of the ailment. We have to acquire note also that polling officers may be fearful of infections or may well actually be contaminated, and as a result may well not carry out their crucial obligations and features optimally or satisfactorily at the polling stations. We should also be knowledgeable of the reality that voter turnout may possibly possible be influenced, because of worry of infection, in a manner that may well compromise the legitimacy of the elections and acceptability of its results. Indeed, in the wake of Social Length Protocols, law-abiding citizens may well be unlikely to go away their residences to go queue and vote, simply because of their quest to be thorough in not contracting the virus. They may perhaps actually simply call their relatives members to also remain absent from the polls. Once more, the aged, who are extremely prone to the Covid-19 virus, may possibly totally continue to be away from the polling procedure. This could produce uneven participation and skew the polling method in opposition to the aged section of the population. Furthermore, Ghanaians abroad, who are now envisioned to vote in all elections, below the aegis of the ROPAL, may be unable to do so, thanks to the opportunity limitations, that may possibly be imposed by their respective host nations around the world. The dent of these problems on the legitimacy of the 2020 election, must it be held, is indubitable.
- The troubles previously mentioned, amply details to the need to have to take into account some options. Offered our Social Distance Protocols, the Worldwide Strategy recommends exclusive voting, that permits citizens to remotely solid their votes through postal, online and cell engineering, to cut down the well being hazards of voting in individual. The snag, nonetheless, is that, the logistical implications of this alternative voting mechanism for Ghana, at the second, make the proposal considerably less possible. The adoption of alternative solutions for voting would need swift general public training. Unfortunately, “common community education” and reception to general public understanding are rather problematic in Ghana. Indeed, new proof in enforcing standard partial lockdown procedures and Social Length Protocols supports this assertion.
- We have to attempt in direction of achieving inclusivity in conclusions, with regard to holding the 2020 elections. Government, adhering to the laws of the land, should agree with the opposition political events on the will need to go on with the elections, snd work carefully with general public wellness officials and other security and governance authorities, to diligently take into consideration the health and fitness, community protection, protection dangers, democratic and constitutional imperatives and implications of the choice to go ahead with the elections. But we should be conscious of the point that, even though some money may perhaps be sourced by loans and donations, holding the 2020 elections at a time when the virus is continue to common, could imply a tacit acceptance to divert human and substance sources, from much more urgent actions of battling to incorporate the Covid-19. This may possibly deepen the derogatory, but in some cases deserving terminologies of the individuals, that have a tendency to label politicians as self-trying to find, self-perpetuating and self-aggrandizing cabals. This may unquestionably not make the persons, specially the undecided floaters, enthused about the elections.
The temporary analysis over reveals that we are confronted with threats on the two sides of 1 coin. As a result of elections, the citizenry gets the chance to possibly renew or abrogate their social contract with their elected leaders. The men and women need to have the correct to determine no matter whether they want to sustain the existing federal government or kick them out through the 2020 elections. A postponement of the election may perhaps sum to the danger of suspending the political rights of the citizenry. This in political theory is virtually coterminous with a denial of man’s proper to everyday living.
Going on with the elections, also pitfalls quite a few difficulties that may perhaps undermine general public well being and lead to “voting without the need of choosing” as well as the carry out of an election, whose legitimacy might be in severe question.
What we will have to do as a nation, is to start out to prepare and dialogue around the over troubles, even as we battle to include the Covid-19. We have to eschew the unnecessary pettiness of proving and disproving who created which healthcare facility, (when and how), and work alongside one another past partisanship, to deepen education on compliance with our Social Distance Protocols, among the those people who nevertheless believe that the ailment is only for the affluent in culture.
My very personalized inclinations and perception, not backed by any scientific proof, implies to me that, if we are equipped to self-discipline ourselves and guarantee complete compliance with the Social Distance Protocols, Covid-19 would not be an challenge for Ghana by December 2020. Consequently, we could be in a position to keep our elections with no substantially difficulties with public wellbeing and protection.
If so, then, given the timing of our current problem, I dare say that, there is no longer the have to have for a discussion, as to no matter whether we need to have a new voters sign-up or not. The Electoral Commission ought to do the job with its vital stakeholders to determine on the modalities to have out its intention, in the wake of the spreading of Covid-19.
On the other hand, it is plausible to also explanation that, Covid-19 constitutes adequate force majeure, that would make a compelling situation for abandoning the intention to compile a new voters’ register.
If the latter is the situation, then the Electoral Commission ought to rapidly imagine as a result of a contingency plan, to re-psyche and whip up general public confidence in the old sign-up that has been bastardized via the utterances of Fee by itself, and other stakeholders.
Delighted Specific Easter to all of us. May well God bless our homeland Ghana and enable us discover all the classes of Covid-19, which include humility, regard for frequent humanity, Social Distance and Individual Cleanliness, through the interval of our Distinctive Easter, for a brief restoration of ordinary socio-economic and political life.
PAV Ansah Avenue
Suro Nipa Property