Political Communications expert, Dr. Kobby Mensah has described the Electoral Commission (EC) as one of the weakest institutions in Ghana because of their inability to fully execute their mandate.
Criticising the EC for being laid back, Dr. Kobby Mensah blamed the Commission for allowing the two main political parties to use the COVID-19 crisis as an opportune time to campaign.
According to him, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) can’t be blamed for their actions because the EC has no clue on what political campaign advertising is, reason it has failed to detect what the political parties are doing during this crisis period, although it is evident they’re taking advantage of the situation.
Also, he accused the EC of having no guidelines to guard the actions of the political parties saying they have failed to put in rules of engagement that will sanction those who flout it.
Speaking on PM Express, Dr. Kobby Mensah said “I will not blame the political parties. In fact, I see the two main political parties as taking the opportunity, being opportunistic in the way they’re using the crisis. I put the blame squarely on the doorsteps of the EC. I’m of the opinion that our EC is one of the weakest institutions because they’ve been very laid back, they’ve been very slow in responding to issues when it comes to political campaigning.”
“If you look at our EC for example, they do not have any guidelines regarding political campaigning, on social media for example. They do not have any guidelines on political campaigning in an emerging form, even on advertising, they have no guidelines on political campaign advertising. So when they see campaigning, they [the EC] can’t see one because they have no clue what is actually termed as political campaign,” he added.
He further said not only is President Akufo-Addo using his national address on COVID-19 to campaign but John Dramani Mahama has been doing same.
He cited an example where both parties engage in activities that clearly show vote-buying but the EC has ignored all these signs.
He believes the EC is the only one to blame for making the political campaign on COVID-19 escalate in the country.