A Methodist Bishop, Very Reverend Bruce Solomon, superintendent minister of the old Tafo Methodist Church has called on lawmakers to review the current constitution to enable an extension of Akufo-Addo’s presidency.
Speaking with Kwame Tanko on ‘Angel in the Morning’ on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, he said the current four-year tenure did not provide ample time for a President to put in place the right structures to implement all of his government’s policies, citing COVID-19 as a hindrance to the implementation of some government projects this year.
‘We were not made for the constitution, the constitution was made for us. So if for some reasons we cannot go as stated in the constitution why can’t we amend? The country is currently battling COVID-19, that notwithstanding, we do not know our situation and way forward with this pandemic. why then do we rush to conduct an election?.’
‘All I seek to be done is for lawmakers to meet and devise a strategy to extend Akufo-Addo’s tenure of office by either a year or more. It could even be less just to make way for health officials to access the impact of the virus and way forward. We need not trade human lives for an election. Do we kill the people whom we seek to vote us into power? he queried.
He added that Ghana though a sovereign country is copying practices and electoral laws of other countries.
‘The kind of democracy we’re practising now was copied from other countries. however, we have to contextualize what these countries have done that we deem right and want to follow. We just copy blindly. See! I believe we can even make changes to the current constitution that permits elected presidents to rule for more than 4 years and that will help the country a lot, he added.
Information Minister, Kwadwo Oppong Nkrumah says the Akufo-Addo Government is not contemplating an extension of its first term constitutional mandate despite the seeming distortion of the political calendar by COVID-19.
The Minister, at a press briefing pointed out that the government does not see any justifiable reason to seek to extend its first term constitutional mandate using the virus as an excuse, without a safe, free and fair election.
“The government is of the view that instead of contemplating measures that are not envisaged in the constitution, our best energies, our innovation and creativity should be invested in exploring how a country like ours can have safe and free elections.”
Political parties stance
General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu believes it is not negotiable that the 2020 general elections “must” be held on December 7 this year.
According to him, it will be chaotic if the elections are postponed.
However, founder and leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Kwasi Addae has advised the Electoral Commission (EC) to postpone the 2020 elections to 2021.
According to him, the continuous rise in the infections of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country would not create an enabling environment for the organisation of a credible parliamentary and presidential election for 2020.
The National Democratic Congress is also calling on the Electoral Commission to as matter of urgency suspend compilation of the new voter register ahead of the December polls.