Maintain 5pm end of polls – Majority Leader to EC

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu wants the Electoral Commission (EC) to stick to the 5 pm end of polls schedule during general elections in order not to disenfranchise eligible voters.

The EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa while addressing participants at an inter-party dialogue and stock-taking conference organised by the National Peace Council in Accra last Thursday emphasised that the adjustment of the closing time for polls from 5 pm to 3 pm aims to facilitate the transparent and orderly collation of votes by electoral officers in broad daylight.

But the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu reacting to the proposal by the EC while debating the 2024 budget approval for the Electoral Commission, said the 5 pm schedule must be maintained.

“The attempt to reduce voting time from 5 pm to 3 pm again we should interrogate it. I believe it is too early for the EC to do it. [On Tuesday] when I went to vote, the materials had not been assembled yet even though I got there at 8:15, I had to stay until 9:20 to start voting, already two hours wasted.

“We didn’t have to bring the conclusion from 5 pm to 3 pm. Then the voters would have lost about four hours…So let’s all stick to the 5 pm of voting,” he said.

The Member of Parliament for Buem, Kofi Adams on his part said the failure of the EC to heed expert and stakeholder advice is to blame for the challenges experienced in the District Level Elections.