John Mahama and Jean Mensa
‘Being an election year, I will appeal to all political parties and other civil society organisations to give the Electoral Commission the peace of mind to do its work. Our Constitution says that the Electoral Commission shall not be subjected to the direction of or control of any person and that includes me,’ John Mahama on 14th November 2016.
Unless former President John Mahama is a man whose words are as unstable as mercury, then his advice to Ghanaians as in the aforementioned quotation should guide the leadership of his party today as they resort to the unproductive efforts of throwing spanners into the works of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Nobody, including the President, has the authority to interfere in the work of the EC as former President John Mahama himself observed when he was at the helm. This is a standard etched in the Constitution. Those who act otherwise are not only breaching the tenets of the Constitution, they are living the billing of the notorious tag of their political grouping.
The EC is a critical feature of democracy and should be protected by all and sundry save, of course, those who could not care a hoot about good governance and civility.
The former President’s party members are engaged in a project of actualising segments of their game plan for the 2020 polls which are anything but peaceful and decent. We are hard-pressed not to see his hands in the project. His silence is acquiescence without doubt.
For a party synonymous with violence, the traits being exhibited by the NDC is unsurprising. It is unfortunate that they are oblivious to the fact that times have changed since the curtains were drawn over the indiscipline of the so-called revolutionary days about which the former President has occasionally referred to with glee.
Yesterday, the NDC undertook the second leg of their planned series of demonstrations across the country in Kumasi. Much attention was not riveted to the health walk as some cynics have described it for one reason; it was going to be as uneventful as the Tamale one and the ones to follow in its heels because under an Akufo-Addo administration demonstrations do not end up with participants sustaining injuries or even losing their sights.
None of the demonstrations embarked upon by the NDC so far has suffered challenges from the police. Under the then President John Mahama, the police would certainly proceed to court with reasons why the demonstrations could not be policed-shortage of personnel. With such an excuse originating from the NDC headquarters through their proxies in uniform, the courts were sure going to grant the ‘no demonstration’ order.
Today under a political dispensation free of the trappings of interference in such matters, demonstrations are not denied provided they do not infract the law.