Story: News Desk
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has agreed to return to the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) following an intervention by the National Peace Council (NPC).
The Party accepted the NPC’s request at a stock-taking conference at Peduase in the Eastern Region on Thursday, December 14.
The conference was to evaluate institutional progress toward building the required resilience for credible, transparent, and peaceful general elections in 2024.
The NDC had boycotted IPAC meetings since March 2020 after the party expressed displeasure about the posture of the Electoral Commission (EC).
The Party had accused the Commission of failing to take into consideration decisions at IPAC meetings as part of its electoral reforms.
At the opening of Thursday’s meeting in Peduase, Reverend Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman, the National Peace Council, appealed to the NDC to return to IPAC to help build consensus.
He said the Council had engaged the EC and the NDC on the issue extensively and was hopeful that the NDC would make a declaration by the end of the meeting.
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, in her address at the meeting, also appealed to the NDC to re-join IPAC and indicated that the Commission was committed to receiving the Party in the interest of consolidating Ghana’s democracy.
“We miss the fire of the NDC at IPAC meetings and we invite them,” Mrs Mensa said.
Reacting to the call, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, National Chairman, NDC, said the NDC was committed to supporting efforts to shape the country’s democratic and electoral processes and accepted to rejoin the IPAC.
He said before the Party would participate in the next IPAC meeting, the EC must ensure that IPAC returned to its “consensus building” approach to implementing electoral reforms.
“On behalf of the Party, we accept the appeal from the National Peace Council that we should consider returning to IPAC, but we want to return to IPAC and not any other forum.
“The other side is for us to work to make sure that IPAC returns to its consensus building days…the issues that blocked our return should be dealt with before our next IPAC meeting,” Mr Nketia said.
He also expressed concern with the EC’s efforts towards making the Ghana Card the sole identification document for the Commission’s proposed continuous voter registration exercise.
The NDC argued that the move had the potential to disenfranchise about one million voters, a position the EC had debunked.
“We will support it if everyone had the Ghana Card,” Mr Nketia said.
Ms Kathleen Addy, Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said the 2024 Election was peculiar in the wake of political instability in the West Africa Sub-region.
“We are more vulnerable than before. We must work with each other and assure each other so that we can arrive at the elections and beyond the elections in peace and intact,” she said.